An emergency medical technician and certified nursing assistant, Tamieka Simmonds took a chance when she invested in the distribution of healthcare apparel and supplies, and hasn’t looked back since.
“I used to work at a medical company that sold implants and machinery for the heart. People kept asking, ‘Do you have any scrub suits?’ At that time, the boss didn’t want to carry any,” Simmonds told The Gleaner. That had shelved the suggestion. It was only after Simmonds had lost her job that she decided to revisit the idea and take a leap of faith, launching Health Care Apparel.
“During the pandemic, I found out that I was three months pregnant. I had lost both my job and my apartment. The father of my children basically left the relationship and I had to live with my sister. I went through a serious state of depression,” she explained.
Once the word got out there and persons started calling, she began supplying. “I get my supplies from the United States; I’m working on getting more suppliers from China,” Simmonds said. She counts hospitals as her best customers. “My biggest supporters I would say are all the hospitals, in particular hospitals in Spanish Town, St Ann’s Bay, May Pen, Mandeville and Kingston – Kingston Public Hospital, Victoria Jubilee, Bustamante Hospital for Children, as well as Winchester Medical and Wellness,” she shared.
Health Care Apparel prides itself on facilitating fittings and the mixing and matching of sizes; for example, if you desire a medium top and large bottom.
As she continues to find ways to grow her offerings and her business, Simmonds says the biggest takeaway she hopes that others will take from her experience is that in the midst of adversity, never give up. Just when she thought there was no hope, she had two beautiful reasons smiling back at her. And she persevered, in spite of all the challenges. Additionally, when one door slams in your face, find that window of opportunity and open it to the possibility of success.