Anthony Simmons understands the optics. For many years the owner of 911 Vision Express, recalls not seeing many optometrists that looked like him. So Simmons decided to do something about it.

"If I don't do this somebody else will, so I decided, I can do this," Simmons said.

With the encouragement of his wife Eva, Simmons earned his necessary degrees and certifications, and began working for an eye doctor in North Carolina. He worked there for ten years, seeing people come and go. So, he eventually applied for a management position, but was passed over by someone hired from outside the company. That's when Simmons vision became a little bit clearer.

“Why should you just continue to basically make them richer,and they pay you what they think you should make?  So, I decided to cut out all of the middle men, and instead of do it for them, do it for myself,” Simmons said.

So he did, cashing out his bonds and 401K to buy all his own equipment and opening up shop in Edinboro. He and his wife's vision for the business is to leave a legacy for the next generation, including their sons who periodically come to help at the shop.

“It’s pretty interesting to see our business continue to grow,” one of Eva and Anthony's sons, Nathan Simmons, said.

His brother Andre Simmons echoed the same sentiment. “It’s pretty awesome as well because they’re able to teach us things later down in life. So, if they decided to pass the business on to us we’ll be able to pick stuff up, and since we’re already here learning it will be kind of easy for the future,” Andre said.

No matter the challenges that may come in the future, the Simmons family plans to keep the success of the business and each other in clear sight.

“Even when one is feeling bad the other one has to be strong enough to lift the other one up, and that’s what we do in this practice,” Eva Simmons said.