The Optometric Minute

Create a Unique Practice with Independent Brands

With Maria Higgins, OD

Owner, Unique Boutique, Frederick, MD

Featuring all independent frame lines, and adding an art gallery to your office, can set your practice apart from the run-of-the-mill. Portrait of a unique independent practice located in a downtown historic district.

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Maria Higgins, OD, expresses her signature style by featuring only independent eyewear brands at Unique Boutique in the historic downtown of Frederick, Maryland. When patients ask for well-known brands, she and her staff take a moment to explain their philosophy of uniqueness and quality. “People tell us they’ve been elsewhere and it all looks the same,” she says. “But here they find five frames they love, and they can’t decide between them.”

Dr. Higgins operates on the Rose Curve that strikes a balance between science and beauty. She added an art gallery to the back of her shop, and she incorporated local materials like a tin ceiling and barn doors into the shop’s unique design.

Dr. Higgins “interviewed” a dozen towns to find the perfect location for her new practice. She sought a walkable downtown with a strong, independent business community. She also studied demographics and income levels to make sure the town could support a new business. She considered all these factors and in the end chose a town that “felt right” where she could both live and work.

Since opening the practice, Dr. Higgins has developed reciprocal relationships and done co-promotions with neighboring retailers who also feature unique wares. She belongs to the Frederick Downtown Partnership, a group of merchants and residents that organizes “First Saturdays” and other promotional events when thousands of local residents–including prospective patients–flock to this historic downtown.

Maria Higgins, OD, is the owner of Unique Optique in Frederick, Md. To contact her: marhiggins6@gmail.com

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