Husband and wife team aim to give Twinsburg area clearer vision

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
There was a ribbon cutting ceremony in March to mark the opening of Infinity Eye Care, which opened in January. Dr. Ryan McKinnis and his wife Heather opened the eye care center.

TWINSBURG -- So far, business has been brisk for a new eye care facility which opened in January.

"So far we've been very encouraged by how things are going," said Dr. Ryan McKinnis, a doctor of optometry who, along with wife Heather, opened Infinity Eye Care. "We've been a lot busier than we thought we would be."

The couple, who live in Streetsboro with their four young children and a new puppy, said they have wanted to open their own business. McKinnis said he worked for Cleveland Eye Clinic in Brecksville for about 9 1/2 years. He worked there until about a month before he opened his own office. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony in March for the new office.

"We have four children 11 and under," said Heather, who serves as office manager. "We wanted more time with family. Which is funny, because most people don't start a business to spend more time with their family."

Ryan said the timing was actually good, despite -- or in some ways, even because of -- the pandemic. 

"We made the decision in February 2020 to start thinking of doing our own business," Ryan said. "Then the next month, with the pandemic, we paused a month before making any decisions. We talked to a lot of people about our ideas. Leasing and equipment costs were favorable, and the people we asked all encouraged us to start."

Many doctors offices were forced to limit the number of patients they saw because of social distancing and safety precautions brought about by COVID-19, Ryan added.

"It's harder for businesses who were seeing three times the patients, and had the staff for those patients, and now they can't," he said. This wasn't an issue for Infinity Eye Care, which started from the ground up and has only one other employee, a full-time optician.

Heather said the office schedules patients "so they don't have to overlap."

"It's easy for us to help people feel comfortable and safe since we are starting slow," she said. "It's our biggest advantage."

Ryan McKinnis trained in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, where he graduated magna cum laude. In 2019, he achieved the title of Diplomate in Cornea, Contact Lens, and Refractive Technologies of the American Academy of Optometry, the highest clinical designation in the field of optometry. Ryan said he is one of 10 optometrists in Ohio who has earned this designation.

While Infinity Eye Care offers a variety of eye care services such as vision screenings, emergency care, and eye care products, Ryan said his specialty was contact lenses, particularly "for people who have to wear them because they have to" due to eye issues such as cornea disease.

"When everyone walks into our practice, we want you to feel that you are coming into a place where you feel warm and welcomed," Heather said. "Glasses are a big purchase for a lot of people. They are greeted by a warm and welcoming staff. We get a lot of comments from people who tell us it doesn't feel like an office space."

Now married for 15 years, Ryan and Heather said they met right before their senior year in high school, then wound up attending the same college. "Not on purpose," Heather said.

Those wishing to launch their own business need to do two key things: do their research, and find people to help you, Ryan said.

"Make sure you do your research ahead of time," he said. "Talk to people to get advice and find people who will mentor you. Find those people you can bounce ideas off of and who will talk you off the cliff. By and large, there's no substitution for a good mentor, someone who can try to prepare you for what to expect."

"We knew coming into this that we would need help," Heather added. "We hired consultants to help us."

Ryan said there were a lot of behind-the-scenes details in running a business.

"No one is going to do anything for you," he said. "Everything from restocking the paper towels to making sure the bills get paid, someone has to keep that organized."

Infinity Eye Care is at 9981 Vail Drive. Hours are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesdays from noon to 7 p.m., and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The office is closed Saturdays and Sundays.

For details, visit www.infinityeyecareohio.com or call 330-583-4441.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com