Chaitenya Razdan (“Chat”) is the Co-Founder and CEO of Care+Wear. He is a proud University of Virginia alum with an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business who spent time as a strategy consultant at A.T. Kearney and as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. Nicknamed "Smiley" in middle school basketball camp, he has tried to bring a smile wherever he goes. A die-hard Baltimore fan, he continues to cheer for the Orioles and Ravens and can often be found running up the West Side Highway in the mornings. In his spare time, he helps to plan his class reunions for UVA and Booth and serves on young alumni boards for UVA.
Chat has been named one of the 100 most intriguing entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs, one of the Rising Stars by Becker’s Healthcare and has spoken at various events and conferences such as the Aspen Ideas Festival, Association for Vascular Access and Oncology Nursing Society. He and Care+Wear have been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Fast Company, Huffington Post, ABC and NPR among other media outlets.
We founded Care+Wear in 2014 after friends and family were diagnosed with cancer and told to wear tube socks over their PICC lines (a semi-permanent IV). We wanted to do something for them during this stressful time. While collaborating with nurses, doctors, patients and designers, we realized there was a need to build a brand in the healthcare industry focused on allowing patients to feel like people again. We realized that this was our opportunity to give back and build a brand focused on helping people and have been working on Care+Wear ever since!
Talk to me about a time that you were able to make a large impact on a customer!
Honestly, for us, it is a win every time we get to help our customers. Since we’ve started, we’ve had the ability to help so many loved ones and it gives us an incredible smile each time.
One of my favorite stories from the earliest days is when Ally called us about an important event. She had a sleeveless dress and was looking for a cover to hide her PICC line cover and allow her to enjoy her senior prom! It was so great to be able to see the cover in action and to allow Ally to dance the night away and enjoy her prom!!
Who has helped you represent the company?
We’ve been very fortunate to have the support of our friends and family from the earliest stages. We’ve had photoshoots starring friends with the cameramen being friends as well. We’ve had my parents serve as company representatives at various industry conferences (in fact, at one annual conference, nurses keep coming up to me each year asking for my parents!!). And we’ve had tremendous word of mouth from our loved ones.
We’ve also continued to attract great people to Care+Wear. Each employee - past, present and future - has played an integral part in helping us transform the industry and allow us to build a brand focused on enabling people to feel like themselves again.
We also have had amazing customers join our community. We’ve gotten to know many of our customers who have become more than customers but tremendous stewards for our brand.
We’re still at the earliest stages but really excited for the outpouring of love and support and committed to transforming the patient experience together with our community to make it better for future generations to come!
You’re building a very important brand. How do you protect your ideas and designs?
When we set out to build Care+Wear, our goal was to help our loved ones. As part of our comprehensive design thinking approach, we’ve had the ability to build proprietary designs for each of our products. By collaborating with clinicians, patients and designers, we’ve created unique products that help patients get to better outcomes.
As we’ve continued to grow, we’ve realized how important it is to protect our proprietary designs with utility patents. We’ve been very fortunate to have the patent team at Arent Fox involved with us from the get go. The legal team has helped us file for utility patents on our products. It’s been amazing to get this help and we are grateful to the firm for doing this.
Separately, we’ve also been able to file trademarks with the help of New York Law School and Brooklyn Law School students and professors and are grateful for their help in filing for trademarks to protect our sayings and trademarks!
What’s next for Care+Wear? Where do you see the Company in 5 years?
Over the past five years, Care+Wear has launched a number of innovative products designed to help people feel like themselves. We have made an initial impact on the healthcare fashion industry (what we call “healthwear”) with our antimicrobial PICC line covers, chest access shirts, patient gowns in collaboration with Parsons School of Design, hoodies in collaboration with Oscar de la Renta, mobility gloves with Lucy Jones, NICU one-pieces with March of Dimes, and a Recovery Bra for post-reconstructive surgery. At this stage, we are focused on bringing awareness to our existing products to both consumers and hospitals as well as continuing to work on developing other game-changing products that allow us to combine fashion and function into an innovative healthwear offering.
The overarching goal of Care+Wear is to continue to provide solutions to those in need and help people everywhere and we’re excited to continue to expand our breadth and scope to be able to help even more people around the world get back to feeling like themselves. We want to be able to have solutions for each and every person regardless of what they are going through and are excited to keep helping as many people as possible!
Would you ever sell?
This is an important question that we get asked frequently. We’ve already been approached by larger companies wanting to acquire us and others wanting to sell to us! At this time, we are really focused on building a company to help as many people as possible. When we set out to start Care+Wear, Susan and I were committed to building a product to help our loved ones. As we’ve grown, we’ve been able to expand the number of products we have out on the market along with the impact in the world. We’ve had people use our products around the world and it warms our hearts to be able to help them. It’s hard to say never but we are committed to doing whatever is in the best interest of the community we are serving and any sort of sale would have to be monumentally better for our community. While most founders may be driven by the dollars, we are truly focused on enabling a better experience and helping as many people as possible.