Mark S. Rubin, MD has had a successful practice for 25 years. But there was one thing missing: a dispensary. So when it came time to build a new office, the ophthalmologist decided to add an optical to his office for the very first time.

Having attended medical school in Italy where he met his wife Patrizia, the well-travelled Rubins wanted to give the dispensary an upscale, international boutique environment for the high-end and exclusive European products they planned to carry. “They wanted an Italian flair to showcase the designer frames,” says Michelle Mattera, optician and manager of the dispensary. “They did not want the dispensary to have the look of a chain store optical.”

Thanks to Eye Designs, Millennium Optical in Ormond Beach, Fla., has set itself apart, and then some, from the rest of the dispensaries in the area. Perhaps not so coincidentally the Rubins selected Eye Design’s new Milan Collection, which conveyed the European design and modern sophistication they wanted to achieve. Modern accents in the optical include brushed aluminum pulls, adjustable chrome legs, square chrome plugs, halogen pendent lighting, illuminated shelving and unique graphic panels.

“The clients were very open-minded,” says Tracy Winig, designer for Eye Design. “They really loved the Milan Collection. It was a brand new style for our company. We were just bringing it to market and they were the first client to have it. They took a leap of faith but they were very trusting that we would deliver a great design style and functional design for them.”

“Patrizia especially had a design idea and they went with it,” notes Mattera. “She designed the flooring, the tiling and the marble inlays—there are huge marble inlays with a beautiful design in the center.”

Not only was the opening of a retail venture entirely new for the Rubins, but additionally the creation of the right environment they sought was not without its minor challenges. For example, ultra-modern European-style furniture was combined with arches made from bricks recovered from an 1800 American historic landmark.

“Patrizia has a great sense of style and what was important aesthetically to her,” adds Winig. “We both made suggestions and brought it together successfully. The Rubins were so easy to work with.”

In the end, everyone is pleased with the results. “The owners love it. It’s exciting for them,” says Mattera. “From the perspective of being the optical manager, I loved starting from scratch and ordering every frame we wanted. But most importantly, the patients like the selection. They love being able to get frames no one else has. The patients think the optical is beautiful. The look of the dispensary definitely highlights the high-end frames. It’s really a unique design.”