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Care+Wear’s Razdan Bold Enough to Bridge Fashion and Function in an Effort to Rehumanize the Healthcare Experience

I had the pleasure of interviewing Chaitenya Razdan is the Founder and CEO of Care+Wear, a leading provider of innovative healthwear focused on creating positive and effective healing experiences for people everywhere. The son of a doctor, Razdan created Care+Wear to dedicate himself to improving people’s lives. Having recognized the growing need to bring innovation and design to the healthcare industry, Razdan is best known for working in partnership with leading hospitals, patients, and clinicians to create Care+Wear’s clothing and accessories.

Previously, Razdan was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs as well as a strategy consultant at A.T. Kearney. He was named one of Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2015 and a 2018 Rising Star in Healthcare by Becker’s Healthcare Review. Razdan is a proud University of Virginia graduate with an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is an active alumnus, serving on the reunion committees for both schools and on alumni boards for the University of Virginia.

Thank you so much for joining us!

What motivated you to launch your startup?

I founded Care+Wear in 2014 after friends and family who had been diagnosed with cancer were told to wear cut-up tube socks to protect their PICC lines: a semi-permanent IV connected to your upper arm. No other alternative existed — I thought to myself “there has to be something better than this: something more humanizing.” And thus my journey began. I collaborated with nurses, doctors, and patients to create our first product: an ultra-soft, antimicrobial, breathable, and machine-washable PICC Line Cover.

Healthcare companies, and the healthcare experience generally, have historically focused on product functionality. At Care+Wear, we are bridging fashion and function to change how the world looks at and feels about healthcare.

What is it that excites you about what you’re building?

The opportunity to make an impact — to restore dignity, comfort, and style to the healthcare experience for patients and clinicians alike, whether in or out of the hospital. We have collaborated with some incredible people to develop our growing suite of products, which now includes: chest port access shirts, arm shower covers, post-surgical reconstructive bras, and more. We’ve partnered with Oscar de la Renta, March of Dimes, and the Parsons School of Design, and most recently worked with The Natori Company to launch the Care+Wear x N Natori Scrubs Collection and our new arm access shirts.

I’ve learned that collaborating with people that are experts in their respective fields is key to developing a top-notch product. That’s what led us to the development of our proprietary, three-pronged design approach: by bringing together clinicians, patients, and designers, we are creating medically superior products that are both attractive to end-users and incorporate cutting-edge trends and technologies. That’s what truly sets us apart.

What has been your biggest challenge when growing your startup?

Driving brand awareness at the scale I initially expected. As a Founder, I always strive for the next big thing and am a believer in the common startup refrain “move fast and break stuff.” As a Founder, you want everything to happen overnight — the realization that good, impactful work takes a long time and a lot of collaborative effort was one that I didn’t latch onto immediately.

I’ve pivoted more toward an “it takes a village” mentality. You need a strong village: to build, to grow, to achieve community. I’ve learned to have patience and actively listen to our team, our customers, and other industry experts.

What are your future plans for your startup?

Our ultimate goal is to help each and every person inside and outside of the hospital feel more like a themself. We’ve made incredible progress in helping patients, clinicians, and more. In 2020, we had the opportunity to deliver over 15 million units of PPE to hospital systems across the country. We’re excited to continue to help people feel more like themselves as they undergo difficult healthcare experiences and challenges.

If you had to share, “words of wisdom,” with a Founder who’s about to start their own startup, what would they be?

You don’t know the outcome if you don’t ask. Spend the extra 5 minutes to reach out to someone and see if they would be interested in what you’re offering. So many people are scared of conducting cold outreach, but it’s something I still do today. When I started the company, I cold called over 1,000 clinicians and patients to get their thoughts on what I was building. And it paid off! Over the years, many of our partnerships, press opportunities, and sales have come from cold outreach. You are your own best advocate — if you aren’t willing to try and drive awareness, why should you expect anyone else to!? So don’t be afraid to reach out to people and put yourself out there.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can find us on LinkedIn, and on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @careandwear. We’re constantly posting exciting new content about product developments and the importance of humanizing the healthcare experience — please give us a follow!

This was very insightful. Thank you so much for joining us!

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