Upcoming Conferences In October

Medelita locations

The team at Medelita is eager to get to as many conferences as possible in October, as it gives us a chance to meet with our colleagues in person and that remains one of the most important and valuable experiences for us as we continue to innovate and grow our product offering.  We’re especially excited to meet with existing customers to hear about what they like and what they might change about their Medelita lab coats and scrubs.

Unfortunately we can’t attend every conference we’d like to, but if you’re going to find yourselves in Chicago or Las Vegas over the next two weeks then we hope to see you!

AAO2014

We’re thrilled to have the chance to attend the American Academy of Ophthalmology conference for the first time and will be at booth #2674 from 10/18 – 10/21.

 

ACEP 2014

Conveniently for us, the ACEP Scientific Assembly kicks off in the same location (McCormick Place, Chicago, IL) 10/27-10/30 where we will be located in booth #1514.

 

MGMA2014

Concurrently we will also have representatives attending this year’s Medical Group Management Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas – come see us at booth #1221 anytime from 10/26 – 10/28.

Please make sure you stop by and say hello!  See you there…

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A Letter of Thanks From The Founder

fabric shipment

Lara Francisco, PA-C in 2008 next to our very first fabric shipment

Sometime in 2004, I was working in a ritzy ER in Southern California with about 5 years of clinical practice under my belt. I never considered myself a “fashionista” or a fanatic for high-end clothes – just someone who bothered to brush their teeth, fix their hair, put on a bit of makeup and show up to work wearing clothes that resembled…pajamas. This inconsistency baffled me on a daily basis, and my colleagues tell me that I chatted people up about this from the early days, as far back as when I worked in an ER in Jamaica, Queens (NY).

So when my “new” scrubs showed up with a tapered leg, droopy crotch, completely square top, and a v-neck down to my belly button . . . I thought how ironic that these are worse than the last pair. Attorneys and Wall Street executives don’t dress like this. I thought I couldn’t be the only female clinician that felt this way, and I was crazy enough to do something about it.

After four years of researching, planning, fundraising, and learning I launched Medelita with the Callia lab coat and two styles of women’s scrubs. It’s been a wild path, launching in the worst economic climate possible and paddling (most of the time) to stay afloat. Not to mention getting married, running the business with my husband (challenging for sure!), and having three children. All of which amounts to something likely never possible if I hadn’t mastered the multitasking skills from ten years working in EM.

Your Opinion Matters

Our path here has largely been determined by our clinician customers/colleagues – and I’m all for that. All of us at Medelita are steadfast in this customer-centric commitment. Being open to feedback has fueled our growth, and absolutely helped to get us to this point. For example, we thought we would only sell to female clinicians. Now picture this . . . at the AAD conference in 2009, a prominent male dermatologist (dressed to the nines) slammed his fist down hard on our booth table, and with a stern look in his eye, he firmly stated, “I cannot have my female partners looking better than me!” While this was an extreme case (and perhaps a reflection of a whole set of age-old gender bias issues), other men came forward and we decided to start a men’s line.

lab coat test

Our first men’s lab coats get put to the test during a conference

We also thought we would mainly sell scrubs . . . but lab coats are our most sought after item for both women and men.

We thought everyone would want longer lab coats, consistent with level of prestige, but even 6’4” men request a 37” lab coat.

It’s fun to reflect back on these surprising evolutions, but they are all realized because of the classic clinician personality –a vocal, strong-willed crowd. So we listen. We react. And we plan for the future accordingly.

Looking Ahead

Going forward, the future for the company looks very exciting. Watch for continual evolutions in fabric – including seasonal weights, additions to our popular new Limited Edition series, and an ongoing commitment to continually improving the fit, comfort, ergonomics, and functionality in every single garment that we make.

I owe a sincere thank you to everyone who supports transformation that we are attempting to influence in clinician apparel: A move toward sophisticated garments that exude professionalism, aptitude, and prestige – that which you deserve. A garment that sends a brief message to your patients – that you care about your appearance and, in turn, care about them. Not everyone agrees that a garment has something to do with a first impression, but to those who choose to wear Medelita – thank you. I did this for us and will continue to ensure that what we make is on point and representative of what our professions should be wearing.

Warmly,

Lara Francisco, PA-C
Founder
lara@medelita.com

Franciscos

Lara Francisco, PA-C with husband, CEO, and co-founder, Joe Francisco

 

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STEM Program Highlights

As part of our ongoing effort to support STEM programs at high schools and other youth organizations across the U.S., we recently donated lab coats to Olathe East High School in Olathe, KS. We continue to be encouraged by these schools and programs that have made a major difference in the lives of students who might otherwise miss out on an opportunity to realize their true potential in these crucial fields of study.

