Nadine Gross


Vuefinder Optical

“It’s now or never,” Nadine Gross thought to herself after a Covid-induced layoff forced her to rethink her career path. She had wanted to open her own business for a while and knew her 25 years of industry knowledge and a strong customer base was a great start. With that, Vuefinder was born.

Gross says growing her business was a challenge for several reasons. “My shop is not on street level, so visibility to foot traffic is minimal,” she says. “I wasn’t sure how and where to market the business, and as a creative person, accounting is not my forte.”

Nadine found new ideas, perspective, and support from the Lab. 

“I learned that my business is more nuanced and unique than I had originally thought,” she says. “Annette and my classmates made me look closely at the fact that I was more of an Eyewear Stylist vs. just another Optician that owns an optical shop, because of my one-on-one approach with my clients. We brainstormed other businesses I could partner with to grow my business, such as personal stylists, hairstylists, and artists. I also set up QuickBooks to help with my accounting. I learned so many smart tools to make decisions and achieve business goals, both small and large.” 

She hung a sign on the outside of the building to bring people in, and she’s hosting events featuring local artists to showcase their work and create connections. Customers – and sales – are growing. “Overall, I just feel so much more confident talking about my shop and what makes me different,” she says.