Insight with Dr. Laurie Lesser

Dr. Lesser, born and raised in Canada, spent her childhood outside of Toronto before moving to the US.  Laurie has spent over 25 years practicing in both private and commercial settings. 

In 2020 she joined Bailey Nelson as the Eyecare Director North America and UK, where she she can share her experience, knowledge and passion for Optometry and support Optometrists. In her spare time Laurie enjoys hiking and exploring Vancouver with her husband. She is happy to be back in Canada 

Dr. Laurie Lesser

Optometrist, Salus Pennsylvania College of Optometry (1992)
Eyecare Director – Bailey Nelson North America & UK


Why did you choose your field?
I have the traditional Optometrist origin story. I received my first pair of glasses at age 5 and it opened up my world (thanks Dr Stan Salsberg!). I know optometry makes a tangible difference in people’s lives and I wanted to help people. Twenty years after my first exam I became an O.D. and I continue to see patients. I became Bailey Nelson’s Eyecare director to pursue my other passion, supporting optometrists and helping them find the same level of fulfillment in being an Optometrist.

What advice would you give a new grad today?
Your work environment matters. You have worked so hard to become an optometrist, you want to make certain that you enjoy practicing. Money is important but the expectation of how many patients you see per hour or pressure to sell from the chair can be very stressful. Having the support of other Optometrists to reach out to and a great team supporting you in your office makes a big difference. The goal is to be excited to go to work every day and get to do what you’ve been striving for.

What business books would you advise other ECPs to read?
Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. ECPs can explain what they do and how they do it, but to be truly successful they need to understand their Why. If you understand what inspires you, you can inspire your team and that engagement will lead to your success.

What is your most effective marketing tool/platform?
Google reviews and online marketing are very important but the most effective way to market your practice is internal marketing. The word of mouth from your patients, referring their friends and family is extremely effective. Bailey Nelson’s “Why” is to bring Joy to Eyecare.

As an independent Optometrist you can feel confident that your patient will have the best experience inside and outside the lane. We pride ourselves on customer service from the moment they come in the store. We make it an experience worth remembering and worth sharing.

If you could take one album, one book, and one luxury item to a desert island, what would they be?
The answer depends on if I’m stranded on the desert island. If so, the book would have to be how to
survive on a desert island and the luxury item would be a mega yacht. Otherwise, any book by
Haruki Murakami, the album Scarred but Smarter by Drivin N Cryin, and a big beach umbrella.

Tell me something few people know about you?
I was an on-air radio DJ in high school. The advice: “There are no bad days in radio”, has helped
me always focus on patient needs no matter what else might be going on in my life.

Have you changed since high school?
When I was in high school, I discovered Punk music. I’m older and wiser now but a great deal of that punk rock sensibility has stayed with me. Being your true self and being passionate about what you do. Having the ability to look at things from a different perspective and not following the status quo.

It’s what excites me about Bailey Nelson; It isn’t a cookie cutter Eyewear Company with the same old ideas. Our culture, values and community make us stand out.

What is something you believed to be true for a long time only to find out you were wrong?
Oddly this just happened to me! I was watching a silly show called Peacemaker. A character mentioned that the series of children’s books about a bear family is the Berenstain Bears, not the Berenstein Bears.

When I looked it up to confirm this, I saw that this misconception is very common. There are some interesting theories about a parallel universe where the bears were called Berenstein and the two universes merged in the 1990’s. As a Haruki Murakami, fan I loved this explanation.


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