California Made Eyewear | Daniel Lau of Kala Eyewear

In This Episode:

Learn about American made eyewear production from a pioneer.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Daniel Lau, owner of Kala eyewear. The brand has been producing frames in California for numerous years.


1. How his Dad started the company
2. Polishing frames
3. Acetate production of eyewear
4. Eyewear culture and trends
5. What it means to be American made

This podcast was recorded at The After Party in Seattle on February 26, 2019. It is an independent eyewear and eyecare event.

About Daniel and Kala Eyewear:

Daniel has worked in the optical industry for 30 years, first for his father, then with his brother.

Kala is well known for perfectly round eyewear. Recreating iconic frames from the past as well as designing new and unusual shapes (with a California vibe) for today’s wearer.

The acetate frames are handmade in California with premium, raw acetate materials imported from Japan and Italy. They cut and polish each frame by hand and have been doing so in California for more than 25 years. The metal frames are all skillfully crafted by metallurgic artisans in a luxury factory in Japan.

The details in the designs are kept simple. Some of the metals have engraved filigree around the eyewire and bridge and others are interesting in shape. For the “Round Shape” wearers, the choices for acetate, metal, sizes and colors are the most in the eyewear industry.

Important Links:




Episode 27: Life Of Lens Lab Owner With Janet Benjamin of Laramy-K Optical Lab

In this episode of Eyetrepreneur, Janet Benjamin of Laramy-K Optical Labs takes a deep dive into private/independent labs versus big name companies, and how those differences can affect you. Enjoy!

In This Episode:

[3:20] How did Janet get into optical, and owning her own lab?

[11:30] What is Laramy-K optical?

[14:21] What is uncut, and why is that Janet’s specialty?

[19:08] When would you want to have an uncut?

[21:16] How should an ECP choose a lab to work with?

[28:58] What happens when a lab’s service goes from good to bad?

[33:58] The top three things that cause order delays.

[40:16] How we should improve our service and save money at the same time.

[48:44] How does the big-name companies and the independent differ?

[1:00:28] What to keep in mind going into 2020.

About The Guest:

Janet Benjamin, is the owner and president of Laramy-K Optical. Janet has been in the business of making the impossible happen in optics for 46 years. Together with her now-deceased husband, Jack Benjamin, she has been at the head of two cutting edge independent optical laboratories that have pushed the boundaries of lens surfacing with the help of an amazing team.

“People are what make the difference here, both in the lab and the customers we serve,” said Janet. “I have seen many changes over the decades in the optical field, from technology advancements to corporate buyouts, and I’ve made it her goal to continue doing business the way I have her whole life: breaking rules with independence, innovation, and heart. It is important for us to have real relationships with our customers because if you truly know your customer, you can serve them better.”

If you ever call Laramy-K, you will notice the difference in customer service from pretty much anywhere else. Janet is always there to talk to people personally and spends most of her days answering customer questions and solving problems to help their patients see the best they possibly can.

Independence in the optical industry is Janet’s passion. She has many times called Laramy-K “fiercely independent,” and in addition to serving mainly independent opticians and practices, she also supports independent vendors. The majority of the work that comes through her lab is done using products from these vendors. She strives to provide the very best products, from digital progressives, to anti-reflective and mirror coatings, to simple, high-quality standard surfacing, all out from under the thumb of the “big guys.” Janet can answer questions, calculate formulas, deliver top-notch lenses, paint her nails and throw out some snark, all while running her business like a boss. Because she is the boss…The Independent Optical Boss.

Learn How Lenses Are Made:

Important Links:



Youtube channel with 100s of educational optical videos

Optical Lady Bosses | Autianna Wilson + Anissa Laval | Knowing Your Worth, Asking For Raises, and Indie Eyewear Tips

In This Episode:

There’s nothing sexier than a woman that knows optics and fashion. These two ladies, Anissa Laval and Autianna Wilson are crushing the optical game on all fronts.

Here’s what we talk about:
1. Knowing your worth
2. How to ask for a raise
3. How to find mentorship
4. Women in optical
5. What is independent eyewear?
6. Social media hacks for optical

This podcast was recorded on June 25, 2019 at The After Party, a regional independent eyewear event.

