By guest blogger Janet Navarro. koi’s International Sales & Service Specialist

“I am so intrigued as to why koi chose this Latin American country to invest their time and resources in? I am just so curious as to why out of all of your options you chose to cater to your clients in this unique way, I’ve never heard of another brand do something of this sort! I get store visits every once in a while, but this!” – Uniformania, Nicaragua

Just a few weeks ago, I sat in Costa Rica, meeting one-on-one with participating retailers from all over Latin America: Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico and of course Costa Rica (to name a few).

I have been distributing koi uniforms internationally for almost 4 years now. In such a short time, I have learned that koi is a team of pioneers and trendsetters! But these retailers don’t fall short of that either. They are the reason why we invested our energy and time to grow with them not just on a business level but a real solid relationship.

I mean look at them!

I am not one of brevity, but it’s always so simple to me when people are genuinely surprised at some of those outside-the-box things that koi does. koi is special because of the time and details that goes into our processes – not just our uniforms!

Why not? We all work 24/7 when we own our own business or have a dream- that’s what makes it a reality, right? Hard work also means you deserve a break! So, why not spend the day visiting a beautiful waterfall and majestic animals with those that share the same vision!

Pictured above: Front Row: Adolfo Vargas and Gaby Castro (Gabter’s – Mexico), Tour Guide: Carolina Mendez, Patricia Tuti, Rito Baez ( Uniformes Medicos CR – Costa Rica ) Back Row: Adriana Santos and Blanca Santos (Magic Uniforms – Puerto Rico), Nelson Medrano koi Inventory Analyst @ La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Alajuela Province; Costa Rica.

Largest Butterfly Exhibit @ La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Alajuela Province; Costa Rica. Pictured: Kathy Peterson (koi Creator and Designer), Maria Elena Bernal and Felipe Aco ( Mafel – Mexico).

Costa Rican Traditional Ox Cart. Pictured: Lorena Araya Alfaro, Martha Mejias Alfaro (Tienda del Paraiso – Costa Rica) and Patricia Tuti, Rito Baez ( Uniformes Medicos CR – Costa Rica ) @ La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Alajuela Province; Costa Rica.

Pictured: Lidys Ospino and Efrain Alfonso Cala ( Inversiones Ospino – Colombia) @ La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Alajuela Province; Costa Rica.

Pictured: Blanca Santos ( Magic Uniforms –Puerto Rico ), Janet Navarro (me! – koi International Sales & Service Specialist), Marielos Blanca Aguilar and Maria de Socorro Sanchez (Uniformania – Nicaragua) @ La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Alajuela Province; Costa Rica.

This was our first (and most packed) day – we spent our first day venturing to an amazing place. We had to rush it a bit but it was so worth it! I think it’s safe to say this was the highlight of our trip, not only because we were able to see such wonders of Costa Rica – but the fact that koi staff and retailers were able to share this experience together.

Right when we reached our bus after a day and lunch gathering in this natural escape, the storm hit!

The next thunderbolt strike would be the fury of our fashion show! We all got back to our hotel and got fancy for a koi Fashion Show featuring our new Fall 2018 collection!

Pictured: Costa Rica’s own koi Models, Green Blazer: Crisitina Zamora and Black Dress: Amanda Pacheco of Alfazeta Uniformes – Costa Rica.

And of course, after a successful fashion show is the after party. I have to mention, the models were so comfortable they didn’t even remove the koi uniforms and literally danced the night away all night! Barely even broke a sweat – that moisture wicking I tell ya’!

Pictured: (not me! )– Janet Navarro koi Int’l Sales & Service, Monica Quesada – koi Model in her scrubs DANCING! , and Cristina Zamora (Alfazeta Uniformes – Costa Rica).

Pictured: Amanda Pacheco (Alfazeta Uniformes – Costa Rica) and the rest of the party goers!

