Home Design Inspirations Pretty With a Touch of Pink: Punto Focal

Pretty With a Touch of Pink: Punto Focal

OD looks inside one of her existing businesses to build out her optometry offices

Rochelle Mota, OD, and her husband, Billy Hrncir, were entrepreneurs before they ventured into the business of optometry. They previously opened two businesses—a coffee shop in 2020 and a wine bar in 2022. This was before Dr. Mota decided she wanted to transition from optometry employment to ownership. The couple transformed what used to be a cigar bar into a pretty and pink practice with Mexican inspirations and a coffee shop.Dr, Rochelle Mota

After her 2020 graduation from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, School of Optometry, Dr. Mota returned to her hometown of Laredo, Texas. Her dream was to open her own practice right away. But she faced some resistance when trying to secure a loan as a new graduate with two new businesses. She was advised to get at least two years of experience practicing, so she started working for a local ophthalmologist.

LOOKING WITHIN

Her planning for an office continued yet searches for the right place to open kept turning up short, she says. There weren’t many options in this community just north of the Mexico border. “It’s unique and underserved,” she says of her hometown. Then, in early 2023, after a potential deal with space fell through, Dr. Mota considered one of the assets that she already had: their coffee shop, Dosis Coffee. “We had a lot of excess space with tables spread out,” she says. “I thought if we could fit all of the tables on one side, we could fit an exam room on the other side.” Combining a coffee shop with an optical was a concept that they had previously considered but hadn’t been ready to take it on just yet.

coffee shop adds optical and optometry office
The coffee shop is transformed to include an exam room and new front desk among other aesthetic changes to welcome Punto Focal to the space.

Dr. Mota approached her husband with the new plan. “He said, ‘Let’s go for it.’” They began the process of getting permits in May 2023, and by July, they were ready to get started adding walls, electrical and plumbing to accommodate the optometry office. A storage room became a pre-testing area, and she has one exam lane and a finishing lab.

Dr. Mota and husband
Dr. Mota and her husband, Billy, at Dosis Coffee.

In September 2023, Dr. Mota opened the doors to Punto Focal in Laredo. It’s an opportunity to provide the thorough care she had always envisioned providing to patients. It’s a place combining her love of helping people in the medical field, coupled with the fun of retail and fashion in the optical.

A SECOND RENOVATION

It’s been quite a transformation in the 1,200 square foot space that they had renovated once before. The older building had most recently been a cigar lounge. “It smelled terrible, but we got lucky because they had a bar that we turned into our coffee bar,” Dr. Mota says. She’s appreciative to the owner of their plaza, who has been very helpful over the years.

Punto Focal

“I am inspired by modern Mexico architecture—the terracotta, natural stone and cement. I do like pops of color—yellow and green.” There’s a strong Mexican influence in the community, and it was important to Dr. Mota to represent that in her optical studio space. She’s also thankful for the opportunity to fulfill one of her optometry school goals of practicing optometry in Spanish.

The optometry office takes up about half the space—around 600 square feet—and Dr. Mota is happy with her decision to grow this venture within her existing business. “At the end of the day, I went smaller to save money, and I can always grow into something bigger.” That will allow Dr. Mota to maintain a better work/life balance, which she was a top priority, especially as an owner of two other businesses.

It also let her invest in some must-have technology as she got her start. “I knew I wanted an OCT maestro because we do have a large diabetic and glaucoma population here that I wanted to treat,” and she’s also purchased a topographer to start building her dry eye suite. In her previous place of employment, Dr. Mota had established herself as the dry eye doctor in town, and she’s continuing that reputation now at Punto Focal. Next on her wish list is intense pulse light and radio frequency (RF) treatment. “The Mexican population has darker skin types, and RF is a necessity in this demographic.”

POSITIVE RESPONSE TO EXPERIENCE AND NEW BUSINESS

Dr. Mota personally dislikes the experience of sitting in waiting rooms, so she’s booking just one appointment at a time. “It’s a small space, and I take the patient right in. We spend an hour on a full experience,” she explains, from the café beverage through the exam and optical. She works alongside her optician, a friend she made through the coffee shop.

“People have been really receptive; they tell me it’s something they’ve never seen before,” Dr. Mota says. The coffee shop remained open through the renovations. Now customers are now becoming patients and excited to see the transformation. It’s always an interesting conversation starter as Dr. Mota continues to market the practice, and individuals are intrigued when they learn it’s inside a coffee shop.

Dosis Coffee
The vibe and style in the coffee shop area seamlessly flows into the optometry space. The tiles at the coffee counter complement the front desk of Punto Focal.

Dr. Mota worked two days per week as an employee in the ophthalmology office until December 2023. Then she made the transition full time to her practice. Her schedule recently changed again, as she welcomed her first baby on Feb. 13.

Check out Punto Focal on Instagram.

See other design stories here.


Would you like to share your remodel/relocation/new practice or office refresh story with WO readers? Email us here.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Dr. Caitlin Reghetti: Supporting Patient Education With a Great Design

On her LinkedIn page, Caitlin Reghetti, OD, calls herself an ocular health literacy designer. It's a specialized role that brings together her interests in...

WO Board Perspectives: How to Stay Organized

In a world where we all wear many hats-- doctor, parent, spouse, child, friend, mentor and more-- staying organized can feel nearly impossible. The...

Advocates for Optometry on Capitol Hill

More than 500 optometrists and students gathered for the American Optometric Association’s AOA on the Hill on April 15 and 16 to advocate for...

Myopia Awareness Week 2024 Website Launches

Myopia Awareness Week 2024 is set for May 13-19, and Review of Myopia Management and BHVI have officially launched the website for the week-long...