Medical Apparel

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? No

Ask the Expert: Alicia Tulsee, Founder & CEO of Moxie Scrubs

Moxie Scrubs is disrupting the $86B global medical apparel market as the first lifestyle consumer goods brand for nurses. We are leading as the first nurse-first brand, creating innovative medical apparel designed by nurses for nurses. 

What is the first step to getting started in the medical apparel business?

Research. Identify the whitespace in the market. Become obsessed with your product solution and the pain points of your customers. Learn everything you can about your market and competitors. You may have an amazing idea and an amazing product, but unless you have a clear understanding of your customer and the competitive landscape, you won’t really capture the full potential to succeed.

Is the medical apparel industry growing?

The market for nursing uniforms is growing rapidly and has no signs of slowing down. For example, just 12 months ago the global market was $60B, today it is $86B, and projected to grow to 140.64 billion by 2027.

Related: Want to Be Your Own Boss? Learn How to Launch Your Side Hustle Fast.

What are the current trends in medical apparel design and what type of person is a great fit to try this?

Most people are surprised to learn that 90% of the scrub-wearing workforce is required to purchase their own scrubs. Before the pandemic, this demographic purchased new uniforms 3-4 times a year. Today it’s 6-7 times a year and seemingly more - lots of upward trends. For example, employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 16 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.6 million new jobs. Further distilling this growth rate, employment of nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners is projected to grow 45 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment for bachelor’s degree Registered Nurses is projected to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030.  To become a successful entrepreneur, one needs to possess a combination of fierce optimism, critical thinking, and hands-on problem-solving. 

How much money can a person expect to make in the first year and in five years?

This number is subjective to all founders and their respective industries and businesses. To note, it is very common for most businesses to take a few years to become cash-flow positive. While this can be perceived as an indicator of success, it can also mean one is not growing their business to its full potential as the belief is during the early stages one should reinvest revenue into growth and expansion.  In any business, one aspires for notable year-over-year growth. The benchmark for successful growth varies across industries like costs do, so what’s more realistic to focus on would be repeatable metrics that indicate scalability. From there one can project what realistic growth looks like.

Related: Need One-on-One Help? Book a Session with an Entrepreneur Expert.

What kind of experience/training do you need to have?

It’s important for a founder and their founding team to have in-depth expertise in the market they are tackling. This expertise can come from having worked in the industry previously to having studied it in college, or having transferable experience and education that is relevant to the industry in question. Most of what will make one’s business successful is actually learned on the go from doing it, but having this foundation will make overcoming the many challenges one will face successful. 

What do you wish you knew when you were just starting out?

The most important thing to know about Moxie Scrubs is that we are a community of like-minded, compassionate, healthcare professionals who are working to disrupt the status quo in nursing, making nursing better for every nurse one scrub uniform at a time. We do this through fostering a strong community of nurses, innovative uniforms made by nurses for nurses, and providing resources to support them every step of the way for life on the job and everything in between. There couldn’t be a more pressing time for a brand and mission like ours: to enhance, inspire, and empower the MOXIE in every nurse.

Who are your customers?

Nurses, of course. However, we’re seeing that our scrubs go far beyond the nursing profession. We have customers that range from medical assistants, techs, LPN’s, ER doctors, nurse practitioners, to pharmacists, dental assistants, vet techs, acupuncturists, chiropractors, and more. The need for great medical apparel goes beyond the Moxie Nurse. 

Related: Get the No.1 Guide to Starting Your Own Business

Are there any resources you recommend that were extremely valuable to get your business off the ground?

There is an enormous and vast abundance of resources out there to help anyone start a business! For us at Moxie Scrubs, we were fortunate to have been accepted into numerous accelerator programs since its inception. In my experience, these programs come with a strong community of vetted, seasoned mentors and potential investors who altruistically want to help the next generation of entrepreneurs. Moxie Scrubs was accepted into MassChallenge Boston, The Ember Lab, The Harvard Innovation Lab LLX GEO accelerator program, and TiE ScaleUP Boston. These phenomenal accelerator programs were a huge game-changer for us and is where we found many of our amazing mentors and lifelong friends who we lean on to this day.

Startups move at lightning speed. If you find yourself in any of the amazing accelerator programs out there, be sure to keep reaching out to your mentors and continue to seek new ones so your company evolves in a grounded and supported way. Great advice is invaluable and needed at every stage. Who knows, maybe one of your mentors will even invest in your business when they see how proactive, coachable, and adaptable you are in the midst of rapid growth.

Treat everyone with fairness and dignity, in the way you’d want to be treated - what goes around comes around, and today Moxie Scrubs is reaping what we sowed. The wellbeing of our nurses is the wellbeing of our nation, let’s make it better for them starting with one great uniform at a time.

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