Fall 2017
ICO Matters Essentials: Sarah Ebeling OD '09 Children on Beach Fall 2017

Essentials: Sarah Ebeling, OD ’09

In many cultures, green is the color of life, energy, nature, and renewal. It is also known as the color of envy, but Sarah Ebeling, OD ’09, doesn’t have much need for jealousy. “It’s OK to have it all,” she says.

Dr. Ebeling is a wife, mother of two, and businesswoman. Her practice, Wink Family Eyecare in Chanhassen, Minn., is very green. The color is everywhere—the walls, the countertops, even the bathroom paper towel dispenser. The aesthetic is so uniform that patients ask Dr. Ebeling if her practice is a chain or franchise.

Upholding Wink’s polished image requires a few key Essentials. Dr. Ebeling gave us the green light to share hers:

My Mom is an Optometrist

“Our babies, Savannah (7) and Zac (5), are my inspiration for a lot of what we do at Wink. Zac is a moderate hyperope and looks pretty darn cute in his glasses. People ask me all the time if he really needs glasses, or if I just have him wearing them for marketing. It opens up a conversation about the importance of pediatric exams. When someone tells Zac they like his glasses, I have him ‘trained’ to say, ‘Thank you. I got them at Wink!’” 


Beauty Counter Makeup

“It’s SAFE MAKEUP! Ocular surface disease is a passion of mine. We’re finding a very strong connection between the products we put around our eyes and how our tear physiology changes. BeautyCounter is challenging the standards in the cosmetic industry. My female patients often notice improvement after making simple changes to their cosmetic routine.”

555 Nanometers

“The inspiration for Wink’s decor is from Dr. Lee’s color perception class. He taught us our eye is most sensitive to this particular wavelength of color. I remember sitting in his lecture thinking it’d be perfect for a practice someday.”

Days Off

“I discovered after our kids were born that I needed not only mental breaks away from optometry, but the freedom to be with them. I use Wednesdays to go to yoga, get a smoothie for breakfast, and work on administrative things in the office. I always leave early to pick up the kids.”

My Rock

“My husband, James, has supported me through the entire process of opening and growing the business. There is no way I could have created Wink without him being an incredible partner.”

The Architect

“We are complimented DAILY about the office design. ‘It’s so fresh and clean.’ ‘I love the dot wall!’ ‘Even your sink is cool.’ Every inch of my space was designed by Bob Shaffer and his team at The Foundation Architects in Minneapolis.”

Have Points, Will Travel

“A nice perk of owning your own business is travel reward points from paying lab and frame bills. I was raised by a single mother in Iowa and had never really left the Midwest until college. My husband gave me the travel bug. So far, my favorite spot is Paris. It sounds cliché, but there’s something magical about that city. Of course, being in optometry, the Northern Lights is at the top of my travel bucket list!”

Day in the Life

“I’m fortunate to work with a group of smart, interesting women. One of my first team members is Chelsea Laden, who, after working for Wink, decided to change her career trajectory from general medicine to optometry. She’s now part of the ICO class of 2021. I could not be prouder.”

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