While many people were enjoying their turkey, football and parades on Thanksgiving day, Tiffany Moore, OD, her family and her staff were hustling to set up the new Empire Optometry office in Santa Rosa, California. Through the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the office operated as usual in its previous 2,000-square-foot location.
On Monday morning, the office reopened, about a mile away, in a 5,0000-square-foot building that Dr. Moore had purchased a year earlier.
Dr. Moore is thrilled with not only the space itself but also what it means for the future for the practice. “We had our biggest sale day in eight years of business on the second day that we were open. The place is so beautiful, and even though we carried many of the same frames in the other location, the boutique look makes the experience more special,” she says.
ADDING SLOTS AND SERVICES
Now, there are three doctors and five exam lanes, so the doctors can work much more efficiently. In mid-December, Dr. Moore added two more staff members so that the third doctor could be supported. “We’re all women, and we’re all mothers,” she says, saying that it’s a fun vibe as well as helping her juggle time with her baby born last March. She enjoys having other ODs in the office at the same time, which allows them to bounce ideas or questions off each other.
The practice did add an in-house lab, and Dr. Moore says that in the future, she will consider adding aesthetics and a dry eye spa. In the smaller office, such an expansion simply wasn’t possible.
She accepts VSP and Medicare for medical, but many of her patients are private pay.
Dr. Moore says that she considered bringing in a design firm, but she spent time looking at photos (including those on the Women In Optometry design inspirations pages) to help her identify what she wanted. She scoured stores and the web for the wallpapers, colors and furniture to make her space feel welcoming.
She shopped online at Wayfair, Overstock, Amazon and Etsy. Other than that, her local TJMaxx and Home Goods stores were regular haunts. The wallpaper comes from Spoonflower, online.
“I wanted that boutique feel. I wanted people to walk in and feel like they could find nice products here. We went with warm neutrals with dark accents,” she says. “I also chose to mix male and female frames together – so it’s not a wall of women’s frames over here and men’s frames over there,” she says.
Staff also love the larger break room. “We had a small break room before, but this one is larger and has an espresso machine and recliners,” she says. “Staff are proud to work here, and they appreciate that I’ve invested in the practice that also makes this a great place to work.”
In just the first few weeks that the practice opened, Dr. Moore says that patients can now book appointments for about two weeks out. “We still haven’t fully geared up, but we have opportunities for growth now that we did not have before.”
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