Why I created my own scrubs brand: The Sankofa Medical Scrubs story
Medical professionals will typically wear plain colored scrubs, such as green, white, blue, purple, or black. These styles are uninspiring fashion-wise and to some, they can give off a gloomy feeling.
That, and the lack of African-inspired medical wear available, is what inspired me to create Sankofa Medical Scrubs. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, my brand’s aim is to add more flavor to the world of scrubs and to empower black health professionals to express their culture and boost their confidence through African prints.
As a medical professional myself, I want to demonstrate that I am inclined to do more than just what the profession demands and take that opportunity to promote African art.
My affinity for head wraps and headbands is really what first sparked my idea to create Sankofa Medical Scrubs. I always try to wear a head wrap to add spice to what I wear to work. I find it adds more life to my hairstyles, more flair to my outfits, and as an added bonus, can even cover up the occasional “bad hair day.” For this reason, whenever I would go shopping for head pieces, I would always consider my scrubs. I always tried to get head wraps that would match the blue set and my white coat.
However, the search for new and interesting matching head wraps became exhausting and I decided to seek the help of the worldwide web to save me some stress. I went on Google and searched for “African print scrubs with matching head wraps,” and to my surprise, there were not many options. There were hundreds of various other prints and patterns but none were African. I was expecting that I would at least find a few—that is when I figured I had to do something about it.
After my little encounter with Google, I made the mental decision to come forth with my own line of Afrocentric medical scrubs with matching head wear. I carried the idea in my head and planned for about two years before I began putting it out into the community. Sankofa Medical Scrubs was officially founded in August 2018. That said, what was done was mostly behind the scenes work. The brand primarily had interactions on its social media pages and anticipation for the launch was building. About five months after founding the brand, I finally revealed the scrubs on social media (ready for pre-order) on February 1, 2019. The Kente print scrubs and the matching surgical cap and headband were the inaugural items. I officially started shipping out orders at the beginning of March.
Sankofa Medical Scrubs’ ultimate goal is to become the purveyor of a wide variety of attire for black healthcare professionals inspired by African prints and patterns. So far, my work has encouraged customers to be more confident about what they wear and express their culture at work. It has also inspired people to create innovations beyond their profession’s daily tasks and take daring steps to ensure that their projects come to life. I am delighted to say that since the brand started, it has grown significantly and the products have even sold out on many occasions.
Going forward, I hope to create more to help express black culture not just through clothes but in other untapped ways. I hope to reach a larger number of minorities in the healthcare profession and spread the ability to express themselves. Life is too short to wear boring scrubs.