Behind the scenes story about North America’s largest regional independent eyewear event and secret optical tips.
In This Episode:
[3:35] The beginnings of the Eyewear After Party and its founders.
[6:05] The evolution of the Eyewear After Party.
[7:45] The independent eyewear movement, and what it means for you.
[9:20] Frame polishing and the many benefits you can find with it.
[10:50] What makes a quality frame.
[11:25] How to go about selecting which companies and frame reps to work with.
[12:30] Positive feedback from the Eyewear After Party.
[15:50] How to decide which frames to look at and bring in.
[21:15] How to transition from corporate products to more independent products.
[24:35] The transformation that takes place after switching to independent brands.
[30:10] Why you need to be selling frames for higher prices.
[33:35] When to get the independent lines in during the transition out of corporate.
About The Eyewear After Party:
The After Party is the first mobile eyewear show to bring exclusive independent collections to local practices at a 1-day luxurious relaxing event and party. February 26th, 2019 in Seattle marked the 4th event at the Fremont Foundry location. The After Party’s founding members are Addie Bogart, Brett Cates, and Scott Balastreri.
It was an amazing success! Nate Ogura (owner of Eyes On Fremont) layed down the tracks at the DJ booth and Perry Brill documented the whole event on video. Nate Gowdy was the man behind the camera and captured tons of smiling memorable moments.
The party consisted of 48 independent frame brands and luxury accessories represented by 24 representatives. Attendees came from all over the country including New York, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Vancouver. Well over 100 eyecare professionals joined the party and indulged in both continuing education and viewing and purchasing new frame lines.
Barry taught a dedicated group of ECPs about bespoke eyewear and how it can differentiate your practice. The course centered around changing the mindset of how opticians choose and fit eyewear. Instead of opting for a needle in a haystack approach, he insisted opticians acquaint themselves with how to fit, create and customize a bespoke frame for a wearer’s needs. Barry believes it’s an important but forgotten skill, but one that will be essential for the optician’s toolbox in the 21st century.
He also led a course on dealing with the optical patient as a consumer. The course dove deep into the politics of patients asking for their PD and prescription. Many ECPs see it as a threat and Barry gave great insights into the politics and how to change your mindset and create profitable opportunities within your practice. Lastly, Barry spoke to ECPs about understanding the validity of the measuring methods used for determining a PD.
Mike Karlsrud gave a compassionate course (and happily tearful for some) that taught ECPs how to get unstuck. He motivated the attendees with inspiration, important facts and answered questions. He offered expert optical advice to ECPs to up their game and grow into true independence. As an entrepreneur, Mike knows what it’s like to feel alone or fight a downstream battle. The room was filled with energy and the students left feeling empowered to go back to their practice and implement change right away.
Mike owns The Karlsrud Company, which is a coaching firm for individuals and businesses. He works with companies to improve their leadership, culture, employee engagement, alignment and structure to produce results. He famously states that he “influences the few who has the influence who influence the many.”
Factory Frame Polishing
Have you ever wondered how to restore a used frame with a brand new shiny polish? Scott Balestreri, Owner of Bad Ass Optical, taught 11 attendees how to polish a frame to a high luster to remove fine scratches and even deep gouges. Each attendee received one-on-one training from Scott in a quiet classroom environment. All machines and materials needed to begin polishing frames in their optical was included in the course. The class gave great insight into what makes a QUALITY frame versus an inferior one.
How Was The After Party Founded?
Once upon a long drive Brett Cates and Addie Bogart were talking on the phone and brainstorming about a mutual customer from Alaska who was flying down to see them. They thought, “Let’s make this something special! Why not have a show that focused around her and independent eyewear?” ONLY independent lines and reps (that knew how to have a good time) were allowed entry. It was met with immediate success and encouragement from the industry, and so The After Party was born. They are the exclusive, intimate, curated, traveling independent eyewear party.
Connect with the After Party: firstname.lastname@example.org