It’s Day 2 of Small Business Week and we are celebrating by sharing the story of a small business owner each day. Meet Nancy Hart, breast cancer survivor, author and founder of Patient Scrubs in Tennessee. Nancy has been giving patients back their dignity for nearly 10 years through her innovative hospital clothing.
It all started in 2003 when her husband, a retired Florida highway patrolman and sheriff’s deputy, went into surgery. She quickly realized that the hospital clothing provided to her husband didn’t allow for decency, so she hand-stitched an outfit that provided decency and allowed hospital staff easy access to provide the care for her husband.
Sadly, 7 months later he passed away at age 59.
“I watched him sitting in the hospital, and thought ‘If he can fight so much to help us, I need to help others too.’ So I took the life insurance and started the corporation.”
The garments, which come as combination of a shirt and pair of shorts or pants, include slots for a variety of medical equipment. Plastic snaps allow the tops and bottoms to be put on or taken off without pulling them over the patient’s head or off the patient’s feet. This is incredibly useful when caregivers can’t lift a patient or when a patient can’t stand up. Caregivers can simply roll a patient over and dress the patient by snapping the buttons together. Today, Patient Scrubs has clothing lines for cardiac, chiropractic, orthopedic, breast cancer and children.
Having spent many years as a housewife, Nancy never dreamed of owning a business. She relied heavily on the support and mentoring of many individuals around her.
“I would never have gotten this far without the help and support of others,” Nancy says.
One would think Patient Scrubs’ biggest fans would be the patients that use its products. But some of Nancy’s biggest supporters are the very same hospital staff members who interact with these patients. In fact, two of Nancy’s biggest mentors are Dr. Jim Briles, who wrote the foreword for her new book, A Prescription for Dignity, and Dr. Harold Tabaie. Both worked on Nancy’s husband during his surgery.
Nancy’s reliance on the help and support of others is common among small business owners. A recent survey by The UPS Store found that nearly half of small business owners relied on others for support and mentorship when they were starting their business. And more than half would pay it forward, reporting that they would consider mentoring someone else interested in starting a business.
“My advice to other small business owners: If you know how to do it, do it. If you don’t, find someone who does,” Nancy says.
When it comes to printing, packing, shipping, faxing and more, Nancy turns to Mary Ellen Nichols and her staff at The UPS Store #4603 in Kingsport, TN. The store has supported Nancy since the time she first moved to Tennessee, when they provided a mailbox while her home underwent significant renovations.
So what’s next for Patient Scrubs? “I envision it exploding,” Nancy says. “My book, A Prescription for Dignity, launches with book signings starting July 1 in the Tri-Cities area of Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina.”
For more information on Patient Scrubs, visit www.patientscrubs.com.
|Tags:||National Small Business Week, Patient Scrubs, shipping, small business, The UPS Store franchise|