About Autianna Wilson:

Dedicated to her line of work as an optician, Autianna Wilson is the Optical Goddess. Known for her exceptional skill in frame selection, lens knowledge and uncensored honest opinions on eyewear/fashion, she is killing the game. Autianna enjoys independent, avant garde, eyewear designs and is always on top of what’s trending. She is most recognized for her wide selection of selfies x glasses and eclectic style. Outside of her life in the optical industry, Autianna is passionate about plus-size fashion, makeup and being an inspiration to all, to keep going – stay motivated and live out what you desire!

About Anissa Laval:

Info to come…


Important Links:

The After Party (check out North America’s finest regional trade show)

The After Party on Instagram


Check out Anissa and Autianna on Instagram!

Episode 26: Integrating EHR, Recall, Reminders, and Telephone in One Tidy Package Equals Working Smarter

In this episode of Eyetrepreneur, two guests from WEAVE discuss integrating EHR, recall, reminders, telephone and other smart business practices into your practice and what benefits that can give you. Enjoy!

In This Episode:

[4:34] What is WEAVE?

[9:06] What can you do to keep your books full?

[11:20] How to ask patients for other family members to come in.

[17:31] How does it work weaving all aspects of outreach into one?

[19:24] Why patients don’t check their voicemail and call back, and how to handle it.

[26:28] How to prevent the opt-outs.

[33:25] How doctors can get better google reviews.

[38:00] The virtual healthcare summit.

[46:44] How to contend with modern communication in an optometric practice.

About The Guests:

Jake Goeckeriz

Jake is currently over partner marketing for Weave and has been heading up the Practice Growth Summit. He has been in healthcare tech for the last 5 years and before that, as a senior marketing consultant for The Pedowtiz Group, working with HBO, Amex, and GE’s marketing teams. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Emphasis Psychology with a minor in Marketing and has been in marketing his whole career. Living in Utah his whole life, he is an avid outdoorsman, sports guy and loves his family of four.

Monroe McKay

Monroe is Director of Business Development for Weave Communications who has a flair for customer success and a passion for improving customer satisfaction. His fervor for providing doctors with tools to strengthen their customer relationships started when he worked at Solutionreach (formerly known as Smile Reminder).  As the fourth employee of the new start-up, he built their Training and Support team and turned it into a place where doctors and their offices could go for the resources they needed. He was also an integral part of helping the company grow its customer base from 150 to 5000 offices.  From Training and Sales, he moved on to become part of the Business Development group where he began working with Key Opinion Leaders and industry influencers. After he left Soltionreach in 2012, he went on to do similar work of building sales best practices and strengthening relationships with key influencers, but in the pharmaceutical arena.  In 2015 he joined Weave and was excited to return to serving in the medical communication space and to learn from and work with some of the best educators and consultants.  With 15+ years at companies who help doctors, Monroe understands how integral communication is to building a successful practice.  He believes that with the right skills and tools that it is possible to wow patients both in the office and on the phone.  When a patient feels taken care of, they want to keep coming back and that contributes to the bottom line.

Important Links:

Get a demo of WEAVE and $50 Amazon Gift Card

Attend the Practice Growth Virtual Summit

Making Eyewear in Brooklyn, NYC | Gerard Masci | Founder of Lowercase

In This Episode:

Yes, there are frames being made in the USA, specifically in Brooklyn.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Gerard Masci of Lowercase NYC at The After Party in San Francisco for the coolest modern-day American eyewear creation story.

From a hedge fund manager on Wall Street for 13 years to learning how to build and design eyewear, Lowercase is one of the most rad eyewear brands to hit the American market in decades.

This podcast brings straight inspiration! So much warm fuzzy feelings knowing people still have the drive and curiosity to accomplish such entrepreneurial goals.

Visit www.lowercasenyc.com and www.eyewearafterparty.com for more info about the frame brand and this eyewear event held quarterly.

Important Links:


LowercaseNYC on Facebook and Instagram

The After Party (check out North America’s finest regional trade show)