ROWT Magazine: The Positive Impact of Reps and Opticians Working Together:

Imagine Reps and Opticians working together. Imagine an eye care magazine that helps to provide eye care professionals with a unique community that encourages positive conversations and provides resources to work better together. Join Dr. Darryl Glover in an engaging discussion with Mikki Collins, an influential figure in the optical industry. Mikki shares her journey and the inspiration behind ROWT Magazine.

Mikki Collins
Mikki Collins, Founder of ROWT Magazine

Mikki Collins: A Country Girl at Heart with an Optical Career

Dr. Darryl Glover:

So, my friend, would you mind sharing your background, where you’re from, and where you represent?

Mikki Collins:

I’m a country girl at heart, and that’s something I like to tell everyone. I live in Seattle, Washington, but was born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia – not Virginia, which often confuses people. Before we dive in, I want to highlight something I learned during my optical career: our industry is much larger than I initially realized. This discovery has influenced my career path. As a mother of two boys and a wife, I credit my family, especially being a military spouse, for guiding me into the medical field.

My journey in optometry began at a Vision Source clinic, which sparked my love for eyewear and fashion. From my first week, I was constantly shopping for glasses, and it’s fascinating to see how my style has evolved. Working with reps and getting more involved with them eventually led me to my current position in business development at Safilo.

Reps and Opticians Working Together (ROWT Magazine): Bridging Gaps in the Optical Industry

Dr. Darryl Glover:

Why did you start Reps and Opticians Working Together Magazine and brand?

Mikki Collins:

I remember a day when, after a long drive to Oregon, I arrived at an appointment that had forgotten to schedule me, followed by another appointment where only one out of four frames was purchased. This experience was disheartening. On my way home, I pondered how to improve communication between opticians and reps and raise awareness about the challenges reps face, like those working on a 1099 basis. There were no resources for aspiring reps, and I wanted to bridge this gap positively. So, I turned to Instagram, marketing myself like a real estate agent to become recognizable. That’s how Route Magazine started, born out of frustration but aimed at creating a constructive, unifying platform.

Reps and Opticians Working Together (ROWT Magazine

Reps and Opticians Working Together (ROWT Magazine): A Free Resource for Opticians and Reps

Dr. Darryl Glover:

Could you break down what Reps and Opticians Working Together Magazine (ROWT) stands for and share the website?

Mikki Collins:

Reps and Opticians Working Together Magazine (ROWT) aims to be a free, accessible resource for everyone. You can find us at, updated quarterly, offering resources for both opticians and reps.

Future Visions and Aspirations of ROWT Magazine’s Founder

Dr. Darryl Glover:

What does the future look like for you?

Mikki Collins:

I’m a big dreamer, always envisioning grand plans. It’s just part of who I am. I want everyone to understand that it’s just two of us behind all this – myself and Carissa Dunphy. We’re constantly looking for innovative ideas, identifying what professionals need in the field, and highlighting under-discussed topics. We’ve partnered with Invision Magazine to distribute our articles and are collaborating with brands looking to hire reps and target specific niche markets.

Dr. Darryl Glover:

Thank you for creating ROWT Magazine, providing a platform for eye care reps and opticians to speak openly, educate, and elevate the eye care profession. Your efforts are changing the industry. Keep up the great work; it’s truly needed, and we are blessed to have you in this profession. Thank you for joining the show.

For more on ROWT Magazine, click here.

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