Pictured: Self Named “Latinas en Scrubs” alliance/BFFs/support System created here! Maria de Socorro Sanchez, Marielos Blanca Aguilar (Uniformania – Nicaragua), Adriana Santos and Blanca Santos (Magic Uniforms – Puerto Rico), and Cristina Zamora (Alfazeta Uniformes – Costa Rica).

And don’t tell Kathy, but I caught her! If anyone knows Kathy, our designer/owner/creator/trendsetter in charge is pretty shy…. But I failed to warn her, if you’re anywhere near the dance floor – you WILL be grabbed to dance!

I mean, what can I say? Every relationship has its moments. But our first international koi regional event was truly a success in so many ways and it’s definitely going to be a highlight to those retailers that participated. For those that wanted to be there, we sure did miss you! But don’t worry, koi is always designing happiness!


If you’re a petite woman (under 5’ 3” or so), you know what a challenge it can be finding the right size scrubs. Sometime the tops are too long. Or the pants drag on the floor. Or the proportions are all wrong.

Here are some tips to help you find the best scrubs for you.

  1. Try before you buy.

Many local uniform retailers carry a variety of petite styles you can try on. Sizing and fit vary by brand so the best way to ensure a proper fit is to try on different brands to see what works best for you. If your local uniform shop doesn’t carry petite scrubs, encourage them to do so. Most uniform shops will be willing to put in a special order for you.

If you prefer shopping online, popular brands for petite scrubs include Barco, Dickies, Cherokee, Wonderwink and koi for discriminating customers.

  1. Look for brands that offer Petite and Extra Petite inseams.

Pants the wrong length can be a tripping hazard. Typically, regular pants inseams are around 31”. For a petite nurse, this means hemming the pants or having them drag on the floor. So seek out pants with petite (P) inseams (typically 29”). Some brands like koi even offer select styles with extra petite (XP) inseams (27”). koi also offers many styles in XS and XXS.

  1. Pay attention to hemlines.

Some pants styles just work better for petite women. For example, koi offers a number of pants styles (such as the koi classics Lindsey pants or the koi Lite Spirit pants) with an adjustable bungee toggle at the hem. This allows the wearer to cinch up the pants at the right length, no alterations required. Likewise, the koi Lite Happiness jogger-style pants have a row of snaps at the hem that allows easy adjustment of length.

  1. Don’t forget your shoes.

Before you purchase scrubs pants, think about the size of the heel you will be wearing with your pants. This will help you determine the correct length for your scrub pants.

  1. Look for shorter length tops.

Not all tops are designed to be the same length. For a more flattering fit, look for tops on the shorter side, such as the koi Classics Ashley top, koi Basics Becca top and koi Lite Philosophy top.

  1. Talk to petite co-workers.

Likely, they deal with same sizing issues as you do. Ask which brands and styles work best for them. They may be able to tell you which local uniform shops carry petite styles.

  1. Get advice from online Nursing Forums

Nursing forums like allnurses.com can be a great resource for getting info on the best petite scrubs or any other nursing questions you may have.

  1. Check out online reviews

Go to the website of popular online uniform retailers like scrubsandbeyond.com, uniformadvantage.com or amazon.com and read product reviews of styles you are considering.

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect scrubs for you.

Shop koi scrubs



Thinking about updating the uniforms for your group, private practice or hospital unit? Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Cheapest isn’t always cheaper.

Sometimes the cheapest option can be more costly in the long run. Cheaper scrubs often feature lesser quality materials and workmanship and may need to be replaced more often. You don’t have to go with the most expensive option but be wary of the cheapest.

Plus, keep in mind that some brands charge extra for Plus and Tall sizes. koi is one brand that doesn’t.

  1. First impressions are lasting.

Choose a look that reflects the image you want to project. For a dental practice or cosmetic surgeon, you may want a more modern stylish look like koi Tech or koi Lite. For a pediatric practice, you may want bright colors and prints.

  1. Every body is unique.

Not everyone has the same shape or body type. What’s flattering for one team member may not be flattering for another. So go with a collection that offers multiple tops and pants that can be mixed and matched while still maintaining a cohesive look.

