Kristen Harris Nwanyanwu (WG' 09) - Business: Eyeful
- Eyeful is a lifestyle brand for doctors. As a retina surgeon, it was important for me to project professionalism and style and the current offerings didn't meet my expectations. I launched Eyeful 2 years ago at the American Academy of Ophthalmology. I'm proud that we'll be heading there again in San Francisco for our biggest event, yet, Eyeful presents Ophthalmology Famous. We're bringing together industry leaders to discuss how authenticity and purpose can lead to personal success. November 3 at 5pm at the Gallery Ballroom at the St. Regis.
Why did you decide to pursue this venture?
- When I decided to practice medicine after completing my MBA, I thought I would give up business for good. Then, this I saw this void in the market. I called my Wharton friends and said asked, "How do you make something, again?" Then, once I had a product, I asked, "How do you sell something, again?" My network has been so gracious and so helpful. I don't think I have utilized them enough, but I'm working on that part. Eyeful has opened up spaces in Ophthalmology that I didn't know existed. I'm building partnerships and creating well beyond what was possible as a surgeon. It's an incredible journey and I am having a blast!
What has the journey been like?
- Challenging and rewarding. I was so proud when I finally had my prototype. I was so nervous when I realized I had to try to sell my lens cases, even as an extrovert. As a surgeon, it's a different kind of pitch. I put people's retinas back on. They usually need to have that done. This lens case is a wonderful offering, but it's a luxury. I have to be brave and it can be uncomfortable, but that's growth, isn't it? I am building a brand and making connections that will last a lifetime. I am also connecting with my colleagues and customers in new and exciting ways. I am a health equity researcher at Yale. Eyeful also gives me the opportunity to give back in new ways. We're supporting local non-profits while we're in San Francisco for our Ophthalmology Famous event and the Rabb Venable Program through the National Medical Association that is almost single handedly increasing the number of Black Ophthalmologists. Entrepreneurship is hard, especially when your day job is as a retina surgeon, but it's been an amazing ride and I love it. We're even going to be in the upcoming Wharton Magazine. How awesome is that!
How can alumni support?
- Sponsor our event in San Francisco. We need visionary, like minded sponsors that believe in advancing authentic spaces for professionals. If your company would like to support our vision, email [email protected] and we'll set up a conversation. Come to our event on November 3 at 5pm at the St. Regis. We would love to have you. Let's reconnect and make new connections. I would love to add some faces to those sage words of advice from the WhatsApp. Buy your favorite eye doctor an Eyeful lens case. We protect ophthalmic lenses with polish and style. We offer our signature and subspecialty cases. There's no other offering like ours. Eyefullenscase.com.