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Meet Jason Klepfisz of Urban Eyecare in DTPHX

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jason Klepfisz.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Optometry is in my blood so to speak. With an aunt who was my mentor and inspiration, who owned her own private practice in New Jersey to the frequent need for eye related services as a child. Whether I knew it or not, there was a connection being formed that would last a lifetime. I’ve always excelled at science – whether it be biology, physics, or… well maybe not chemistry, but hands on science has been a passion of mine. I’ve always been a bit counter culture, against the grain. I prefer the unique over the ubiquitous, quality over quantity, and have always had my own roundabout way of abstract thinking.

One of the things that drew me most to Optometry is the idea of owning a business – not just a medical practice. While healthcare and access to it is the primary focus on Urban Eyecare, its other focus is on our optical. We chose Downtown Phoenix not only due to its rapid growth but because it has historically been an underserved area for healthcare. We are happy to see more healthcare related businesses open up in downtown to help serve our growing community. Healthcare at its core is about empowerment. Giving our patients the tools and education to thrive empowers a person to live life to the fullest.

I want glasses to be that tool for empowerment. Just like our clients, glasses come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Just like jewelry, or your favorite pair of jeans that fits just right – in all the right places. The feeling you get when you look in the mirror and feel like nothing can stop you. That’s the feeling I want you to have every time you put on your glasses and walk out your front door to tackle the world. We aim to create that feeling for every person who walks through our doors. We’re here to find the perfect frame, the perfect fit, the perfect color. We only work with vendors who ethically source materials, who treat their employees fairly and provide living wages, and who choose to give back to the world in their own way. Whether using recycled materials, donating glasses, planting trees, teaching sustainable farming, or donating to support the Helen Keller Foundation – Our vendors support our vision of how companies should support the environment and those around them.

I take pride in putting our name and logo on quality products that will last you for years to come. We specifically choose to work with brands that will stand the test of time, offering no hassle warranties to protect your investment. Education is the most important part of healthcare. Through technology driven exams we work to educate every patient and outfit them with the tools to conquer their world.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Is opening a business ever a smooth road? In the long run we have fared very well. We opened on a 100+ degree day in August with little fanfare. Some days we made zero dollars while others we actually had customers and saw patients. After being open for about three months, our cable internet went out for about ten days. This was one of the most frustrating periods of being open. Everything runs on internet – phones, credit card processor, insurance verification, etc. We charted exams on paper and took IOUs from patients for glasses orders. Everybody was amazing and came back to pay as promised. Every struggle and every mistake is a new experience to learn from and grow from. Negative experiences help us to hone our skills, to become more diverse and well-rounded in our lives and our business.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Urban Eyecare story. Tell us more about the business.
We are Urban Eyecare. We are a full-service optometric office offering comprehensive eyecare, disease management, red eye treatment, and medical contact lens services. We work with an amazing local lab from whom we source the highest quality lens products available. We feature anti-fatigue blue-blocking lenses for our below 40 crowds while offering premium digital progressives for those over 40. Our optical features unique independent eyewear labels, featuring designers who ethically source materials and treat employees like family. We choose to work with vendors who live and breathe our ethos of sustainability and inclusion. We aim to make healthcare approachable and education widely available. Healthcare is 1 part compassion and 1 part education. Our entire patient experience is tailored to each individual’s needs from initial contact all the way to checkout. We curate everything, from designers to scent, snacks, and music to create an experience – one we hope you will remember, refer, and return to – year after year.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Phoenix is an amazing growing city. It’s the type of city where entire neighborhoods are shaped by new restaurants and retail stores. We’ve seen the rapid growth and population of downtown. Midtown has become a hotbed of restaurants and Arcadia has become the place to live. 7th street has been transformed since The Yard moved in and the world continues to grow around Phoenix Public market downtown. It’s the kind of place where you can open a business with all your heart and watch your dreams flourish. Not only is the city itself great but the groups that support it – DTPHX INC, Open AZ, Phoenix Community Alliance, Local First AZ, and more all exist to help local businesses both thrive and be good neighbors. So yes, I feel that Phoenix is a great city to open a business!

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