Verbelee Nielsen-Swanson of Oxford Eyes: Women Who Move The City

Meet Verbelee Nielsen-Swanson, Founder and President of Oxford Eyes!

Oxford Eyes



Founder and President | Oxford Eyes

“I went to get my glasses adjusted and came out owning a new business,” says Verbelee Nielsen-Swanson, recalling the day she founded Oxford Eyes, a boutique eyewear shop that opened in 2018 in Orlando’s Lake Ivanhoe District. As spontaneous as it sounds, optical retail is a perfect fi t for Nielsen-Swanson.

As a lifelong wearer of glasses, she’s genuinely passionate about eyewear and sees frames as a powerful form of self-expression, “Why have them be boring?”

For years, Nielsen-Swanson saw a need within her community. She noticed that Orlando was missing an optical boutique specializing in unique, hand-crafted eyewear. As the daughter-in-law of a retired Optometric practice owner, Nielsen-Swanson had a connection to the optical team. “His last remaining partner had sold the practice, and the optical manager had given her notice. I wanted to keep this incredible optical team together, so we established Oxford Eyes.” With over 90 years of combined experience, she built on their optical industry knowledge and her own experience as a past health care administrator to create something unique.

Together, they curated a world-class collection of independent, handcrafted frames. The team also added an onsite finishing lab and created a warm and welcoming interior filled with reclaimed wood and antiques.

Nielsen-Swanson’s business formula is working. On its fourth anniversary, Oxford Eyes has been recognized for three years as the Best of Orlando and, recently, one of the fi nest optical shops in the USA by Envision Magazine.

When asked about her success, Nielsen-Swanson is quick to credit others. “Our team’s ability to provide a one-on-one connection and complement customers’ unique personalities is a key strength of the business. We’re also blessed to have so many who believe in our commitment to excellence.”

Throughout her life, Nielsen-Swanson has worked to give back to her community. She is on the board of various organizations, including the Ivanhoe Village Board, Harbor House, and Immediate Past President of the Florida Executive Women. Lifting others is a big part of her life’s work, “We are all influential – live your life with courage and compassion, and you can’t go wrong. I face each day with a positive attitude; stay committed to helping the community and do my best to add a little sparkle.”



Categories: Women Who Move The City