Each week Westchase Patch will feature a different Westchase Area Business Association member. This week meet Dr. Nathan Bonilla-Warford, optometrist and owner of .
Patch: When did you start your business? And where are you located?
Dr. Nate: We started Bright Eyes on July 1, 2006. At that time we purchased an optometry practice called "Sphere" located on Montague in West Park Village. We have recently moved to the Linebaugh Avenue side (9912 W. Linebaugh Ave.) but are still in West Park Village.
Patch: Please describe what you do.
Dr. Nate: I am an optometrist, which is an eye doctor that does not perform surgery. Most people come to the office for eye exams for glasses and contacts. Because I completed a residency in children's vision, I also provide the specialty care for kids and infants who have trouble with their eyes. Sometimes this involves vision therapy and corneal reshaping.
Patch: What has been the biggest challenge as a business owner?
Dr. Nate: For me, the biggest challenge is trying to keep up with the changes in medical insurance. I was taught all about the eye and vision, our staff is wonderful and easy to manage, and the patients are delightful. But there are so many issues with insurance that it is difficult to stay current. It doesn't help that it is also the least interesting and fun part of the job.
Patch: What's the best piece of business advice you've received?
Dr. Nate: The single best advice I have been given is "What is best for the patient is best for the practice." What that means is that if I am always thinking long-term and helping the patients, they come back and refer others. We have always adhered to that philosophy and it has never let us down.
Patch: What's the most rewarding thing about being business owner?
Dr. Nate: I like having the freedom to be part of the community without having to get permission. If it seems like a good idea, then we try it out. I got involved with WABA specifically because it was hyper-local. And now over two years later we are still doing it. Something like Foursquare Day would be difficult to convince a boss it was worth doing. And that has turned out great.
The next Westchase Area Business Association meeting is Thursday, May 17, 6:30 pm at TNL Crossfit Tampa, 12720 Dupont Circle.