A brand new class has taken shape at Olathe East High School in Olathe, Kansas. What was once just a modest group of young eager scientists involved in a simple Biotechnology Club has now transformed into a booming interest all across the Olathe School District. The Olathe East Biotechnology’s primary focuses is on Methanotrophic research; however, their adviser, Michael Ralph, strongly encourages students to branch out and explore their personal scientific interests. Everything from research to computer programming and engineering to scientific business, this class covers it all. Multiple students are involved in extra curricular research in partnership with the University of Kansas, where they are able to shadow professors and graduate students and receive hands-on individualized experience. As the club revolutionized into a class the scientific community lent them a helping hand. A special thanks to Medelita for supplying them with authentic high quality lab coats, which helped convert a simple classroom into a genuine laboratory setting. Their generous donation gave these aspiring scientists the confidence and ability to further develop their skills and flourish in the competitive scientific field.

Here is also a link to our website. It’s still in the building stages but provides some additional information.
http://teachers.olatheschools.com/omiirlab/.

-Anastasia Weston

STEM lab coats

Students from the Olathe East High School Biotechnology Club wearing Medelita Lab Coats

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3 Examples Of Corporate Branding That You Can Apply To Your Private Practice

Simply choosing a logo design for your practice isn’t enough to define your “brand.”  It is more than simply choosing the right font or color scheme that effectively communicates your brand message.  It’s an omnipresent message that your patients will pick up on right away.  It seeps into every interaction and follow up, right down to the magazines you offer in your waiting room.

According the the Harvard Business Review, “Ultimately, brand is about caring about your business at every level and in every detail, from the big things like mission and vision, to your people, your customers, and every interaction anyone is ever going to have with you, no matter how small.

Here are three examples of successful corporate brands that you should emulate in your own brand strategy:

Your Brand As Time

starbucks

The true success of Starbucks is not in the quality of its coffee or because of a great logo, it is because everyone in line knows how long they can expect to wait from start to finish. Every move that a barista makes when putting your order together is already laid out and auto-timed for them. The key to Starbucks’ effective brand strategy is not in the product it sells but in their time management.

The time it takes for your office to respond to your patients and colleagues, whether through follow-up or as a direct response, has a direct influence on the perception of your brand.  Time is the universal in its scarcity and loss aversion has been demonstrated to be far more powerful than expected gains in influencing future behavior.  While it may seem obvious that wasting another’s time is an unavoidable consequence of running a business, it helps to understand that the more you make people wait, the worse your brand suffers.  A clean office and a courteous staff isn’t enough to communicate that you run an effective practice when you don’t seem organized enough to remain on schedule or provide ways around wasting others’ time.

Less Saying, More Doing

Nordstrom

Another company that succeeds in ways that have little to do with the actual products it sells is Nordstrom.  In Chip and Dan Heath’s best selling 2007 book, Made To Stick, the authors highlight three separate stories where Nordstrom’s employees made completely unexpected gestures that were so surprising that they became ingrained into the company’s brand:

  • A refund is given to a customer returning tires even when Nordstrom doesn’t sell tires.
  • Items purchased at another store are gift wrapped for free by a Norstrom’s sales person.
  • A Norstrom’s salesperson warms up a car for a customer on a cold winter day.

The company threw out the rulebook on customer interactions and provided employees with a single mission: to provide exceptional customer service by performing the unexpected for customers.

Educate and train your staff and colleagues on this philosophy.  It’s probably very easy to “do the unexpected” in an industry where popular perception is to expect the bare minimum.  A small investment in unexpected notes sent in the mail or any unexpected gesture performed by you or your staff member will reap big rewards in differentiating your practice.

How Your Appearance Affects Your Brand

gotjunk

There is a lesson to be learned from the world of trash and rubbish disposal. In an industry where one’s uniform used to be the last concern of a business owner, the company that goes by the name “1-800-GOT-JUNK” turned that notion on its head, recently to the tune of over $100 million in revenue.

When there was absolutely no need to dress professional, founder Brian Scudamore and his employees made the decision to show up at your door to remove your trash looking crisp, clean, and happy.  One’s trash is sometimes as personal and sensitive as one’s property, and a polished appearance instills more confidence in customers who might otherwise feel awkward.  Customers quickly responded to the idea by paying more to avoid an experience with an unsavory character.

