Taking over a historic company is challenging — but doing so on the eve of a pandemic with a child on the way and other business commitments to consider could offer a bumpier ride than usual.
However, in the not too distant past, London-based optometrist Karmelo Modina found himself in this situation along with his wife Sifa.
Former HR Breakspear Optometry, now Eyes on Broadway, had been a feature of Muswell Hill since the 1930s (before that the practice had been based in Piccadilly Circus since the 1880s). established business?
Modina described the feeling of “excitement and excitement in equal measure”.
“Longevity is only possible,” he believes, “when it comes to consistently providing a high level of expertise, and rarely will you find an establishment that has served its community for over a century.”
He added, “To enter such a valued practice means not only owning its reputation, but also having the foresight and resourcefulness to take it to the next level.”
Modina explained that recognizing the need for a slow rebrand, he and his wife initially only changed the clinical services they offer – introducing BlephEx, ortho-keratology, visual stress and myopia control clinics – before changing the aesthetics of the practice.
The reasons for this were clear: “Patients feel safe in the familiar,” explained Modina, “and we didn’t think it wise to overwhelm them with a brand new shop fit on top of the new faces they were welcoming. ”
He added that the practice kept its old name for two years prior to the pandemic, then: “After working tirelessly to weather the worst, we realized we deserved the self-esteem and belief in ourselves we to step out of the shadow of disease from previous possessions and proudly change the name forever.”
Renaming the practice was accepted by the Muswell Hill community. Modina said: “With the launch of new services and modernization at multiple levels, the response from existing patients has been fantastic. The practice now has a stronger online presence which has attracted new clients, but the majority of new patients come through referrals – this gives us confidence that we are doing our best.”
Aside from the practice, Modina also runs Out of the Box Optics, which he said “was born out of frustration and a longing to discover what optics has to offer beyond staying on the high street.” He described that Company that works primarily with students and pre-registered optometrists and runs the Optoversity Challenge as “a platform that connects others to their dream role, or at least supports those who feel uncertain about their future”.
With Out of the Box Optics growing (it has plans to set up a charitable foundation and a longer-term goal is to expand to other parts of the world), did he ever feel like he was overdoing it?
As implied by the mention of the pandemic, not everything was easy. In fact, Modina openly admits the toll taking on a practice has had alongside his other commitments. He explained: “I found out that I was going to be a father at the same time and instead of finding a balance, I developed an unhealthy mindset and believed that I could be the best at everything, in all areas of my life and at all times – whatever served to spread me too thin and took its toll physically.”
Effectiveness vs. Efficiency
Now, he said, “He’s striving for effectiveness rather than efficiency, which gives me more time to rest and digest and work more sustainably.”
What are the goals of the new practice with its improved work ethic? “We want every single person to feel that their visit with us was the best thing that happened to them that day,” said Modina.
For Modina’s wife, Practice Manager and Lead Optometrist, who also works at Moorfields Eye Hospital, the opening of Eyes on Broadway is the realization of a long-cherished goal. “Having a practice is her dream,” Modina said, “so it’s probably best to say she opened the practice with me, not the other way around. She’s been talking about it since we first met at university.”