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    Thinking Bigger: Timothy Fox, Fox Optical

    “Vision is more than just glasses or contact lenses,” says Tim. “It’s how we see the world.”

    It didn’t start out as a promotional idea. Fox Optical began hanging a rotating gallery of local art in their South Side office because “we love art, and we knew so many artists looking for a place to be seen.” To Dr. Tim Fox and his husband (and optician) Mike Belletti—a fiber artist with deep connections to the Bethlehem art scene—it seemed a natural extension of their community spirit. “Over time,” says Tim, as the gallery brought in new customers and delighted existing ones, “we realized, wow, this is marketing!”

     

    Since Fox Optical opened in 1998, they have shown more than 100 artists, mostly local, in their gallery space. And that philosophy—creating change out of genuine interest and thoughtful intent—informs every part of their business, which provides far more than an eye exam. The boutique optical shop offers personal care, fashionable frames, a holistic consideration of all the ways that sight (and being seen) affects an individual—and a sweet canine greeter. Bella, Tim’s 12-year-old bearded collie, has been coming to work since January 2007. Now semi-retired, the gentle pup remains a terrific ambassador for Fox Optical.

     

    “It changes people,” says Tim, especially new customers who don’t expect to see a dog in a medical office. “Their voice pattern changes, their demeanor changes—‘oh, there’s a dog here!’. Dogs reduce stress, and promote positive interactions between people.” Bella and the gallery, participating in First Fridays and the SouthSide Arts District events, are all part of the bigger picture for Fox Optical, which is about caring for the whole person and the whole community. “Vision is more than just glasses or contact lenses,” says Tim. “It’s how we see the world.”