On the first Wednesday of every month, the family law office of Phillips & Peters celebrates Women Crush Wednesday! These are not sponsored or paid posts – just women business leaders we love to support that are crushing it in Hampton Roads.
This month we wanted to spotlight an office favorite and our Downtown neighbor, Dr. Wallach of Selden Optometry. In the words of our staff, “Dr. Wallach and her entire staff are there to help you and meet your needs. They give very detailed eye exams, ensure your medical history is on file, and remember you when you come in, even if it has been a year. They’re all very personable and caring”. Businesses like this are a staple of the Downtown Norfolk community and ones we are so excited to support.
Originally from southwestern Virginia, Dr. Wallach moved to Williamsburg for college. It was there that she attended optometry school and entered her current career field. She moved to Norfolk with her husband when a practice opportunity became available. It was then that she joined Selden Optometry. Back in the day, the business was owned by an optician that hired Dr. Wallach to serve as an optometrist. Though the professional names sound comparable they serve different needs for the eyes. An optician helps fit glasses, contacts, and other vision-correcting devices. An optometrist is a doctor that examines, diagnose, and treats the eyes.
When Selden Optometry became available for purchase, Dr. Wallach stepped into the life of a business owner. “I never thought I would want to be on my own. I always thought I would be with a partner or something. It has been a great decision”, she recounts. Moving into business ownership can be a stressful decision due to the added responsibilities and skills, but Dr. Wallach moved forward by living out the motto, “Just do what you need to do”. Not only was she a new business owner but her family was in the process of buying a house and preparing for their first child.
Dr. Wallach gives a lot of credit to her support systems when it comes to the success of Selden Optometry. Two of the current staff have been with the business for 16 years. Together, as a business, they have watched the transformation of Downtown Norfolk. Dr. Wallach laughs now at the reputation Norfolk used to have and the way people worried on her behalf.
“When I first came down here there were residents in Freemason but there weren’t nearly as many people living downtown. If you saw someone walking their dog that was a novelty. Now they’re everywhere. So, it’s definitely changed and grown. I have felt the pain and misery as it has grown some but that’s just part of being down here. It has gone in a great direction.”
As the region continues to adapt to the changes and challenges of COVID-19 it is important to remember the businesses like Selden Optometry. They persistently provide excellent personalized service for the community. When asked what makes a good business leader, Dr. Wallach shared, “I think it is somebody who can have a vision for the business and able to listen to the needs of the business and respond to that and the ever-changing needs.”