Nima Apparel is a Vancouver business that designs and produces scrubs for healthcare workers. Recently we spoke with owner Nicole Ling to learn more about what they do.
What is your business called and what does it do?
My business is called Nima Apparel, and we make scrubs for healthcare workers. All of our products are locally made in Vancouver and are sold online on our website.
What made you want to do this work? What problem did you want to solve with the business?
Marissa (my wife and a registered nurse) wanted new, better-looking scrubs for work, but she couldn’t find any at the time. We shopped for months, and after we still couldn’t find anything she liked, we decided to design and make our own.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Mainly healthcare workers and anyone who wears scrubs to work.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
“Why should I buy your expensive scrubs?”
There are many features that went into the design of our scrubs that really set them apart. Having a nurse involved in the design process is an incredible advantage. For instance, Marissa knew she didn’t want v-neck shirts. Moving around all day at work as a bedside nurse, Marissa experienced the collars of v-neck scrub shirts hanging down, making it possible for patients and others to see down her shirt. That’s why we make crewnecks. Our shirts also have long hemlines, so the bottom of your shirt keeps you covered as well, as you move and bend throughout your shift. Other design elements are more flattering cuts for both our shirts and pants and deep, useful pockets on all of our pieces. Not to mention the beautiful colours we offer.
We’re aware that our scrubs are more expensive, and this is because we pay Canadian wages to the people who are involved in making them – the sample and pattern makers, the label makers, the workers who cut and sew all of our pieces. When you purchase our scrubs, you’re not only supporting us as a new, small business, but you’re supporting an entire small business ecosystem in Vancouver. Yes, our scrubs are expensive, but when compared to other clothing products that are also made in Canada, our prices are significantly lower.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The best part is the creativity and freedom it allows us. We get to do what we want, how we want to do it. The worst part is funding/financing. That’s the toughest part for sure.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
“I quit my 9-5 job to start my own business… now I work 24/7”
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?
J&S Reclaimed Wood. They are a Vancouver business and they make beautiful furniture.