We were lucky to catch up with Lisa Francois-Lovanice recently and have shared our conversation below.
Lisa, appreciate you joining us today. What’s the backstory behind how you came up with the idea for your business?
About 15 years ago, while on lunch break, I saw a lady in a mobile truck parked outside the hospital selling unisex medical uniforms aka scrubs and shoes. After purchasing from her I inquired how I could one day do the same thing? Unfortunately, she didn’t provide much information. This only fueled my desire to be an entrepreneur and open up my own medical scrubs store/mobile truck & have a more flexible schedule to be with my family.
Fast forward to 2020 and we are living in a pandemic. This caused me to reflect on my current situation of working in an outpatient clinic that wasn’t challenging nor satisfying my desire to spend more time with my family and being my own boss. Then I met my coach at Tina Payne Consulting. Here was a nurse running her own medical uniform store & doing what I wanted to in life. I quickly signed up to join her mentoring class. I knew this would work because I can relate to my customer’s needs & desire to not spend all day scrolling through websites or going into stores to find the right look & accessories. That is how Beyond Medwear Apparel came to existence.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I am a wife, proud mom of a blended family consisting of a boy & girl of our own and two young adult stepdaughters. I love DIY projects & helping others. I have been a Registered Nurse for the past 22 years, so it only seems fitting that I would get involved in this billion-dollar medical scrubs industry as an entrepreneur. About 10 years ago, if you worked in healthcare, you didn’t have many options in medical uniforms. They were unisex, practically one-size fits all, and boring(unless you were patterned prints). Fast forward to today when you have many manufacturers providing a variety of sizes, materials and styles.
As a healthcare worker I practically live in scrubs so, why not provide a different option to wearing those uncomfortable, unflattering scrubs that we used to wear daily. I hated shopping for scrubs because they were either too short, too large or too tight due to my height and body type. At Beyond Medwear Apparel our goal is to provide healthcare, wellness professionals & anyone who has to wear scrubs an option to wearing scrubs that are affordable, comfortable, fashionable, and made with stretchy, low maintenance, and stain resistant material. We work hard and long hours. We need to be able to do our best work & look good doing it. I also took into consideration as a retailer that not everyone is built the same. Therefore, I make sure to provide quality, affordable scrub sets, separates, petite & tall items to give more of a variety. We also provide a variety of compression socks, nursing totes, badge reels etc. I get excited reading customer reviews and seeing them rave about how they love the fit and receive compliments about it. This is what it’s all about.
Can you talk to us about how your funded your business?
In the beginning of the pandemic there were a lot of layoffs. Fortunately, working in healthcare there was a high demand for healthcare professionals. I used this opportunity to pick up extra shifts and travel to different facilities locally. I used some of the money to refinance our mortgage & lower our payments. Then I budgeted and saved up enough money to support the business and cover some of my bills while I focus solely on Beyond Medwear Apparel. I wanted to give myself an opportunity to give this entrepreneurship a fighting chance with no distractions.
Do you sell on your site, or do you use a platform like Amazon, Etsy, Cratejoy, etc?
At this time, we are only online through our website www.Beyondmedwearapparel.com. We currently use Shopify ecommerce platform. My rationale for using this platform is the opportunity to reach a broad audience and to build capital to get our brick and mortar up and running.
I would like to add another pro to selling online is that we offer the local customer the option to have their items delivered within 25 miles to their homes or specific locations. The con is that clients are unable to try on the scrubs in person. However, we do offer returns/refunds on items within 30 days.
- Website: www.Beyondmedwearapparel.com
- Instagram: @beyondmedwearapparel
- Facebook: Beyond Medwear Apparel