I have been pondering this question after watching crowds of teetering, tubed girls lined up at Tao (nightclub) at Vision Expo. 100’s of girls were dressed the same, tight tube dress, really high cloggly shoes, long streaked hair, big earrings and bigger purses to carry flip flops. To tell you the truth, they all looked the same, it didn’t matter what size or age they were. This is not style.
Every year, I post Melissa Scoppetone (Rons Optical) shoes but it really struck me this year, it is not about the shoes, it is about Melissa’s Style. Every year Melissa stands out and this year, she embraced an individualistic style that had nothing to do with tube dresses. This year, she went 50’s Retro, big belt, circle skirt, matching streaks in her hair, and great shoes. It was dramatic and she had style. She owned it, it expressed her, her personality and who she was. She had such great style that if she wore the same thing 20 years from now, she would stand out. That is style.
Conversely, my sister in law and my niece think they have style, because 1.) They both have their Chanel Sunglasses which look terrible on them 2.) They both have their fake Louis Vuitton purses, which look like every other fake purse- they think the designer gives them style. Little do they know, they look like everyone else. I have a friend who shops exclusively at Thrift Shops and she looks like a million dollars, she has style.
So how does that apply to eyecare professionals? Everything you do, from the decor of the office, to the products you carry to the clothes you wear are about style. Are you selling frames because of a designer name or because it looks good on the patient? Are the clothes you are wearing in the office represent the style you want your patients to appreciate? Does your office decor stand out?
One of the best ways the brick and mortar eyecare office can stand out among online retailers is style. Style means people come to you, Style means you stand out, Style means you can be creative, Style means personality. When your patient wants to buy brown frames and they look terrible, do you tell them they have no style?
Many years ago, Howard Levy OD, decided he wanted his staff to have better style: black pants, white shirt and jeweled bolo ties. It looked great with his upscale office, set him apart from the competition and his staff loved it, they didn’t have to find appropriate clothes, everything was re-wearable and made it easy to dress and the patients liked it.
Our Tip Of The Day- In a Staff Meeting Discuss Your Office Style and how style can help you compete. If you have no style- develop one that works for individuals and the office.
Orson Welles said it best: ‘Create your own visual style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.’