Hi-Line Eye Care offers full-scope primary eye care to the rural community of Glasgow, Montana, so practice owner Haley Menge, OD, sees many different kind of patient cases each day. She opened the practice in 2014, and she enjoys the mix of demographics—ranging from children through geriatrics and everyone in between. “Our approach is care for the whole family, and I’m focused on meeting the needs of whoever is in my chair for each exam.” When she sees an opportunity to serve her patient base, she goes for it. This year, she’s added vision therapy services.
Ownership was always Dr. Menge’s goal. While she first considered purchasing an existing practice, it just wasn’t the right fit. Starting cold gave a fresh slate and the opportunity gave her the chance to make her own selections for every element of her office including what frame styles she would offer. “I have a very small office team, so I’m very involved with the optical,” Dr. Menge says. Patients trust she and her optician will help guide them to the most flattering and functional eyewear for their visual needs.
One of the lines she wanted from the start was Vera Bradley from The McGee Group, and it was a good choice—the line continues to be one of her best sellers among women from 25-45 years old. “I love the funky styles and fun patterns, and they are also very comfortable,” Dr. Menge says. Even the larger frames are lightweight, and there are plenty of color options to fit the bill for her patients.
PERSONAL FAVORITES DRAW INTEREST
Dr. Menge loves the styles from Vera Bradley and has a few in her own eyewear collection. She’s found that patients are often asking about the frames she’s wearing from Vera Bradley. Even though her bridge measurement is hard to fit, Dr. Menge finds some perfect options within Vera Bradley. Her staff members wear other styles, so there is plenty of representation of all Vera Bradley has to offer. “It’s a really great quality for the price point, and it’s an easy sell.” There’s also great brand recognition among women who already like Vera Bradley for its bags and accessories.
INDUSTRY OPINIONS APPRECIATED
While Dr. Menge selects all of her eyewear, she says that she relies on the guidance from Ed Field, her representative from The McGee Group. “Ed is wonderful, and he has a very large territory, so he knows what is selling and what styles and colors are hot in different areas.” She recalls a recent recommendation that he made that had been a top seller in Northern Idaho. “I didn’t think it would be popular, but sure enough, it sells.”
Field also keeps her office up-to-date with any marketing materials or point-of-purchase décor to display with her frames. The frame styles really do catch the attention of patients on their own; Dr. Menge says that Vera Bradley is almost always a top three selection for patients. “For its price point, quality and comfort, you should carry Vera Bradley in your optical,” she recommends to colleagues who haven’t added it yet.