Medical apparel brand 21 Scrubs has been named Champion Specialised Small Business at the inaugural Australian Women’s Small Business Champion Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony, held on 12 November at The Star Sydney.

Established by fashion entrepreneur Rebecca Lau Marsh and Bondi Vet TV twin vets Drs Audrey and Alison Shen, 21 Scrubs sought to reinvent the uniform for medical professionals, merging fashion with medicine. Despite launching in mid-2021 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the brand has managed to achieve significant growth since.

“We are so thrilled to have won the award for our little business that we started mid-pandemic”, the Shen sisters said. “We started this business as were both sick of wearing ill-fitting, unflattering and uncomfortable scrubs day in and day out, especially with the long hours we worked at the height of the pandemic.”

21 Scrubs’ designs are hailed for being comfortable and flattering while also liquid- and hair-repellant. The scrubs utilise a unique fabric that not only is suited for the medical industry and related fields such as veterinary medicine and dentistry but also for industries such as in cosmetics, beauty, and hairdressing.

“We love bringing a touch of style and fun to healthcare workers’ everyday uniforms,” the Marsh said. “We all know the power of looking good, feeling good so it’s great to be able to make a difference to their daily work lives. The brand’s best selling item is the 21 Jumpsuit which has been worn by veterinarians, beauticians, paediatricians and dentists in Australia and in the United States.”

The three co-founders have achieved success with their start-up despite having to juggle full-time jobs and motherhood. They say that recognising each other’s strengths, constantly communicating and compromising are vital to their business success.

“We were able to make this business grow quicker as a team than if we were to do it on our own,” the Shen sisters explained. “We each have our own strengths and weaknesses and recognising that is key to allocating our tasks and responsibilities.”

21 Scrubs