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Forbes Features Medelita As A "Niche Brand Retail King"

Medelita was recently named a "Niche Brand Retail King" on Forbes in an article featuring groundbreaking startup brands who have successfully gone against the grain by breathing new life into the medical uniform industry, a category of apparel which our founders felt had been neglected for far too long. 

FORBESEntrepreneurs across various industries are capitalizing on similar types of opportunities. I sat down with fellow niche brand owner Joe Francisco, CEO of Southern California start-up Medelita, at his embroidery studio to discuss how the company is disrupting the $10-$20B medical apparel industry.

Medical professional Lara Francisco, PA-C, who also happens to be Joe’s wife, identified a need for high-end, form-fitting and gender-specific medical uniforms. Together, Lara and Joe decided to build a business that would cater to this unserved market. In 2008 they launched Medelita, the first elite medical apparel alternative for discerning consumers who value well-made products and professional appearance. Medelita has shifted the paradigm in medical uniforms and is now growing market share at the institutional level.

Francisco is feeling optimistic. “The opportunities for growth are everywhere, and the level of investment in e-commerce has gone mainstream,” he tells me.“We’re seeing some valuations that are in the same stratosphere as the dot-com era, but with far more traction and much less risk involved.”

Over the din of embroidery machines, Joe explains, “We specify everything that goes into our products, right down to the thread, and that level of control extends into the entire supply chain and beyond. We’re not competing for the lowest price against large competitors who design and manufacture their products like another office product that ships with a stapler and some pens.”

Written by Tony DiCostanzo, see the full article on