Reyna Chavez was working in the Emergency Room at VCMC.
by Jill Forman
2016 Business of the Year, Women’s Economic Ventures.
2015 Latino Business Award, Small Business Category, Pacific Coast Business Times.
These accolades were won by an Oxnard native with no business experience, who had never even thought of owning her own company until 2011.
Reyna Chavez was working in the Emergency Room at VCMC as Clerical Supervisor, and needed uniforms. With a growing family and a full-time job, she had little time to shop; with $200 in her pocket she tried local stores but couldn’t find good quality at a reasonable price.
One day she drove back to her office and had a brainstorm: many local professionals must have the same problem. Aha, she thought, someone could go out to the clinics, and have mobile uniform sales for the staff. And she knew just the person to do it.
She called her husband, “I’m opening a business.” She didn’t have capital or a business plan, but did have excellent credit, and started in January 2012. Every month she took a vacation day and went to different clinics, loading bins of uniforms and folding racks into her SUV. She continually needed to bring more, as people asked for specific items and the inventory kept growing.
One day she was driving past an existing scrub store near the Ventura hospitals and saw a “Store Closing” sign. She called the owner, bought all her fixtures and subsequently rented the location. In September of 2012 she opened “Scrubs on the Run.” Her biggest goal is “to work with the community:” clinics, schools, any local organization needing uniforms.
A year later, she needed more capital. Traditional banks wouldn’t loan to her, so she turned to Women’s Economic Ventures(WEV), a nonprofit which gives loans to small businesses and helps with professional consultations.
Four years after opening Reyna won the WEV award and spoke at a ceremony with 300 people. She has been interviewed on the radio as a local success story.
And speaking of success, she is expanding. A second location, in Thousand Oaks, is opening with an anticipated date in October.
The store is bright and colorful, with so many choices it’s helpful to have experienced salespeople to. On a recent afternoon, a very tall gentleman comes in, “Do you have anything for me?” A woman says, “I want something in every color.” Another woman is looking for something in OR green that is comfortable and “not unisex,” since she is in surgery all day and tired of in ill-filling scrubs. Everybody found what they wanted.
Scrubs on the Run
2542 East Main Street