Welcome to Locally Grown! Locally grown introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. Today it is our pleasure to introduce you to Dr. Svetlana Pikus, the owner of The Eye Spot Optical in Libertyville.
Visiting with Dr. Svetlana Pikus in her ultra-modern, Libertyville optical shop seemed more like meeting an old friend in a hip, European cafe than a trip to the eye doctor. She invited me to sit down with her at one of several small cafe tables, all of which held a beautifully hand-painted pumpkin (family-made) decorated as an eyeball. Her calm, friendly demeanor and professional attitude–with just the right touch of humor–was the perfect complement to the stylish, but warm, surroundings of her office. I was eager and intrigued to learn more about the woman behind the unique optical shop The Eye Spot Optical.
Dr. Pikus originates from Minsk, Belarus, in the former Soviet Union. Immigrating to the Chicago area when she was 14, she tells me that this was the best decision her parents could have made for her family. When asked about whether it was a difficult transition, Dr. Pikus replied. “not really,” and further explained,
I am very grateful for a better future, freedom of speech, and freedom of practice here in the United States. You can achieve anything you want to here.
She attended high school in Skokie, and pursued her interests in engineering and medicine. Her grandmother was doctor, and her sister is a physical therapist, but Dr. Pikus found that optometry combined the best aspects of engineering and medicine. And as a child with poor vision, she was motivated to study optometry. She graduated from Loyola University in Chicago and received her Doctorate of Optometry from Illinois College of Optometry.
Before opening The Eye Spot Optical, Dr. Pikus established the first optometry shop at Target in Mundelein, which she found to be a convenient and family-like working environment. And she assured me that it IS every mother’s dream to receive an additional discount at Target. After ten years with Target she went into practice for herself.
The Eye Spot Optical brings friendly, compassionate optometry and personalized, cutting-edge style together under one roof. As a family-run business, Dr, Pikus’ husband Tony, who is an engineer, works by her side and handles many of the business aspects of her practice. Dr. Pikus and Tony interacted playfully together during my visit; clearly working together is a good fit for them. Their synergy adds to the positive energy of this stunning office. Dr Pikus says, smiling,
After 10 years of working apart, this feels like a second honeymoon. Now we get to spend more time together.
The couple has three children–a son in high school, a son in middle school, and a daughter in elementary school–and reside in Vernon Hills with their dog Jared, a bichon poodle. Running a family business requires a lot of time and effort, but Dr. Pikus manages to be a part of her children’s activities, too.
You’ll often find me at the local gym, watching rhythmic gymnastics, at the Libertyville Sports Complex, and at the high school swimming pool, supporting my children’s activities.
In her free time, Dr. Pikus enjoys being outdoors with her family, reading, and watching NCIS on television. She is also an esteemed Candy Crush champion in her family. According to Dr. Pikus,
Everyone likes to fish, so we go to Independence Grove to fish and to be outdoors. I love the Chicago Botanic Garden, Hawthorn Mall, and cooking and baking at home. My favorite thing to bake is homemade challah–right now we love it with seasonal apples. If we go out to eat, the kids always want to go to Portillos, but if it’s just adults, we really like Cafe Pyrenees.
Dr. Pikus’ favorite place to travel to is nearby Wisconsin, where she and her family have a vacation home. She loves visiting Wisconsin’s natural areas and parks, and the children enjoy the attractions at Wisconsin Dells and outdoors.
Just shy of her second year in business, Dr. Pikus is proud to share her medical expertise and bring an extraordinary selection of fine eyewear to the area at The Eye Spot Optical. While she treats patients of all ages, her passion is treating low vision, and improving the quality of life for all of her patients. Dr. Pikus has been practicing in the field of low vision since 2010, and she is the only Fellow of International Academy of Low Vision Specialists in Illinois and Wisconsin.
I love this area, and the way that the residents interact together in Libertyville and the surrounding communities. Every day I get to write my own story here, and make a positive impact in the world, one person at a time.
Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday by appointment.
The Eye Spot Optical is offering 25 percent off of a pair of glasses or prescription sunglasses to Little Lake County readers during the month of November.
Disclosure: The Eye Spot is our featured Locally Grown Business of the Month. This series of features is part of a paid partnership with Little Lake County. Contact littlelakecounty[at]gmail[dot]com if you are interested in featuring your own locally-owned business in our series.