The Tale of the Rooster

This is the tale of the Chinese emperor and a painting of a rooster. Once upon a time, there was an emperor who was extremely fond of roosters, and so one day he commissioned the most famous painter in all his realm to paint him a picture of a rooster. The painter replied that it would take him three years to accomplish this. The emperor was secretly rather annoyed, but in the end he agreed. When the three years came to an end, the emperor summoned the painter, but on seeing that he was empty-handed impatiently demanded: "What about my painting of a rooster?" The painter remained perfectly calm, took up a piece of paper right where he stood, and started to paint. The brush flew across the pa

West Baden - The Eighth Wonder of the World

French Lick and West Baden, Indiana, are sister towns and sister resorts. French Lick is the more popular sister, that’s where you’ll find all the hustle and bustle. There’s the casino, lots of family activities and condos available for rent. There’s a lot going on here, and you’ll see kids, golfers and good ole boys. This is where you go to party and have fun. West Baden is the older, quieter, more mature sister. She’s a little more upscale than what you’ll find at French Lick. Here the towels were larger and thicker, the robes heavier, the slippers at the spa were real, not the throw-aways they had at French Lick. The furniture was heavier and more substantial, The colors and the materials

How to: Manage Customer Flow

In our last 'How To' post, we talked about how to display products to effectively grab the attention of customers and bring them into your store. But now that you have them in your space, how do you ensure you deliver a great customer experience as they move throughout the store? Your physical space can support your goals, or they can work against them. Optical Retail has so many components going on in the customer journey, medical care, insurance, manufacturing, consultation, and frame selection. It’s easy for all of these activities to get in the way of each other. Let’s take a look at just the dispensing as an example. Attract: Make it look like someone is "home": At your storefront,

Modular Construction: AIA Urban Design Panel Discussion

On Sunday, November 5, I had the privilege of participating in the American Institute of Architect (Cincinnati) Annual Meeting and Panel Discussion. This year's focus was on Urban Design and creating affordable housing solutions, and I presented on a project I am leading with my building company, Roost Builders. Roost Builders specializes in building LEED certified modular homes in Cincinnati. We are working on a development in Evanston using a type of modular construction known as "Industrialized Units." In this construction, 15'8" x 60' boxes are placed on top of or next to one another to form the size of the space that you need. One of the most common misunderstandings about modular home

3D Renderings: EastWest Conference Booth

This week, Sarah and I are excited (and proud) to showcase our expertise at the EastWest Eye Conference in Cleveland, OH. We're getting set up today, and we're ready to chat with the great optical retailers and doctor groups that will be there. We rented a corner booth in the best location in the Exhibit Hall (right as you enter and across from the bar). We want to show our potential customers how to create a comfortable, cozy space--a respite in an atmosphere of awkwardness. If we can achieve this here, imagine how we can create that space in their business! Think about going to the eye doctor: while you may not be getting stuck with a needle, it is still a stressful experience for a lot

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