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Hidden Gems: Meet Clinton and Kelly Ross of Davalt Optical

Today we’d like to introduce you to Clinton and Kelly Ross. Them and their team share their story with us below:

The last place you think you’re going to meet the person who’s going to make your wildest dreams come true is in a mandatory course for the State of Florida but that’s where I met Patty Davalt.

If you’ve met her you know, she’s an amazing woman with the kindest heart. We’ve always admired how she navigated her underdog status in a big box industry, so we couldn’t think of anyone better to turn to for advice when we were ready to open our optical boutique.

We asked to pick her brain and she agreed, which was when she told us she was looking to retire. I’ll never forget the goosebumps the three of us shared when she said “I’m a firm believer that God brings me people that need me and people I need. No one but my husband knew I was thinking about retiring and then here you are, sitting in front of me, a week later.”


The stars aligned and within a few months Patty was passing the Davalt Optical legacy on to us, Clinton and Kelly Ross. We still pinch ourselves nightly. The location, the people, the differences we get to make in our customer’s lives, we couldn’t have architected a better fit if we tried.

Our journey to becoming opticians started back (before we met) in the early 2000s. I was a teenager craving a science-minded career path so I decided to get a job in the opticianry field to see if I liked it enough to go to school for it. Turns out it was perfect! Around the same time, Clinton was moving back to Florida and wanted to make a career change. He found opticianry and was hooked right away.

Over the years, we’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the most experienced and knowledgeable opticians and doctors in Florida, who generously took the time to teach us their methods. Doctors we still learn from and have amazing relationships with to this day.

We may be new owners but the same values that Patty Davalt established all those decades ago still remain etched in the way we serve, we’re committed to excellent craftsmanship, celebrating our community, and providing custom solutions for all of your eyewear needs.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Definitely not, lol. We took over our shop on January 1, 2020, and COVID followed soon after with store closures and uncertainty.

Later that year, our street block closed for renovations. We are happy to be on the other side and owe our success to our caring customers and our store’s legacy of treating them like family.

We have the best customers, a wonderful community, and a beautiful new block! Turns out that 2020 was the best year for a new vision.

As you know, we’re big fans of Davalt Optical. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
We love our city and local history. Our store was established in 1958 by Claude Trucks. His son and grandson are local musicians best known for their roles in The Allman Brothers Band and the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Patty Davalt took over in 1980. Patty’s kind heart and warm personality turned customers into long-time friends. We are honored to continue their legacy and to be part of such a wonderful community. We specialize in fun eyewear as well as complex prescriptions.

We get a thrill out of delivering the solution to a customer’s unmet visual need. Most importantly we love our customers! They are unique, funny, and kind. Most of them have been with our store from the beginning and we love seeing their families grow.

As our website says: It’s not about the eyewear, it’s about the people wearing it!

What matters most to you? Why?
LOVE. It makes the world go round. Everything and every person deserves love. Even a small act of kindness is a ripple in a pond.

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