As a new Waterloo grad in 2012 I was thrilled to land a job that I loved right out of school. I was eager to start building my practice in a busy office in downtown Saskatoon, alongside a team of wonderful optometrists. I followed my husband to Calgary for his residency less than a year later
and was sad to have to leave such a dynamic, inviting office. I gained experience in a few different private practices and did some locum work after coming back from my first maternity leave, but the bar was set high when it came to finding a practice I could see myself at long-
I had never heard of Bailey Nelson when I was approached about their first Alberta location set to open in Calgary. After researching the company and their values, I knew that the opportunity to lead this office felt like something I shouldn’t pass up. I really connected with their culture, and each person I met right off the bat was so genuine and passionate about this company, it was clear that this could be a really great fit. My location is a storefront in a cute, vibrant neighborhood, and I’ve been here since we opened the doors in 2017.
Prior to starting at Bailey Nelson, I had only worked in offices where glasses cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. I was used to patients having to decide if their change in prescription was worth buying a new pair of glasses, which would then be their sole pair until they were eligible again. I didn’t become an optometrist because I love sales, and I didn’t enjoy feeling like a salesperson who’s income depended on a patient’s grand total at the front desk. I knew that for many of my patients, new glasses were a luxury that they sometimes just couldn’t afford. Bailey Nelson’s glasses are priced fairly, the styles are trendy and fun and the quality is not compromised. They truly sell themselves, and I’m happy to make recommendations knowing that at these prices, many of my patients can not only update their prescription at every visit, but they can often afford to build a collection of eyewear based on their style or needs.
There were absolutely times after leaving my first job, that I didn’t love being an optometrist. I’ve worked in more than one office that made me dread work days, and where I felt undervalued. I’m sure that those closest to me were getting tired of me coming home emotionally exhausted, and wanting to discuss issues at work. Since starting at Bailey Nelson I look forward to my days because patients are excited to have found us, it is such a great atmosphere to spend my time in, and I get to work with great human beings. I know at Bailey Nelson my opinion and clinical skills are valued. They are committed to continuously improve, and I really love being a part of this team.
I feed off people’s energy so much, and I know many patients do too. You can tell that some patients have anxiety built up around eye exams. Whether it’s because of a poor experience at a past exam, or they’re worried about how much their glasses are going to cost. Bailey Nelson wants to bring the joy to eye care. I love that I can take time to be thorough, discuss their needs and make their exam as personable and enjoyable as possible. As an independent contractor who holds a sublease with Bailey Nelson, I’m happy to have control of my schedule and not be forced to rush through exams and pump out prescriptions. The stores and exam rooms don’t feel clinical, and everyone at Bailey Nelson is there to make sure patients have a great experience from the moment they step through the doors. The fact that I’m happy to be there and I genuinely enjoy getting to know my patients and offering them solutions to their optical needs, creates a really easy-going feel to their exam experience and keeps them coming
back year after year.
Online eyewear companies have ruffled feathers in our profession for years now, with more choices popping up all the time. With physical stores to allow for proper fitting and measuring of eye wear, Bailey Nelson believes no one should have to choose between value, style, quality, customer service, and eye care. They understand the value of offering on-site eye exams by passionate optometrists to ensure prescriptions are up to date and patients are taking care of their eye health. Their optometrists know they are valued and supported by a team that reaches around the world, and are a part of something bigger than just their practice location. They are happy to contribute to creating a positive experience for every patient they meet.
Work really doesn’t feel like work when everyone is happy to be there, I know I’m building lasting relationships with my patients and they don’t have to compromise when it comes to style,value, quality and service. Bailey Nelson truly does bring the joy to eye care, at least that is exactly what they did for me.
For more information about Bailey Nelson and lease opportunities
Laurie Lesser, O.D.
Eyecare Director Canada/UK
236 412-9911, 954 401-2476