The example above is to highlight how a professional appearance can have a profound effect on the perception of your brand even in the most unlikely of settings.  Your practice should take into account every detail of your appearance and you must explore ways in which you can polish your appearance and that of your staff.

The White Coat

There are several studies that measure the positive effect of the white coat on patient confidence, a new field of study on a phenomenon known as “enclothed cognition” is finding that there is a positive effect on the person wearing the lab coat as well.  In a setting where patient confidence is paramount to expecting positive outcomes, a polished and professional appearance is crucial to your brand.  Our customers at Medelita remain customers with us because we provide a product that physicians feel comfortable and confident wearing in front of patients and colleagues, who often notice the difference right away.  We also offer exquisite custom name, title, and logo embroidery for the ultimate in “professional” presentation.  To see the difference for yourself, visit www.medelita.com and try on a lab coat and a set of scrubs at no obligation to you. Or call us at 877.987.7979 to discuss how we can help to reinforce your professional brand set your practice apart.

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A Sacred Promise

This afternoon we were treated to a picture of TheRightFit H.E.R.O. Honorarium Nominee and Stony Brook School of Medicine Resident, Dr. Christine Ann Garcia in the Sacred Valley of Peru. She has spent the last two weeks in the Andes of Peru with several of her peers from A Promise To Peru, Inc. on an annual cataract surgical and medical mission to the area. This is the note she included with her message:

I am wrapping up a 2 week medical trip with A Promise to Peru in Peru. In the first week, cataract surgeries were performed for Sacred Valley residents. In the second week, we set up several travel clinics in small towns in the Sacred Valley including Ccotohuincho, Ccotataqui, Calca, etc. There we saw hundreds of patients daily, provided medical care for adults and children including dental education, ultrasound and back exercises. We also had gynecological services. Here is a picture of me in my Medelita scrubs on my last clinic day today in Plaza Mejor in Calca.

christine_garcia_medelita_peru

We couldn’t be more proud of Dr. Garcia’s work with patients in one of the most remote regions in the world. She truly embodies the spirit of the H.E.R.O. program and we look forward to hearing more about the trip!

To find out more information about volunteering or to donate to A Promise To Peru – please visit http://apromisetoperu.com/our-mission/

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Adventures In Expansion: Allheart.com

Today marks the start of a new partnership that we hope will prove to be a long-lasting and truly beneficial relationship for both companies. As of today, Medelita-brand products will be sold online at Allheart.com, America’s Medical Superstore™ – www.allheart.com.

Medelita allheart

According to SimilarWeb, Allheart.com received an estimated 490,000 monthly website visits in May, 2014, easily making it the top e-commerce destination for medical professionals looking to purchase medical uniforms and accessories. Needless to say, the opportunity to feature our products in Allheart’s online store is a key development in our efforts to grow our brand recognition and expand into popular marketplaces where our colleagues in medicine prefer to shop.

Many thanks to Allheart’s Heather Praun and Senior Merchant, Scarlett Salter for enabling this to happen so quickly and with hardly any issues. Unfortunately in this business it is rare when we find companies (and the representatives with whom we work) to be as fastidious and responsive, and the service and attention we received in this process were all a testament to Allheart’s steadfast reputation as the leader in this industry.

Visit Allheart’s selection of Medelita products by heading over to this address: http://www.allheart.com/medelita/c/1605/view/all/

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Onipa’a – Medelita in Honolulu

We recently received a picture from a photo shoot featuring our 2014 H.E.R.O. Honorarium winner, Dr. Kanani Titchen, where she was gearing up for her upcoming education series on child sex trafficking and ways to recognize and prevent it. On the same day she reminded us of her Hawaiian roots by sending us a picture of an article that was written up by Ben Wood in the Honolulu Star Advertiser:

honolulu lab coats

In her final entry during the honorarium selection process, she outlined the meaning of a traditional Hawaiian word that she refers to often – Onipa’a:

As we develop professionally and personally, the roles will change – as they have changed already from premed to medical student to resident and then perhaps fellow and finally practicing or attending physician. As my roles change, I hold to the late Hawaiian Queen Liliu’okalani’s principle of “onipa’a” – steadfastness. I aim to stay true to my goals: to get good things done, to advocate for those who have less, and to seek depth of knowledge, as well as breadth.

We continue to recognize “physician activist” Kanani Titchen for her steadfast devotion to her cause and wish her and Ben Wood a warm “mahalo” for the mention!