  1. Size matters.

Choose styles that are available in a wide size range to accommodate all members of your team. For example, koi offers many popular styles in XXS to 5X and inseam in regular, tall, petite and extra petite. But not all brands offer as many sizing options so be sure to check before you settle on a brand.

  1. There are 50 shades of grey.

And they’re not all the same. Navy scrubs from one scrub brand or collection may not be the same exact shade as Navy from a different brand. For best results, match scrub tops with pants from the same brand or collection. Also, colors display differently in different fabrics so it’s preferable to match tops and pants made with the same fabric content.

  1. Easy is better.

Choose easy care scrubs that are wrinkle, fade and shrink-resistant. They’ll last longer and your team will thank you for it. Easy care, wash-and-wear collections from koi include koi Lite, koi Basics, koi Tech and Mariposa by koi.

Shop koi >


It’s graduation season. So what can you get for that freshly minted nursing school grad? Here are some great ideas:

  1. Nurse bag ($49.95 US)

This indespensible bag is a nurse’s best friend, with tons of pockets & special compartments.

  1. Compression socks ($13.95 US)

Our cat-themed socks make the purr-fect gift.

  1. koi Lite Freedom unisex jacket ($49.95 US)

Ultra stylish, super soft, with removable hood.

  1. koi Ashley watch ($34.95 US)

Fun timepieces to keep the new grad on schedule.

  1. koi Classics Lindsey pants ($33.95 US)

Best. Scrub. Pants. Ever. In 29 colors.

  1. Arm warmers ($19.95 US)

Because hospitals can get a little chilly.

  1. tokidoki medical backpack ($69.95)

Super cute backpack with popular tokidoki characters.

Plus, for those nursing students that haven’t graduated yet, tell them about our $5,000 Designing Happiness Nursing Scholarship program. Get more info.




Thinking of becoming a nurse? We asked real nurses what advice they would give to someone considering a career in nursing.

Here’s what they had to say:

  1. Get some experience under your belt.


“Go to work as a CAN/PCA, or get some sort of patient care experience first. Many of the best nurses started there first.” —Crystal C.

“Get hands-on patient care experience however you possibly can! Clinicals won’t be enough and the best nurses are NOT the ones who are “book smart” but rather are well rounded, compassionate and have experience as a CNA (or similar) first.” —Rachel F.

“Start at the bottom. Become a nursing assistant. After doing that, you’ll know if you want to be a nurse.” —Rebecca C.

  1. Do it for the right reasons.


“Do it because you want to help people. People’s lives are at stake. If $$ is your goal, look somewhere else. If this is your calling, it will be the greatest career!” —Marie Anne L.

“Do it if you have a lot of patience and compassion and love for people.” —Mayee G.

“If you’re doing it for just money, find another job. You need to be compassionate, empathetic, kind yet stern at times. Do it if you’re really into changing lives, making them better and comforting people in the worse times of their lives.” —Clarece B.

  1. Have a good support system in place.



“Have a good support system throughout nursing school. It will test you to limits you never knew you had, and you will need people by your side to encourage you, study with you, and help keep your home life in order.” —Rachel F.

“Make sure you have a balanced family life. You will miss many weekends, holidays, birthdays, etc. Make sure you are ok with that.” —Carla B.

  1. Little words of advice.



“Marry well.” —Carolyn L.

“Helps if you have a good sense of humor!” —Angelica M.

“Learn to hold your pee and pack lots of nutritious snacks just in case you can’t take a meal break.” —Kymberly R.

  1. Follow your heart.


“No matter how long you have been a nurse, you can still learn something new every day!!! It’s fascinating, tiring, inspiring, rewarding, exasperating, not rewarding, back breaking work. I wouldn’t do anything else!” —Monica R.

“It’s a calling.” —Marie Anne L.

“Go for it. And don’t give up.” —Teri H.

A big thank you to all the nurses who shared their words of wisdom!

For those of you attending or planning to attend nursing school, best of luck and consider applying for our $5,000 koi Designing Happiness Nursing Scholarship. Get more details here.


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