For Kyle and Lauran Klute, “The Good Life” has always been more than just a state motto.
So, when they purchased an optometry practice in 2019, they knew “Good Life Eyecare” encompassed the vision they had for their business.
“For us, what the good life means is what we try to exude every day with our patients and with our staff,” Kyle says.
However, optometry wasn’t always in the plans for Kyle and Lauran. Both Kyle and Lauran graduated from the University of Nebraska — Lauran with a teaching degree and Kyle with a degree in meteorology and climatology.
“I got my degree and realized that it wasn’t something I really wanted to do,” Kyle says. “Then I met Lauran and her family, and they recommended optometry.”
The couple married a year before Kyle began optometry school. In 2013, Kyle graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry. After he finished his residency in Michigan, the couple moved back to Omaha in 2014.
“We were married going into it,” Kyle says. “It was a mutual decision of the direction we were going with our lives. We knew we were doing this together.”
Lauran says their ability to work well together has helped them to create a successful business.
“We have found through the years we work really well together,” Lauran says. “It brings us a lot of joy.”
The couple’s teamwork has helped them through some difficult times. Five months after taking over the practice, the pandemic struck.
“When COVID hit, we had to shut down for eight weeks,” Kyle says. “Those were times I didn’t know if we could survive because I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
However, the couple used the time to plan their rebrand and renovations.
“We wanted the place to feel like us,” Lauran says. “And have something that we were proud to have patients walk into.”
Lauran says the couple also wanted to make the space more accessible. She designed a space in the practice specifically for children.
“The glasses and mirrors are low so kids can interact with them,” Lauran says. “It was really important for us to let parents come in and feel like their kids can enjoy going to the eye doctor. So, it was fun to think through how patients large and small can interact in our space.”
Once they completed the rebrand, the couple had a clear mission for Good Life Eyecare. Kyle says the couple focused on creating small-town hospitality for all patients.
“I’m from a town of about 400 people,” Kyle says. “So, it’s just about creating the feeling of being known. At the end of the day, if we know our patients well, we can provide for them better.”
Kyle says hospitality is just one of their business’ four core values. The other three include generosity, continuous improvement and celebration.
“We want our staff to watch for opportunities that we can celebrate something in our patients’ lives or complement one another,” Lauran says. “Finding joy in our everyday life is really fun.”
By creating a community-centered culture within their business, the couple continues to find new ways to connect with Omaha residents.
Being small business owners, Kyle and Lauran feel a connection to other small businesses.
“Now that we are a small business, we notice other small businesses way more,” Lauran says. “It’s really fun for us to look at what other local businesses around Omaha are doing and applaud them because we know it’s so much work.”
The couple hopes to foster more connections within the Omaha metro.
“One of the reasons people go online to shop so much is because it’s convenient,” Kyle says. “But they’re missing a human connection. And that’s where we have a leg up, and we can show people how accessible and convenient small businesses are.”
Good Life Eyecare’s small-town hospitality doesn’t only extend to Omaha. The couple recently closed on a second location in Glenwood, Iowa and hopes to continue to add more locations.
“Our goal is to essentially do the same thing we did here,” Kyle says. “I’m really excited to see how we can implement our same core values in a small town and serve another community.” ◆