Kanani Titchen Portrait

Dr. Kanani Titchen in her New Medelita Lab Coat

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“These Girls Are On Fire”

A big congrats to 2014 TheRightFit H.E.R.O. Honorarium top 10 nominee Dr. Sonya Kenkare and all of the participants at the Women’s Dermatologic Society for a successful 2014 WDS Annual Meeting & Luncheon!

Dr. Kenkare is embarking on a successful career with one of our favorite, well-respected medical dermatology practices, Derick Dermatology – with offices close to Chicago.

derick derm

Dr. Kenkare has joined the esteemed group at Derick Dermatology – www.derickdermatology.com

Here is the winning photo:
sonya-kenkare

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3 Reasons Why We Ship With UPS

 

upslogo

We use UPS as the preferred shipping method for all of our orders, especially our international orders, for a whole list of business-related reasons that I don’t need to get into.  There are, however, 3 main benefits that we enjoy when working with UPS:

1. Our orders get where they need to go, end of story.

While we completely understand that not every single package is going to make it to our customers exactly on time and in the right place, an overwhelming majority of them do.  This is astounding considering the company delivers an average of 1.6 million packages in a single day using 237 airplanes in 220 countries around the world.  When a package doesn’t get where it needs to go, it’s typically a painless process to resolve the situation.

2. UPS understands our potential.

When we first began offering to ship Medelita items overseas, it was immediately obvious that if we grew international sales we would be running into pile of abandoned packages all over the world.  This was happening often when customers in other countries were surprised to realize that they had to pay an extra fee for duties and taxes before they could receive their lab coats and scrubs. Many customers simply chose to leave the package with customs, and when that happens Medelita is forced to bear the cost of shipping it back to our warehouse.

At Medelita, we don’t like unnecessary surprises either, and could sympathize with a customer who felt mistrust due to lack of transparency in the ordering process.  So we called on UPS to help us provide international customers with a way to easily see their duties and fees during the order process and even pay for them up front to avoid any delays in customs.

Understanding that we are a small, growing business, our representatives at UPS put us directly in touch with some members from the UPS IT team, who in turn provided us with the technical capability to calculate these fees for our customers.  Since we launched this new feature we have seen a 42 percent increase in international sales.

3. We feel respected.

ups-medelita

President of UPS International, Jim Barber, during a speech highlighting Medelita’s recent success in international shipping with UPS.

Last month we were contacted by Bill Bryant, Karen Kreager, and Natalie Giurato from the UPS Public Relations team inviting us to join them and the President of UPS International, Jim Barber, for a speech he was giving at the Discover Global Markets Business Forum in Los Angeles on June 3, 2014.  In the speech, Mr. Barber outlined the future of international e-commerce and what smaller brands like ours are doing to get out ahead of the competition early.  After explaining our aforementioned success with duties and fees, he noted,

Medelita may have been frustrated, but it wasn’t ready to turn its back on exporting as a growth strategy. It knew the potential. Here’s the potential expressed in a few simple statistics: As we’ve heard many times, 95 percent of the world’s consumers now live outside the U.S. By 2030, just 16 years from now, the number of people considered middle class are projected to triple. By all accounts, many of these consumers and the businesses they own and manage will shop online. That’s going to give them access to an unparalleled range of goods and services from every corner of the globe. Here’s one more thing to keep in mind: According to the Small Business Administration, companies participating in international trade are 20 percent more productive and have 20 percent better job growth than those that don’t. But not all companies have the same foresight Medelita did. Today, less than 1 percent of U.S. businesses export – and of those, nearly 60 percent ship to just one country. Sixty-seven percent of small- and mid-sized companies do not participate in any cross-border trade.”

I attended the speech alongside Medelita President, Jamie Beuthin, and we were both extremely honored to have the opportunity to share our story. We were especially grateful to speak with Mr. Barber, and continue to be thankful to our regional UPS representatives Cassandra Osbeck, Ron Nesland, and Robert Wypyski.  We look forward to working with everyone at UPS making the most out of a relationship with a partner that truly understands what we’re trying to do.

 

jamie and dan ups

Medelita President, Jamie Beuthin and Chief Marketing Officer, Dan Stepchew at the Discover Global Markets Business Forum – Los Angeles, June 2014.

