Home Design Inspirations Visionaire Optometric Spa Blends Eye Care with Luxury

Visionaire Optometric Spa Blends Eye Care with Luxury

Dr. Shakil at her front desk, in front of her puple logo for her practice and med-spa
Dr. Shakil

Sana Shakil-Ansari, OD, recently celebrated the first anniversary of her unique practice, Visionaire Optometric Spa, in Riverside, California. While focused on primary eye care and treating ocular surface conditions, her clinic has expanded into aesthetic services, including Botox and fillers. Dr. Shakil-Ansari’s husband, Shahnawaz Ansari, MD, serves as the medical director and was instrumental in setting up the med-spa side of the practice and hiring a skilled RN.

The idea of adding aesthetic treatments was inspired by a number of aesthetic “side-effects” from her dry eye treatments. Dr. Shakil, as patients know her, figured that if such treatments could offer aesthetic benefits, why not address ocular and facial aesthetic concerns? Her patients can enjoy access to numerous treatment options for issues such as crow’s feet all the way to non-surgical blepharoplasty.

Yet as a dry eye sufferer herself, she knew that there was a need for dry eye services in her area – and that is her key focus. “A majority of the dry eye specialists in the region are based in Los Angeles to the west or Orange County to the south. It is impractical to travel long distances for treatment, especially with many people having such busy lives” she says.

 DETERMINED TO START 

When she did find her space in a building where she’d still have to wait for the buildout, the landlord offered that she could use the superintendent’s 200-square-foot space to start seeing patients. “We did that for almost four months, but it helped us get our name out, meet some patients, keep overheads low and get our systems in place.”

With more than a decade of experience, she woke up one day with the resolve to start her own venture. Finding the right location took more than a year. Discussions with another provider to take over an existing practice fell apart at the height of COVID-19 pandemic. This period of uncertainty, however, solidified her decision to move away from the traditional 9-5 work life. She embraced entrepreneurship wholeheartedly.

LOOK OF LUXURY

the lobby of the med-spa optometry practice
Purple in the recessed ceilings, marble accents on the floor and recessed arches for product displays add to the luxury feel.

Her practice now occupies a 1,900-square-foot space, designed to evoke a spa-like feel with a warm, welcoming and calming atmosphere. Purple and gold, symbolizing elegance, calm and luxury, dominate the decor. Her father, who emigrated from India, played a crucial role in planning and constructing the space, incorporating elements like the white marble used at the Taj Mahal into the design. Patients are drawn in by the purple recessed ceiling, a chandelier in nearly every room, an iris-themed logo in the marble, taupe walls and recessed arches.

the view from outside the practice, looking in through the glass walls
A restful, luxurious experience awaits patients.

The clinic includes space for two exam lanes, with one fully equipped now and one serving as a contact lens room. She has advanced technology, such as an Optos. For dry eye treatments, she has among other treatments, intense pulsed light and radio frequency systems. She conducts meibography on every patient to help identify those who could benefit from dry eye services.

THE MED-SPA

med-spa wall looks like it is flecked in gold
The med-spa wall glitters, and a variety of chandeliers help the practice sparkle.

The med-spa area has its own waiting area, where patients can select sparkling water, drinks and treats for an added touch of comfort and luxury. The reception desk, designed with a quartz countertop sprinkled with purple and gold flakes, and purple cushioned chairs, complement the overall aesthetic.

To enhance the patient experience, Dr. Shakil-Ansari incorporates elements like digital detox eye mask that delivers heat and cold along with a gentle massage during exams. She says that she appreciates being able to be more patient-focused in this environment.

Dr. Shakil performing a dry eye treatment in her med-spa practice

 GETTING THE WORD OUT 

Marketing the practice has been a bit challenging. But she is gaining traction, and the location has attracted some social media influencers that have helped build community engagement. Outreach through the local schools and businesses is crucial in getting the word out. The ultimate goal is to fully equip the second exam lane and build up the dry eye suite, she says. While the med-spa is an exciting addition, the core focus remains on providing excellent eye care in a serene, spa-like setting.

Every time she walks into her practice, she is amazed at the journey that took her from a dark, confined workspace to this vibrant practice. Opening in the post-pandemic era and being a mother of two little ones each have their own challenges. Yet she remains passionate about her work and committed to providing the best high-level of care for her patients, creating a space where they feel valued and cared for.

 

See other design inspiration stories here.


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