This Is Our Story

The Optical Near ME Experience

“The consumer always gets what they want. It is our mission as providers of omnichannel eyewear solutions to not only give the customer what they want but keep them informed so they can make smart decisions.”

- Charlene Nichols(founder)

Charlene Nichols

Founder, Chief Visionary Officer

As an advocate and supporter of opticianry and optometry, I am extremely passionate about our industry. My career has been dedicated to finding great solutions for independently owned optical shops and optometry practices. You as a consumer have a right to the best quality and service. You also deserve the power of choice. Consolidation and standardization is not choice if there are few alternatives. We are proud to be partnered with many neighborhood optical boutiques who focus on providing individualized service to each of their patients and clients. We have designed Optical Near ME to get as close to that experience as possible, but we will never replace the in store experience. This is why all of your orders will be processed in partnership with the nearest Optical Near ME location. Happy Shopping! “Have Fun And Tell Everyone!”


Modernizing The Eyewear Buying Experience

I founded Optical Near ME when I noticed the overwhelming number of options consumers faced when buying eyeglasses. I knew with large optical retailers beginning to grow quickly, there would be a disruption to local optical shops. Boy was I right. There were no solutions to empower your neighborhood optician or eye doctor with similar tools. Websites, online stores, apps are all cool, but you need to SEE! Professional opticians already do that the best but they needed modern solutions. So we got to work at creating them!


Activating A Supply Chain

Local opticians and optometrists do not sell the same products that are currently available online. They source their products from amazing eyewear brands across the world. They spend a lot of time researching these brands and choose their eyewear carefully so they can appeal to a variety of styles. We build partnerships with many of these great eyewear brands and lens manufacturers so that you would have a seamless experience and enjoy the same great products that are available in your local store. We even developed a click & collect features where you could buy online and ship to your local store!


Optical Near ME Directory Launch

Knowing that we would need a very large network of eye doctors and opticians, we build a directory to bring all of the independent eye doctors and opticians together in one place so they could be easy to find. We get calls every day from people like you are looking for a local optical shop and a specific experience. Whether you are looking for custom tailored eyewear, something made of organic materials or a product that supports a cause that you are passionate about, we can help you find a local retailer that has the amazing products you are looking for. They will be happy to help you and you will get an amazing experience. We promise that to you and we ask all of our partners to maintain that promise as well.


Optical Near ME Shops Launch

We know you want to look your best and see your best. Sometimes it is not always easy to make it to your optical shop, even if they are a few miles away. This is why we launched Optical Near ME as a beta in 2019 and full scale launch in  June of 2020. We launched a bit earlier than we anticipated but with COVID shutting down 100% of local optical shops, we knew we had to rise to the occasion to help them. In summer of 2020, the only way you could access a local optical shop was through Optical Near ME. Today we have hundreds of options in eyewear, a strong US distribution network and retailers in many of the major cities. We will be in every major city by the end of 2022.


Its All About You.

We built Optical Near ME and the entire ecosystem that supports it with the sole purpose of empowering local optical shops and opticians. These local retailers traditionally did not have a way to communicate with you virtually or digitally so together my team and the Optical Near ME retailers learned so much about YOU- the consumer. We learned that you want to be listened to and you want to be heard. You want easy options but you want the right options to. We spent the entire year of 2021 getting to know you better and understand your needs. You are great communicators, you make your needs clear! Our site is designed to make the ordering process as easy for you as possible. We have an open door policy with suggestions an will implement them quickly if they can have impact on our overall customer experience. Your journey is important to you so it is important to us too. 


The Optical Metaverse

In 2022, we will launch the first Optical Metaverse in the world. With a network of 10,000 eye care professionals globally, a partnership with innovative eyewear brands and lens manufacturers from around the world and the best optical tech stack in the world, we are uniquely positioned to deliver this. We are not here to judge the future, we are here to deliver the future. Get ready for a virtual optical experience! See you in the future.