At Stork Vision, it’s all about the baby.
Marla Sheets, 33, of Longview, bought the sonogram business two years ago and recently relocated it to 410 S. Broadway Ave., close to downtown.
During high school, Mrs. Sheets worked in radiology, where she discovered ultrasounds. She took two years of nursing school but decided she really didn’t want to go into nursing. She graduated from Tyler Junior College in 2001 with an associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography. She has worked in doctors’ offices and in hospitals but always wanted to own her own business where she could provide 3D and 4D imaging, she said.
During an ultrasound, the mother lies on a bed, and after a warm gel is spread over her belly, a probe is run across it to take pictures of the baby inside her. Mrs. Sheets said a growing number of expectant parents want the extra ultrasound services.
At Stork Vision, she sets the ultrasounds to lullaby music on a DVD, and the patients also get a CD of all of the pictures taken, as well as prints of pictures. Stork Vision offers packages for different prices, with the lowest at $99.
“It’s a real nice keepsake,” she said.
Stork Vision also offers a teddy bear with a recording of the baby’s heartbeat taken during the ultrasound, as well as gift items for newborns and infants.
The business has been in Tyler for six years and was one of the first franchises of the company. It started in Keller in 2004. There are 23 franchises in Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Nebraska and Kentucky.
Mrs. Sheets was born in Longview and grew up in Mount Pleasant. She has three daughters, Kenadee, 9, Brynn, 2, and Gentry, 5 months. Her husband of four years, Barry, works for Marshall Toyota.
“It’s what I wanted to do all along,” she said. “It all kind of fell together.”
Stork Vision was in an office building on Troup Highway before Mrs. Sheets relocated it to a retail location in September. She said before the move, most people didn’t know Stork Vision was here, but now people drive by and see it.
Mrs. Sheets has one employee who is the receptionist and helps her with her two youngest children who come to work with her daily. Mrs. Sheets does all of the ultrasounds.
Stork Vision is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Friday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Ultrasounds are done by appointment only and the business is closed on Sunday and Wednesday. For more information, visit www.storkvision.com or call 903-531-3555.