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News / Business / Clark County Business

Working in Clark County: DeeDee Hatler, co-owner, Dress Code Uniforms

By Kay Richardson, Columbian staff writer
Published: April 4, 2016, 6:00am
3 Photos
DeeDee Hatler, co-owner of Dress Code, works in her store Wednesday in Vancouver.
DeeDee Hatler, co-owner of Dress Code, works in her store Wednesday in Vancouver. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Professional scrubs have come a long way from the limited dull blue or stark white offerings from years ago. Walk into Dress Code Uniforms and behold a sea of colors and patterns available to professionals, even stretch scrubs that flex with you. The shop’s customers come from the health care, veterinary, food service or personal care industries. “At Dress Code, we greet our customers, hone in on the practicality of their job and what their needs are, plus their likes and dislikes,” says DeeDee Hatler, co-owner. “I care about people and I get happy energy from bonding with customers.”

Name: DeeDee Hatler.

Neighborhood: North Garrison Heights.

Business name: Dress Code Uniforms, 8300 E. Mill Plain Blvd., 360-695-9600. www.dresscodeit.com and on Facebook.

Age: 29.

Educational/professional background: I’ve worked since I was 15, always taking care of people. It started with children at day cares, to the elderly in nursing school. My second (and third) jobs were in retail. During nursing school, I worked at Target. I started working at The Scrub Shop, now Dress Code Uniforms, in 2005 as a part-time employee. Running The Scrub Shop came naturally to me and the owner took notice. We became business partners in 2012, doubled in size and changed our name to Dress Code Uniforms. Now I take care of nurses!

Personal/business philosophy: This is your life. Do what you love and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. (That’s from “The Holstee Manifesto.” I recommend everyone read it.)

Most rewarding part of job: The many facets of the job; it’s very hands-on. I get to meet medical professionals in the store — dental, veterinarians, chefs, who are all on the front lines of the community holding us all together — and talk to them about their likes and dislikes and professional needs. Then there is creative publicity work, fashion shows, some traveling, mentoring employees, networking with other community businesspeople. And some days if I want to be by myself, I can just work in my office.

Most challenging part of job: Getting the word out about the shop.

Something surprising about your work: We can customize scrubs to the needs of customers, for example, adding more pockets for professionals — like EMTs — who need them.

Best feature of my Clark County community: The togetherness I feel in downtown Vancouver. Small business owners take pride in their work and make an effort to support one another.

What would make your community a better place: If we were able to meet on a regular basis to make bigger things happen pertaining to sustainable food, commerce and living.

What is your favorite travel destination and type: I’m planning a future European backpacking trip. I also love going to Astoria, Ore., for my birthday every year.

Favorite restaurant/pub/coffee shop/store: Best brunch — Lapellah; best happy hour food — Shanahans; best coffee — Thatchers!

Hobbies: Most nights, you’ll find my family and me walking the streets of downtown Vancouver, where we live. We love looking at the houses; they are beautiful.

Most enjoyable book/play/movie/arts event in past 12 months: I’ve been battling grain intolerance. The movie, “The Grain of Truth” taught me how I can eat [sourdough] bread again by using a slow fermentation process.

Something you’d like to do this year/within five years: I am designing my own tiny home.

One word to describe yourself: Unique. How cliche!

Person you’d most like to meet: Myself in my 60s.

Columbian staff writer