As a Registered Dispensing Optician, The Vision Parlor is dedicated to providing fittings, adjustments, and eyeglass repairs for our patients. We work hard to make a difference by ensuring ALL patients have access to receiving quality personalized care by providing services to disabled patients, health facilities, businesses, and clients seeking concierge style care.
We are passionate about helping others to see, and empowering individuals to embrace their uniqueness. By fitting patients with eyewear that builds confidence, it allows our patients to leave feeling "heard", and ultimately happy with the quality of care.
We are committed to making a difference within the Optical and Optometry field. We worked with a Northern CA Community College School District, serving as Subject Matter Experts with the goal of creating the first ever certificate curriculum for the Greater Sacramento California Region. This curriculum allows for students to obtain a certificate and fill employment gaps within the Optical and Optometry industry.
It all began with opening an online shop, then a small 220 sq ft office to service patients by appointment, and provide mobile optician services, repairing eyeglasses and filling prescriptions. After 2 years of waiting for the perfect location, March of 2020, we relocated to a street view storefront in Downtown Auburn, CA next to the California Welcome Center, a 5 minute walk from Placer High School, Confluence High School, LeFebvre Stadium, Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center; 15 minutes from Auburn's Chamber of Commerce, Placer County Museum, The Gold Rush Museum, Boys & Girls Club of Placer County, Gold Country Fairgrounds & Events, and Old Town Auburn.
We were shut down the majority of 2020 and 2021 as we struggled to survive with neighboring businesses closing down or relocating their businesses, which left our storefront with zero foot traffic. We operated by appointment only until October 2022. What kept us barely afloat was our work with the colleges and online orders from customers looking to support small businesses with an e-commerce store. We were ready to call it quits the last week of September 2022. We were one of the small businesses not eligible for the PPP loans and provided with no alternative financial assistance. Every order has allowed us to keep our doors open and take it one day at a time. For this, we are grateful to every customer who has chosen to support our business.
Finding skilled opticians with experience is becoming more rare in today's world with many of the skilled licensed opticians retiring and the majority of Optometry practices and Optical Retailers staffing locations with sales associates or optometric assistants who may not be trained in traditional opticianry. We are one of the few independent optician locations that exist within the United States; most of the industry has turned into dropship fulfillment centers or big companies buying and acquiring eyeglass websites or optical labs to eliminate competitors. We will remain an independent opticians focused on quality craftsmanship, promoting high quality independent brands that consumers should learn about.
We know there's a group of people wanting high quality and well-crafted eyeglasses. We hear concerns all the time about the problems that exist; and we strive to be different. We want to help restore confidence within our profession, and that can only be accomplished by helping every person who's ever been told their concerns don't matter. If this sounds like you, then we might be just the right fit for you.
meet the owner
Anna is passionate about helping others to see, and empowering individuals to embrace their uniqueness. As a child, she and her brother were bullied for being poor and called "four eyes" for wearing glasses. Options were limited to the least cosmetically appealing eyewear; eyewear that broke easily after a few months. Her first time repairing eyeglasses was at the age of 10, as she learned to solder her metal frames back together. Growing up, she knew she never wanted anyone to feel how she did. It's important to her that there's a safe space for her patients, especially those who have been bullied for being poor or different.
CHOOSING BETWEEN HER CAREER AND HER FAMILY
In 2018, Anna's mother was diagnosed with cancer. Anna was commuting 3 hours to work and 3 hours back home to be able to care for her mother while doing her best to be a reliable employee to her employer. After being promised to be transferred closer to home for more than 3 months by her ex-manager, and the company leaving her to care for over 60 patients on a daily basis all by herself with no assistance, Anna realized she was sacrificing her mother's health and risking the chance of losing her mother to cancer all for a company that didn't value her or the patients.
Anna tried to seek employment, but her schedule wouldn't allow her to be able to work full time while needing to care for her mother during her treatment. Her previous employer was upset with her for resigning from her position, and decided to make it difficult for her to find employment. After months of searching and being treated poorly by her ex employer, Anna was about to leave the optical/optometry field completely. The Chief of the VA and Executive Officer with the Board of Optometry that she worked alongside encouraged Anna not to give up and told her to consider opening up her own business.
Anna faced employer retaliation, defamation, discrimination, fraudulent claims, wage-theft, and more after being loyal to people who she thought she could trust. It was a tough battle for her because she was risking losing her license all because her previous employers wanted her to suffer for resigning and leaving them. Anna only wanted to take care of her patients the ethical way while being there to care for her family as they're disabled. After everything Anna endured, she was determined to create a business so that one day those who have to leave their careers to care for a disabled or terminally ill family member would never be put in such situations she had experienced.
BUILDING HER NEW FUTURE
After 12 years working in Retail Optical, Private Practice, and Hospital settings, while at her mother's hospital bed, Anna decided she was going to open a business in case her mother doesn't survive. The last thing she wanted was for her mother to leave this earth never seeing her reach her fullest potential. She opened her own business in 2018 providing mobile services, fill-in optician services, optical consulting services, and focusing on building an e-commerce optical shop. Due to high demand for patient services, she relocated in 2019, expanding her services to include eyeglass repair services and a small dispensary to provide specialty optician services. A street view location opened up in 2020, so she expanded once more, dedicated to providing concierge services.
The pandemic shutdown occurred 2 weeks after relocating to the new space, and the new location was closed from March 2020 to December 2020, with limited online and in-office services. The Vision Parlor reopened by appointment and limited walk in hours in 2021 while we worked on building the e-commerce side as a way to cater to customers seeking independent eyewear and high quality lenses nationally across the US and Canada.
She advocates for supporting independent eyewear and working with the best labs to ensure high quality manufacturing and lens production. Her passion for her profession is why she cares about building a business based on integrity.
OUTSIDE OF HER PROFESSION
When Anna is not working at The Vision Parlor, she is typically taking care of two disabled family members, running them to their doctor appointments every week (Wednesdays and Thursdays). If the business if ever closed, it's most likely due to an emergency since Anna is the one responsible for caring for them. Caring for her family is another reason why she was unable to work for other employers. Opening her own business was the only way for her to stay within her profession and maintain her license. She understands what many go through when they need to leave their careers to care for a loved one due to chronic and terminal illnesses. She is also typically busy working as a subject matter expert for her profession, consulting, teaching others on live online forums, learning new cooking recipes, spending time with her german shepherd, exercising, and exploring the great outdoors. For more info about her opticianry experience, visit here.