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Business partners, optometrists, and moms Josie Kosunick and Nicolette Scott from Broad View Eye Center visit the studio this week for an insightful conversation about building an optometry empire while raising families. With one of the largest privately owned eye clinics in Cleveland, they dive into how networking moms helped them grow their practice and how their people-focused culture makes them different.
The Journey Begins: From Ohio State University to Broadview Eye Center
Nicolette and Josie’s journey began at Ohio State University (OSU), the only optometry school in the state. After finishing school, they reconnected in Cleveland and embarked on a journey that would lead to the creation of Broadview Eye Center 22 years ago.
The proposal for Josie to join Nicolette in the private practice she was at was modest at best. “Do you want to come and work with us? We can’t pay you,” Josie and Nicolette laughed about the memory. Josie was newly married and didn’t have children at the time, so she took a leap of faith and jumped on board.
The practice was slow and not worth very much, so both doctors worked other jobs to make up the income. Getting involved in the local schools and providing vision therapy was the key to expanding their reach, tapping into the network of local moms. “Mom’s talk, so that’s always been our target demographic,” Nicolette shares. This focus attracted a lot of young patients to their practice and set them apart from other eyecare centers in the area.
Creating a Unique Space: The Role of Interior Design in Their Practice
Both Nicolette and Josie have a passion for interior design, which played a significant role in shaping their practice. They wanted to create an office that they would enjoy working in, and that would also provide a unique experience for their patients. With a modern look, the doctors hear a lot of compliments on how beautiful the space is and how great the experience is at their clinics. “I think our culture and our people make us different. When you walk into our office, it’s a really fun vibe. I mean, aesthetically it’s beautiful, but everyone’s friendly. You can tell that everyone likes each other,” Josie shares.
Their unique style also influences the products they sell, including their eyeglasses. They strive to offer products that their demographic wants, buying things that they personally like but also considering what their salespeople are excited about. This approach has helped them build a reputation as the go-to place in their area for fun and unique frames.
The Passion Behind the Business: Building a Positive Culture and Aligning Goals
When asked about their passion and what excites them most about their business, Nicolette expressed her love for running the business and creating a positive culture within their team. Josie echoed this sentiment, finding fulfillment in seeing their staff achieve personal milestones.
When talking about how becoming moms changed their business trajectory, both Nicolette and Josie touch on how helpful their family support was to them and describe how they incorporated their children with their business. “I know I’m most happy when my kids are with me and we’re, doing something work related together.”
Managing a team comes with its challenges and rewards. Nicolette and Josie emphasized the importance of aligning goals with team members and ensuring a good fit in terms of personality and culture. “If I don’t want to go grab a coffee with them, then maybe they might not be great for the team,” Josie states.
Self-Awareness and Future Plans
Nicolette and Josie also highlighted the role of intuition and gut feelings in decision-making, sharing that many of their decisions have been based on instinct and have worked out well for them. They discussed how being confident in the strength of their business and the strength of their product has aided in knowing they will succeed, and therefore not worrying that things won’t work out for them.
They also talked about the importance of self-awareness and knowing one’s strengths. They use personality quizzes like the Enneagram and DISC to help their staff understand themselves better and adjust their approach based on different personalities. They have also done these quizzes with their kids, which has helped increase their self-awareness too.
Welcoming Change and the Future of Eyecare
Nicolette and Josie meet with their business partner every January to discuss their goals and plans for the year. They don’t place too much emphasis on these meetings, but rather use them as an opportunity to keep a pulse on where they’re at and where they want to go in the coming years.
One significant takeaway from their partnership is that Josie and Nicolette are not afraid of change. “All possibilities are on the table,” Nicolette shares. When they opened 20 years ago, they never could have imagined how their business would grow and expand to what it is now.
Nicolette and Josie’s journey is a testament to their passion for eyecare, their commitment to their team, and their innovative approach to their practice. Their story is an inspiration to all aspiring entrepreneurs and a reminder that with conviction, resilience, and a clear vision, success is within reach.
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