I’ll never forget when one of our opticians at the time, Christie, returned from a Vision Expo conference in 2013 and said- “You won’t believe these wood glasses. There’s an Italian company that figured out how to put prescription lenses in wood glasses and they custom make every frame with wood layers and you pick the colors. We could be one of the first in the United States to carry this line.”
Ten years later… a rough count of shops on the www.feb31st.it website shows over 130 stores in the United States and a few hundred Binyon patients have worn or do wear Feb31st frames.
Bespoke Eyewear – manufactured to order!
In addition to a cool concept – a design that allows for manufacturing a one-off custom pair of prescription wood glasses, this company is always innovating. They’ve created a more robust product over the years by changing hinge designs and reinforcing the layers of wood. Many new wood finishes and material combinations have also been introduced into the product line, allowing for infinite customization possibilities. One of the most unique and rewarding features is the custom engraving possibilities on the temples of the frames. Dates, initials, symbols are all examples of amazing designs we’ve seen created on the wood glasses.
Sustainable manufacturing from tree to glasses
In addition to the uniqueness of design and manufacturing, we want to highlight another vital part of this company – it’s dedication to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. All wood is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified for being sustainably forested. Every frame produced is made to order therefore eliminating waste in stocked inventory. There is also an opportunity to use a wood from fallen trees, mostly from unusual hurricane force winds that hit the Northern Italian Alps in October 2018. If there is an opportunity to improve sustainability or manufacture in a more eco-friendly way, this company will act.
Feb31st at Binyon Vision Center today
Over the years, the Binyon team has loved designing Feb31st frames for our inventory and has held design appointments on special days with our patients interested in designing their own pair. With a variety of shapes, so many colors and size possibilities the customization options are endless. In addition, some of the frame models in the EVO line incorporate metal, which comes in many colors for a unique spin on the wood glasses- plus the engraving option mentioned above. This design your own eyewear option that this unique made to order company provides through it’s wood glasses is amazing. Another important benefit of Feb31st eyewear is they are very light and comfortable to wear. For some of us four-eyes, these are our most comfortable pair of glasses. We had a patient who was very sensitive to metals and plastics and found these to be the only glasses she could wear! Here are a few of our other favorite Feb31st designs. We hope to see you in the office soon to design your own!
Please note – our next opportunity to design a pair of Feb31st glasses is October 19th, 2023 – email email@example.com to schedule an appointment!
With a mixture of joy and sadness, we announce Dr. Mark McEathron’s 43 years of service at Binyon Vision Center will be coming to an end in 2023. Dr. McEathron has faithfully cared for patients in Bellingham since September 1980. The transfer of ownership to Dr. LeClaire in September 2021 has been very smooth and he has full confidence in Binyon Vision Center’s future in providing quality care for the eyes of Whatcom County.
He is thankful for the many patients and families with whom he has built relationships and is honored to have cared for two and sometimes even three generations. The ability to help each patient see their best has been an extremely rewarding career. In his retirement, he looks forward to more travel with his wife, Mary, and spending more time with his seven grandchildren.
The Binyon team will be looking for a full-time replacement optometrist for Dr. McEathron. He will be available part-time to schedule appointments for the foreseeable future. Please call for availability and we will announce his last day on our website along with an introduction of our new doctor.
We offer our endless thanks to Dr. McEathron and wish him all the best in retirement!
When I contacted Shelly Clark about photographing her family for the latest “Glasses of Binyon” blog she responded- “Could we meet at Whatcom Falls Park? We kind of live right in the park.” I thought that might mean on the road leading into the park but as Kevin works for the Department of Fishery for Washington State- they literally live in the park. It was a joy to watch the family in their backyard and picture the kids growing up in one of Bellingham’s most beautiful parks. Kevin, Shelly, Chester and June have been patients of Dr. McEathron’s for many years and they each have unique and interesting stories about their journey with their glasses.
Let’s start with Chester.
