For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others. Wise words from Audrey Hepburn that are eternally, universally true. There’s a reason eyes describe our outlook, they’re truly a window into the soul. Thanks to Dr. Samantha Locy Hamblet’s newly opened Eye Love Olympia, caring, style, charity and generosity meet to benefit her beloved hometown.
Eye Love Olympia opened its doors July 12, 2019. They have a steady stream of new and existing patients, but are always happy to meet potential clients and friends. The shop is “a true labor of love,” laughs Hamblet. She designed the layout and her father handled custom cabinetry. They hired local contractors and are infatuated with the final result. Located at 3409 Capitol Boulevard SW, it shares space with South Sound Running and Grindstaff’s Trophies, both popular longstanding businesses.
“I love the location,” says Hamblet. “My favorite spot at home is the front porch and I could just sit on our couch and watch people all day.” She knows all her neighbors and is happy to set up shop within walking distance from the family home. For that same reason, the sofa at her office is by the window, so she can watch everyone drive by.
A Capital High School grad, she graduated from Western Washington University then studied at the Southern California College of Optometry. Hamblet interned with the Navy at Pearl Harbor Naval Base, the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland and the Indian Health Hospital in Lawton, Oklahoma.
But since coming home, she and her husband—an Olympia firefighter—love to work for the community as well as in it. “It had long been a desire of mine to have an optometry clinic in my community that can be used in an eyecare and service capacity,” says Hamblet. “We are often looking for a way to serve our community, and when the reality that I would be starting my own practice arose I knew that this would be a perfect avenue to do so.”
With every glasses purchase at her clinic, Hamblet will donate a pair to someone in need both locally and abroad. “We sell only independent frame lines, small companies with ethical manufacturing processes that make charitable contributions,” she adds. “It’s what we believe in so we want our frames to not only look good, but help make the world a better place!”
When not working, Hamblet helps staff the Union Gospel Mission’s Vision Clinic. This outreach gives eye exams, eye health treatment, and glasses to homeless and uninsured in our community. “Having personally served there for the last nine years,” shares Hamblet, “I am continually amazed at the compassion and care that each patient is given as well as the often unfortunate and complicated life situations that the patients come from.”
“Vision missions have been a big part of my life,” she adds. “A big part of my love for our clinic is service to our community.” She’s also worked for Special Olympics of Washington, Lions Club International, VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services for Humanity), Optometry Giving Sight, and TOGETHER! Thurston County. “Within a year I’d like to take the staff on a service project,” admits Hamblet. “There’s something about the vision you get for what we do when you serve people who’ve never had access to that care. It’s such a privilege.”
All of the staff at Eye Love Olympia are excited to have the opportunity to help people see from a new perspective. They work with adults and children of all ages. “I have a child on the autism spectrum,” says Hamblet, “so I am keenly aware of the effect that a sterile, untouchable environment can have on a kid who is bombarded by the world all the time. That’s not me, and that’s not my office; let them touch, let them learn!”
Eye issues can be stressful. You may find yourself with headaches from blurry vision or straining to see books, computers or while driving. At Eye Love Olympia, the entire staff strives to help you see clearly…and with pizazz. They understand frustrations and patiently walk you through the exam process and ordering glasses. You don’t have to muddle through with dollar store readers or multi-pack cheaters thanks to Hamblet and her team.
To schedule a visit call or text 360-228-2733 or pick an appointment time online. They’re always happy to answer questions about optometry, accepted insurance plans, or the frame brands they carry. Follow the office on Facebook for tips, tricks, videos, updates, and reviews.
Eye Love Olympia
3409 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater