From clinic receptionist to optometry partner – Dr. Stephanie Kwan’s journey to clinic ownership

Dr. Stephanie Kwan’s path into optometry all started when she had a part-time job on reception in a local optometry clinic. Coincidently, her great-aunt and great-uncle were regular patients and she thought, ‘how great would it be to be the one examining their eyes?’

Not long after, Dr. Kwan took the steps to pursue a career in optometry, graduating from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago in 2015. Now, she’s enjoying her first few months as optometry partner and clinic owner at Specsavers CF Lime Ridge in Hamilton, Ontario.

Q: Since opening Specsavers CF Lime Ridge, how would you describe how business is going?

The first few weeks happened so fast. It felt like starting a new job with feelings of nervousness, excitement, joy and adrenaline – but multiplied. I was thrilled at how fast the schedules were being booked up and how many patients wanted to give us a try. Soon, marketing was kicking in and the word of mouth was spreading. It’s been a fantastic journey so far.

Q: What are you hearing from patients and customers at your location?

We’ve had some incredibly meaningful interactions with our patients. One had come in with her daughter and was looking for help with her sight to do her hobbies, like crosswords. She had already experienced some vision loss due to age-related macular degeneration. I gave her high plus readers to help her do what she enjoyed most, and she grabbed my hand in thanks and told me how much I changed her life.

Q: Is there anything about partnering with Specsavers that you didn’t expect?

What surprised me was the level of camaraderie amongst all the retail and optometry partners and the support teams. Everyone is here to help, and there is always someone to turn to. I am seeing this first-hand given my position on the Optometry Steering Group committee, where we collaborate as a network of independent doctors. Specsavers has been actively listening to support the direction we want to take eyecare.

Q: Did you always want to be a business owner? What inspired you to feel ready to make this change?

I was initially inspired by a coworker of mine who introduced me to Specsavers and shared more about the partnership model and the support available. I didn’t think much about ownership before that, but my coworker gave me the little push I needed. I was motivated by their unique offering, particularly access to advanced clinical equipment, such as OCT, for all patients.

Q: What, if any, barriers stopped you from starting your own business sooner?

At Specsavers, I know there will always be help and support when I need it. Before, I was most concerned about not having help or guidance when opening my own business. The thought alone was quite daunting and learning about the business side while trying to give quality care to my patients at the same time seemed overwhelming. Specsavers makes it easy to do both seamlessly.

If you’re passionate about changing lives through better sight, let’s get in touch. Learn more about opportunities and relocation support by reaching out to our recruitment team at

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