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Oct 14, 2015

On VISION. Schaeffer Eye Center and SALT Optics

The first time I saw the man that would become my husband was magical. His band was opening for The Strokes at this old dive bar. I remember the way his jeans and t-shirt hung on him as he threw himself around the stage, spitting lyrics into the microphone. I can still see the way the lights played across his face, moving across the faces in the crowd. It was beautiful.

The first time I saw my son was equally beautiful and potentially equally rock and roll. I was laid out on a table, numb from neck to toe for an emergency c-section, and as the doctors joked about putting Humpty Dumpty together again, someone brought me my baby. They laid that little purpley bundle so high on my chest that my eyes struggled to focus on the little life changer in my grasp, and I remember looking over at my husband, Duquette as he took a dozen photos with three different cameras while entirely covered in surgical garments. 

These memories will stay with me forever. And they're so vivid because of the powerful images I took in with my eyes, my vision. I often think about the power of the senses and which sense I would struggle with the most to lose. Hands down, as an artist, photographer, stylist, wife, mother and general human being, my vision is my highest prized sense. I can't fathom an existence without looking into the eyes of my man or my son, without seeing the change in a landscape as the seasons turn, without being able to sit and apply colors, gestures, strokes of paint to surfaces. My vision makes life more dimensional, more meaningful.

And here's the horrible irony to all of it. I have not had an eye exam in eight years despite feeling a general decline in my quality of vision. I made up all sorts of reasons as to why I didn't have time or money or a need to go to the eye doctor. I was scared, and I was making up excuses without any good reason. So when Duquette needed a new pair of glasses, I knew I needed an eye exam. 

A couple of our friends from Schaeffer Eye Center heard that we were in need of some quality care, and they invited us to come down so I could finally get my eyes checked and so Duquette could be custom styled for a pair of glasses.

They're an amazing family focused company and they put the highest priority on providing the highest quality of care and education for their patients. And here's the crazy thing-- I grew up with Dr. Jack Schaeffer's kids, and now all three of those kids have grown up to be optometrists in the family practice. Moreover, our dear friend, Lynn Boone (who was my senior prom date in high school) is their director of operations who facilitated this whole experience. That's Lynn pictured below in SALT Optics "Lynn" frame (yes, named after her), and she's among the most insanely talented opticians who can pick out your PERFECT frames in about thirty seconds after first laying eyes on you. The frames she selected for Duquette to try are also below.

Lynn was really excited to tell us all about SALT, because they not only make really stunning and high quality, durable frames, they're a company with a story and a mission and a lot of love behind them. And you know that's what Rugged & Fancy is all about.

SALT: Sea Air Land Timeless, these guys understand the importance of VISION, the connection between sight and your art, your experiences, your memories, your impact in the world. I love that products are being made with real love that becomes not only an extension and mission of your brand, but is something vibrational that carries on to clients, fans, friends and family. 

If you're in NYC next week, check out this SALT event, a photography show featuring the work of three amazing artists. Proceeds from sales benefit Charity Water

As for my eye exam, it was entirely painless and not even that much of a hassle with cutting edge technology and technicians and doctors who seriously answered all of my crazy questions, including "Are you sure my retina isn't about to detach?" 

Dr. Brooke Kaplan confidently answered that question, NO with a gentle demeaner and a 3D image of my entire eye ball and nerves that's part of standard testing now, that she explained in terms I could totally understand. Below is both the machine and the 3D image of my eyeball. RAD.

While my eyes dilated for the final vision exam, Duquette settled on these really timeless frames.

Duq's glasses have always been an evening necessity slash afterthought, the things he wears between putting on pajamas and going to sleep or in the time between waking and putting in contacts. They've always been cheap frames or cool old, old frames that we have picked up over the years at estate sales for a quarter or two. The old frames have done their job, but they've never been an accessory. They've never quite fit. Until now. 

The following are photos of Duquette in our home, in the morning, wearing his SALT Novak frames. 

The turnaround time on getting special lenses for the frame was exactly two weeks, and the folks at Schaeffer Eye Center had us come in when they arrived so they could custom shape the frames to Duq's head. And anytime we might need them to be tightened or adjusted slightly, we can just take them in. That's awesome. And it lends itself to the whole family vibe they've got going on. You know, when people are so good and such a good hang that you just want to pop in and visit them. That's a little bit of what they've got going on there. 

As for my vision? I've got a very slight astigmatism, but other than that I am in goooood shape. They did mention that we both have Blonde Fundus. That basically means we have less pigment in our retina than others and need to wear sunglasses more often. Good to know we have a reason to wear sunglasses at any time. 

We deeply want to thank our friends at Schaeffer Eye Center and SALT Optics for their incredible generosity. Your sight matters. Please, please take care of yours. Get your annual eye exam and see a good doctor! 

***DISCLAIMER: While we did receive a free eye exam and a pair of frames, we did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. All words, images, thoughts and witty comments are entirely our own. xo

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