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A Father’s Day Gift Fit For A Doctor

Let’s be honest – Father’s Day is a bit of an anomaly, even to those that celebrate it (not surprisingly, many countries have formally chosen to recognize it).  In the U.S., a typical Mother’s Day celebration might include a brunch with the family, complete with some flowers and maybe a nice gesture or two (think something chocolate).  Father’s Day, however, seems to be more of a gift holiday.  While I’m sure many will inevitably fire up the grill for a traditional barbecue, I can’t help but picture this in my head every time I think of the typical scene around Father’s Day:

All humor aside, ties are definitely important to dad – especially if he’s a professional and is required to dress as such on a daily basis.  If you’ve picked a nice tie, I can’t imagine a better gift for Father’s Day.  That is, unless you’re purchasing a gift for a doctor.

Drop the tie, pick up the bag

While many of our colleagues in medicine wear ties, there is an increasing trend away from wearing ties during shifts since there is always the risk of the tie “getting in the way” of hands-on treatment and possibly even spreading infection.

That’s why we’ve decided to offer some considerable savings on leather physician bags over this Father’s Day.  The bags that we sell come from a rising star in the world of leather brands called Boconi, and they are the ultimate Father’s Day gift for the Dr. Dad in your family.  Rather than showing up the next day in a crazy new tie, outfit him with some real style and functionality that he’s going to love.  Check out all the bags here: http://www.medelita.com/mens-leather-bags.html

physician-bags

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Why You Should Wear a Lab Coat

When I was young I can remember running science experiments on random household items (much to my mother’s dismay), determining which of my action figures would fit into the vacuum cleaner, what sound did light bulbs make when compressed in a trash compactor,  or what happened when you took a Hypercolor t-shirt in the microwave (note: it turned pink).  Today, unfortunately, dramatic home lab tests are a rarity in my life – which is why I was so pleased to see that our friend Dr. Suleman Bhana (co-host of The Rheumatology Podcast – http://therheumatologypodcast.com/) had the time to run some personal experiments of his own that reminded me of the good old days.

Using a USB “microscope,” as he describes it, Dr. Suleman ran some tests on his Medelita lab coat and compared them to the same tests on his t-shirt, increasing magnification on each until he could see a noticeable difference in the fabric:

You’ll see that regular t-shirt is seriously no match up against the protectiveness of our lab coat fabric, which is made up of a 100% cotton dobby weave and finished with Advanced Dual Action Teflon® fabric protector. Dr. Suleman concluded, “Regular T-shirts are not good as armor against chemistry and other such things.” While we don’t boast that our lab coats are anything like “armor” in the traditional sense, it’s nonetheless a highlight for us to see that even under a microscope you can tell that the fabric we use is something special.

Many thanks to Dr. Suleman and his curious nature! Follow him at @SiMBa37 on Twitter or check out his fantastic podcast at @TheRheumPodcast, therheumatologypodcast.com.

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A World For Girls

We’re surprised every day by our colleagues working in medicine and their commitment to important causes that save and improve the lives of others.  It’s rare, however, that we’re this overcome with pride and excitement by a colleague that has and is truly making a difference in the precious lives of those who need it most.

When we awarded Dr. Kanani Titchen a $25,000 honorarium last month, our only goal with the money was to make the life of one truly exceptional medical resident easier by providing them a means to reduce their sizable debt burden.  This wasn’t a requirement, however, and Dr. Titchen had the freedom to do what she pleased with the money.  To our humble surprise, she donated a significant portion of her award toward several organizations leading in the fight against child sex trafficking.

In light of recent events that have spawned a new discussion about gender differences in the U.S. and their attitudes toward each other, Kanani’s most recent donation to GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services) is especially appropriate. This morning we received the following letter from GEMS Founder and CEO, Rachel Lloyd:

gems letter

If you’re not familiar with GEMS and it’s mission, read up on it here.  It’s an organization that was formed, “in response to an overwhelming need for services for girls and young women at risk for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking who were being ignored by traditional social service agencies.”  Its ultimate mission is “to empower girls and young women, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential.”

As Kanani has told us, child sex trafficking is not isolated to remote, unpoliced regions of the world but is happening every day in U.S. cities and across America in astonishing numbers (100,000 – 300,000 children are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation annually in the U.S.) .  We recognize and fully support the need to put an end to this practice everywhere, and feel very strongly that it won’t end everywhere until we can put a stop to it in our own community first.

gems

Please learn more about GEMS by visiting http://www.gems-girls.org/ and follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/girlsarenotforsale or on Twitter: https://twitter.com/gemsgirls

We are especially proud of Kanani and look forward to working with her to promote this important mission.

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