Dr. Jeff Woerner Sets Up Shop in South Lake Union

Oculus Eyecare specializes in designer frames made from sustainable materials.

When Dr. Jeff Woerner and his wife moved to Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood in 2006, they instantly fell in love with the trendy neighborhood. Though he ran a successful optometry practice in Renton, he ultimately dreamed of working a little closer to home. That dream became a reality in April, when Oculus Eyecare opened its doors just a few blocks from Dr. Woerner’s SLU home. Visitors may receive eye check-ups and other optometry services, as well as browse a wide selection of independent designer frames, many of which are rendered from sustainable materials.

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When did you decide to pursue an optometry career, and what was your inspiration for doing so?

I decided to pursue optometry when I was a high school student in Ohio. I was searching for a profession where I could help people, be my own boss, live anywhere, and have a good work-life balance. Optometry checked all of those boxes, and after graduating from The Ohio State University College of Optometry in 1998, I packed my car and headed to Seattle.

Why did you decide to settle in the South Lake Union neighborhood?

My wife and I loved the idea of living above a Whole Foods and reducing our car dependence. We instantly became a one car family and now both of us can walk to work.

Seven years later, what are your favorite aspects of this area?

Having Whole Foods as our ‘refrigerator’ and being able to walk everywhere including downtown, the waterfront, and local parks with our young daughter.

What sets Oculus Eyecare apart from the other optometry shops in the area?

Truly being a locally owned and operated practice — I live, work, and raise a family all in the same neighborhood and support our local community. We also have an eclectic inventory. Our glasses are created by passionate independent designers who make unique, hand-crafted eye wear not found online or in every optical shop. You’ll notice the fit and quality when you try on a pair. We prescribe lenses that cater to a patient’s lifestyle including specific designs for heavy cell phone users, computer users, golfers, cyclist, runners, and many other activities. And our hours are flexible; we have early, late and Saturday appointments available.

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The frames available at Oculus are created by independent designers, and many of them were also rendered from sustainable materials. Tell us about some of the models in your inventory.

Drift Eyewear’s Delta Blues collection is handcrafted in Chicago and made from reclaimed cypress from the bottom of the Mississippi River. Drift also has a limited edition Barnwood collection, only 100 pairs of glasses were created and each one is individually labeled. Bellinger Blac made the world’s first adjustable carbon fiber frame; it’s unique, lightweight, and has a striking design. FriezeFrame’s retro-chic glasses are designed and handcrafted in the U.S.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about eye care?

The biggest misconception is not needing an eye exam if you see well. Everyone should get an annual eye exam since eye disease can present without symptoms or noticeable vision loss. Also, it’s important to have the most up to date prescription to insure you are seeing your

Are there any upcoming events or promotions at Oculus that Seattleites should know about?

May is Bike to Work Month, so we are offering 10 percent off all Rudy Project nonprescription sunglasses for anyone who rides a bike to our office, and hosting a stop for Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 17. We will also have trunk shows throughout the summer showcasing sunglasses.

Oculus Eyecare is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please visit the shop’s official website to schedule an appointment, submit a ‘New Patient’ form, order contact lenses, or browse the current selection of frames.