Scrubs to the Rescue: outfitting healthcare workers in style
Tennille Johnson, CEO of Scrubs to the Rescue

This month’s Black Business Spotlight turns its attention to Scrubs to the Rescue (8000 S. Gessner Rd., Ste. 500, Houston, TX 77036), a Black woman-owned business founded in 2019 by three sisters working in the healthcare profession.

These Black women combined their passion for fashion with their healthcare industry J-O-Bs and started a business to give back to their professional community.

Since that founding, Dr. Tennille Johnson bought out the other two co-founders to become the sole owner of Scrubs to the Rescue, a business model that was founded because Johnson and crew realized how hard it was for healthcare professionals to find time to shop for essentials like uniforms before the COVID pandemic and even more so during the pandemic. Scrubs to the Rescue solved that problem by bringing the scrubs, etc. their customers.

Tennille Johnson, CEO of Scrubs to the Rescue with Jamie Dimon, CEO JP Morgan Chase. Photo by Aswad Walker

Johnson receives the benefit of JP Morgan Chase’s commitment to helping businesses in majority Black and Latinx communities.

Robert Hines, the South Region Area Manager for Chase, the person responsible for setting up Black and Latinx business owners with a business mentor and other support services, says Chase is committed to making sure their small business owner partners are equipped with all the capital they need.

“When you think of capital, there are three buckets,” said Hines. “There’s intellectual capital which is what a business owner needs to know. Then you have the social capital. That’s who they need to know. That’s building a team of trusted advisors to help them through this process. And then you get to the monetary capital. Those are the dollars that are going to help them execute their goal. And the cool thing about this particular program is that we get to offer all of that to business owners whether they’re with us or not.”

The healthcare industry is one of the few sectors where people still wear uniforms and 90% of these medical professionals have to purchase their own. Johnson and her business seek to help professionals not only show up to the job in uniform, but to look and feel good while working.

The Defender sat down with Johnson to learn more about the past, present and future of Scrubs to the Rescue.

DEFENDER: What is Scrubs to the Rescue?

TENNILLE JOHNSON: We are a trendy retailer of medical uniforms here in Houston, created by healthcare professionals, myself, for healthcare professionals.

DEFENDER: Where did this idea for your business come from?

JOHNSON: So, I’m originally just a fashionista, normally. So, when I started to see that scrubs were developing and becoming a fashion trend, I really wanted to have an impact on that. I wanna make sure my healthcare professionals look good because when you go to work and you look good, you feel good, you just perform a lot better. So, to be a part of that, contributing to other healthcare professionals, that’s kind of like how it started. And then it just flourished from there and it’s just been a really good business opportunity for me.

DEFENDER: Are you still a healthcare professional and entrepreneur?

JOHNSON: Exactly. I’m still a pharmacist, and I do the business full-time now. I pretty much just do PRN (Latin Pro re nata; “as the circumstance arises) as needed pharmacy work, but I work my business full-time.

DEFENDER: It’s one thing to have an idea for a business, but it’s another thing to actually make it happen and make it successful. What did you do to make Scrubs to the Rescue successful?

JOHNSON: I’ve always wanted to have something, like some type of residual income, something flexible. I love flexibility. I’ve always been in management with my career because of that. I didn’t wanna just keep doing the same thing every day. We actually have a retail location now, but we started off mobile because it was a need. Like in my healthcare profession, you couldn’t find anybody who would come out and do sales for uniforms. So, we started off that way and then it just kind of flourished from there.

DEFENDER: How’s it going now that you are the sole owner after buying out the other co-owners earlier this year?

JOHNSON: It’s going great. So, one of the things I really wanted to do is infuse technology and innovation. So, we have a scrub subscription, which is really doing well and is probably one of the only ones in this uniform industry. And then we’re planning on infusing some more technology in the future, like virtual fitting rooms, so that if you don’t wanna come into the store, you still have an avenue to select the right uniform that’s gonna meet all your needs.

DEFENDER: Any advice for young entrepreneurs, specifically little Black girls who want to go into business or who aren’t even thinking about going into business?

JOHNSON: I would say if it’s something that you’re good at, something you’re passionate about, look at the bigger picture. It’s always more than one way to do things. Business ownership may not be for everybody, but there are so many opportunities just here in the US. Don’t limit yourself to just what everybody else is doing. Think outside the box. Ask a lot of questions. Business ownership could be for you, and it’s quite possible, especially with all the support. Especially in Houston, Texas, with all the support that is provided for anyone who wants to do anything, whether it’s to start your own business or whether it’s to be the best at whatever you decide you wanna do. So just don’t give up and don’t limit yourself.



Instagram, Facebook & LinkedIn: Scrubs2theRescue

Address: 8000 S. Gessner Rd., Ste 500, Houston, TX 77036

Hometown: The Windy City, Chicago, Illinois

Education: Texas Southern University’s College of Pharmacy

One Thing Houston Has Over Chicago: I came down here to attend one of the top pharmacy schools in the country and then I just never left. I love the weather and I didn’t understand how I survived so long in the cold. <laughs>

Aswad Walker

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...