Linh Nguyen & Van Nguyen, Founders, Scrub Lab
When an unwavering passion and ceaseless commitment join forces, the path to achieving success becomes less arduous. However, vivifying these traits takes resilience, diligence, and strong determination. These qualities when merged with the ability to turn a vision into reality, great things happen. The inspiring journey of the sisterly duo, Linh Nguyen and Van Nguyen who are creating ripples in the entrepreneurial world as cofounders of Scrub Lab is a perfect illustration of that.
It all started when Van pitched the idea of her designing some scrub to Linh. Being a full-time emergency nurse herself, Van always sensed a lack of quality and comfort in the scrubs available in Australia. She needed some premium scrubs that she could wear to work every day. So, she approached Linh who had a flair for design and fashion. The sister duo then drew up some designs, purchased some fabric from the local textiles store, and asked their experienced seamstress mother to help them make the first prototype. When Van wore her new and improved scrubs, she was flooded with compliments and questions that where she got them from. So, Nguyen sisters then decided to design such high-functioning and fashionable scrubs for doctors and nurses nationwide. And, thus, what started as a simple fun afternoon activity quickly evolved into a serious mission to create the most innovative, functional, stylish, and optimally performing apparel for healthcare professionals. This ultimately led to the inception of Scrub Lab, a pioneering premium medical apparel designing company in Australia.
“At Scrub Lab, we believe that when you look good, you’ll feel good and ultimately will be motivated to perform your best. Our garments seek to inspire and empower the healthcare professionals who dedicate their lives to bringing comfort to others,” opines Van.
Delivering Exceptionally Comfortable and Aesthetically Pleasing Scrubs
Scrub Lab uses its very own SL Tech fabric across all its scrubs, therefore, adhering to four main functions of its fabric – Antimicrobial Finished, Wrinkle resistance, Four-way stretch, and Ultra soft. The company not only focuses on just creating exceptionally comfortable scrubs with maximum durability but also incorporates a modern design to make them look aesthetically pleasing.
“Here, at Scrub Lab, we genuinely care about what we are delivering to our customers and won’t compromise on quality. We are constantly searching for the highest grade textile to ensure we stand at the forefront of the industry. We also make sure our designs are fitting, flattering, and functional for our customers. We invest a lot in taking the time to understand our customers’ needs, and ensure we deliver our products to their requirements,” affirms Linh.
The Stumbling Blocks along the Journey
Over a short span of time, Scrub Lab has been able to attain a unique edge in the market with its exceptional design, first-class customer service and no hassle returns policy. However, like every success story, its journey to success was not without challenges. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company had to face several obstacles from the Melbourne lock-down that went on for 6 months (on and off), through to the delays on the ports which adversely impacted its ability to fulfill stock orders.
Besides this, initially, with the business so new, Linh and Van also had problems with ordering the correct amount of stock as they had no collective data to determine the demand for each item. They were creating too much of items that weren’t selling as much while the other required items were often out of stock. But today, they are getting better at it as they invested their time to understand their audiences, and what their requests are.
Appreciating One Another’s Strengths
Linh was working in a senior Corporate Insurance Broking role for a couple of years before resigning in her position to be an at-home Mum to her now 2.5year old boy. Before Scrub Lab, Van was also working in a bank while studying for her nursing qualification. Today, the sister duo is successfully spearheading the operations at Scrub Lab as Managing Director and Co-founders. While working alongside at Scrub Lab, Van is continuing her role as a registered nurse at Western Health Hospital in Melbourne.
Working together as sisters and business partners, the duo had their own values and beliefs. But the siblings successfully managed to sort out every disagreement with an open mind, honest conversation, and a greater appreciation for each other’s strengths, tendencies, and personality traits.
“We are both strong leaders in our own way, quite yin, and yang, to be honest. Every disagreement is worked around by negotiating and compromising with each other. While we are family, we also have own sets of value and beliefs. Be willing to hear feedback, consider alternative solutions to problems, and understand and accept you aren’t always right,” states Linh.
Pivotal Values that Crafted Success
Every leader has their own set of core values, beliefs, and principles that set them apart from others. For Linh and Van, these elements are integrity and honesty, respect, passion, and the commitment to giving back to the community. The entrepreneur duo believes in being genuine and doing the right thing at all times while showing respect and admiration to those around them. “We grew up in a family that taught us to always be real and authentic in all our actions, so these traits have been embedded in us. Therefore, within running Scrub Lab, we are always transparent with our customers. We give honest advice and act in their interests. At Scrub Lab we show and earn respect by understanding the rights, wishes, and feelings of others,” adds Van.
The passionate duo strives to incorporate an empowering culture at Scrub Lab where everyone is genuinely passionate about the work they do and the service they provide to the customers. As socially responsible entrepreneurs, they also look for different initiatives to foster their community involvement at Scrub Lab. So far, they have donated proceeds from their scrub to the Breast Cancer Network Australia, and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and are continuously working on a sustainable range of scrub.
Envisioning a Future of Continual Growth
Forging towards the future, the business leaders aim to expand the reach of their scrub to as many healthcare professionals as possible, as they all deserve to look good and feel good. Meanwhile, they also aspire to polish up their leadership skills to lead the team for an expansion of Scrub Lab into the Asia-pacific region. Reflecting upon the lessons learned during their entrepreneurial journey, Linh advises the budding entrepreneurs to celebrate every small achievement and think big from the beginning.
“If you’re going to start a business, you need to do it in a proper manner, not a half-in half-out attitude. If you want your business to be a multi-million one, you need to act like a multi-million dollar business. Ensure that you have a great website, a proper email address (not a Gmail one), and invest in marketing,” asserts Linh on a concluding note.