“Breathtaking” is the word most often used when people walk in to Oman Eye Care and see it for the fist time. The business park exterior gives few hints to the spacious, contemporary interior.
The office space is a merge of two suites in a well-established business park on a busy road in Greensboro. Four providers and their team utilize 5,800 square feet and 8 exam lanes. Under the guidance of local designer Barbara Lipe of Watermark Interiors and cabinet maker Ed Susan, of ETS Displays, the space came to life.
For Greensboro native Heather Hanford Oman, there are two things she has known since high school – she wanted to be an eye doctor and she wanted to return to her hometown.
“Like many other optometrists, my inspiration came from my own eye doctor,” she said.
She helped summers in the practice while at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she majored in pre-optometry. When she finished earned her optometry degree from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis in 1999, she headed back home to work for her mentor.
“It was a dream come true,” she said. “Everything was working out as planned.”
Then things changed. They decided to leave their side by side practice with a long-time local optician and pursue their dream of owning their facility and optical space.
“I was left out,” she said. “But then things started to turn around for me.” Owner and operator optician Bernie DeHoug asked her to stay.
“In the beginning it was hard,” Dr. Oman recalls. “There were months with receipts in the in the teens and twenties and sometimes it was a challenge to pay the bills. I must say though that we had fun, learned a lot, and developed deep bonds with each other and our patients.”
In time, the practice outgrew the current rental space in a busy strip center. Dr. Oman also knew the next logical step was to own the facility.
She considered several properties but none felt right. They were too far from their current location, required expensive up fit to be usable, or were simply too pricey. “That’s when my luck changed,” she said. “My realtor was sitting on office space across the street from our old location. I jumped on it.”
Twenty years of experience helped her formulate the perfect working environment for the practice. Spacious and comfortable private areas allow the team to connect and efficient exam and testing areas allow doctors and technicians to provide a quality experience for each patient.
As projects often do, this one ran behind schedule and over budget. Combining two older, existing spaces presented challenges and delays. “I often compare it to childbirth,” Dr. Oman quipped. “It was a long and uncomfortable nine months but the results are spectacular and the pain is soon forgotten.”