Shelly tells me he’s worn glasses for as long as she can remember. His first eye exam was when he was four years old- with concerns of family history of nearsightedness. Shelly remembers this appointment vividly- that Dr. McEathron kindly recommended they try again the following year when Chester knew more letters. He received his first pair of glasses the next year and Shelly comments that he’s always taken very good care of his glasses- probably because he’s “blind as a bat” without them. His high astigmatism doesn’t make him a great candidate for contact lenses- but he wears glasses well and appreciates the help from the opticians to find him a great fitting pair that is stylish.
Shelly was also proactive with an early eye exam for daughter, June.
When she was 5 she sat in Mom’s lap for her first eye exam. The next few years she came in for regular checks- but Dr. McEathron found no need for glasses. As 3rd grade rolled around, some reading struggles were noted. We made some reading glasses, but Dr. McEathron also recommended a consultation for vision therapy. June now sees Dr. Bearden at Optometric Physicians Northwest to help with excessive convergence. She wears her reading glasses for close work but with the improvement she’s seeing in vision therapy, she might not need them for much longer.
Shelly recalls Kevin coming home with his first pair of glasses in 2012 and being amazed…
at what he had been missing out on because he couldn’t see! He spends a lot of time outdoors- so he tried Transitions darkening lenses but didn’t like the amount of time it took for them to change back to clear- so he invested in his first prescription sunglasses made by Maui Jim. He describes those as the ultimate treat- and necessary for his work around bodies of water to be able to see clearly through the glare.
I saved my favorite story for last!
Shelly was very nearsighted and had Lasik performed in 2010 and was glasses free for 4 years after wearing them since she was a little girl. She remembers the news that she would need glasses again as being disappointing – “It’s because I’m getting older right?” she asked Dr. McEathron. “Well, it’s because you keep having birthdays,” explained Dr. M. Shelly loves how he took her negative and turned it into a positive. She says she’s fine wearing them now and even likes them! When she lost her glasses she got the same frame in another color. This was smart because she found the lost glasses again and now has two very cute similar but different color frames!
It was a fun adventure to get to know this family better in their beautiful back yard and hear about their unique glasses experiences. A special thank you to Shelly, Kevin, Chester and June for sharing their glasses stories and to Katheryn Moran of Katheryn Moran Photography for taking this awesome family’s pictures!
We have the unique opportunity to be present for an awesome “WOW!” moment in many peoples’ lives… the moment the world becomes clear! Inspired by the adorable viral video last year of a baby seeing her mom for the first time (see here) the Binyon team would like to present our first edition of patient talk…
The Things Patients Say
“Everything is so sharp – I haven’t taken them off!” – – C, who thought she just needed her glasses for driving and wouldn’t wear them often
“I can see the points on the stars!” – – O (10 years old) about the star stickers on the ceiling of his bedroom
“I can see raindrops on the cars!” – – K, after putting on her contacts for the first time
<< QUIET … then big smile >> – – 10 month old C who was crying crying crying as Christie put her first pair of glasses on and she looked at her mom
“The roof has lines on it.” – – J, first time contact lens wearer talking about the shingles
“I can’t believe how trees look- I can see the leaves when before it was a big blob of green.” – – R, 11 years old, first time glasses wearer
“Dr. McEathron – you saved my marriage – you showed my husband how the world looks when I don’t have my glasses on and he’s so much more understanding now.” – – L, 63 years old, very nearsighted
“I can see the mole on your face Mommy!” – – L, 8 years old when asked what she could see with her new glasses
“OH! Where did all those wrinkles come from!” – – C, 52 years old, putting on her first progressive lenses
A new world appears with clear vision – are you seeing to your full potential? Come on in! We’d love to share a WOW moment with you, and add your patient talk to this list!
We noticed an interesting phenomenon this month….. Not only are 4 of our 7 full time employees born in August, but all of their birthdays are EXACTLY 8 days apart. If that’s not a BINGO- I don’t know what is.
If you stop in this month – we’ll likely be eating cake!
Happy birthday to Dr. McEathron, Katie, Sarah and James!
BINYON VISION CENTER
411 E. Magnolia Street, Bellingham WA 98225