How sisters are set to make $4million this year after starting a business selling SCRUBS – and the idea stemmed from one brutal comment
- Sisters Van and Linh co-founded Scrub Lab amid the Covid pandemic in 2020
- The business offers comfortable and stylish scrubs for healthcare workers
- They came up with the idea after Linh said Van looked ‘hideous’ in her scrubs
- Scrub Lab made $400,000 in 18 months and is set to bring in $4million in 2023
Two sisters are set to make $4million in 2023 with their business offering healthcare and veterinary workers stylish and comfortable scrubs.
Linh and Van Nguyen are the brains behind Scrub Lab which makes comfortable, breathable and flattering scrubs that don’t look like a ‘potato sack’ so those in the medical field don’t have to sacrifice style at work.
The idea came to the siblings when Linh said nurse Van looked ‘hideous’ after a shift when they were at their mother’s house for dinner in 2019.
‘I said, “what are you wearing?” I didn’t even know they were scrubs, they were hideous looking. Van never dresses like that,’ Linh told 9Honey.
Sisters Van and Lihn (pictured) are set to make $4million in 2023 with their business Scrub Lab which offers comfortable and stylish scrubs for healthcare worker
Fashion lover Linh thought Van, who is normally very stylish, didn’t look good or comfortable and wondered how scrubs could be changed.
The comment planted the seed for Scrub Lab and the sisters noticed there was nowhere in Australia that offered scrubs that weren’t ‘ugly’ or ‘impractical’.
‘They’re hot, you are sweaty, you’re putting on extra PPE (personal protective equipment)… and you’re on your feet running around for a 16 hour shift,’ Van said.
‘It was very uncomfortable and you would smell, no matter how much deodorant you put on.’
The nurse said her old scrubs would be stained with sweat patches within hours while her co-workers complained they would appear see-through after a few wash cycles.
The idea came to the siblings when Linh said nurse Van looked ‘hideous’ after a shift when they were at their mother’s house for dinner in 2019
The nurse said her old scrubs would be stained with sweat patches after only a few hours while her co-workers complained they were appear see-through after a few wash cycles
Their mother, who had worked as a seamstress for more than 30 years, helped her daughters hatch the plan and create the first ‘prototype’ the very night of Linh’s offhand comment.
After a trip to Spotlight to buy fabric, they designed and created the first set of scrubs which they admitted ‘weren’t great’.
However, they knew they were onto something when Van wore them to the hospital and had other nurses asking where she got her new scrubs from.
Linh converted her living room into an office where the sisters started Scrub Lab using money their own savings, but with no business experience they were met with ‘challenges’ and felt like ‘fish out of water’.
Despite friends in the health industry calling their idea ‘crazy’, and after months of trial and error and choosing a manufacturer – Linh and Van copped their first costly blow.
With healthcare workers strained throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and scrubs were harder to come by so the sisters launched the business four months ahead of schedule in June 2020
The first 800 sets of scrubs they received were ‘completely see-through’ sending the sisters into a ‘panic’ and they wondered if they were cut out for business.
Shortly after, they accidentally ordered a huge supply of hot pink pants in the men’s style rather than women’s.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars were sunk into the business and Linh and Van had many moments of doubts and tears but they persisted.
With healthcare workers strained and pulling long, strenuous shifts throughout the Covid-19 pandemic scrubs were getting harder to come by so the sisters launched the business four months ahead of schedule in June 2020.
Scrub Lab took off as doctors, nurses, vets and vet nurses scrambled to get their hands on the workwear and Linh and Van were suddenly struggling to keep up with demand
Scrub Lab took off as doctors, nurses, vets and vet nurses scrambled to get their hands on the workwear and Linh and Van were suddenly struggling to keep up with demand.
Van was still working as a nurse and would return from 16-hour hospital shifts to work on the business ‘looking like a zombie’ while Linh said she had constant ‘anxiety’ trying to run Scrub Lab when her sister was at work.
Their hard work paid off and in the first 18 months Scrub Lab made $400,000.
Linh and Van are dedicating their lives to making the lives of healthcare worker easier saying they deserve recognition after a challenging few years
Three years later, Linh and Van now work on the business full-time but say they’re putting most of the revenue back into Scrub Labs and are paying themselves a ‘minimum wage’.
Linh and Van, who still picks up occasional casual nursing shifts, are dedicating their lives to making the lives of healthcare workers easier, saying they deserve recognition after a challenging few years.
They have been flooded with messages and emails from customers thanking them for developing practical and fashionable scrubs.