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The new must-have tote for the nurse who values beauty and function

Katie Duke With Code Happy Bag
Image courtesy of Strategic Partners Inc. & Code Happy Scrubs

Nursing is a fast-paced, demanding and, yes, high-risk profession. For these reasons, nurses tend to favor products that are durable, functional and highly resistant to health hazards. Unfortunately, for quite some time, nurse accessories were not often “extremely practical” and “quite nice to look at.”

Today, as nursing continues to gain greater traction as both a lifestyle and a career, the staunch divide between fashion and functionality in professional workwear is already halfway out the door.

We love Code Happy’s newly released nurse tote line,  which is featured in the 2015 Spring issue of Scrubs, because it truly is an accessory designed with the style-savvy nurse in mind—an accessory that’s “beautiful on the outside and intelligent on the inside.”

Armed with Certainty’s antimicrobial protection and laden with pockets to help busy nurses organize the tools of their trade, this tote (available in two sizes) was crafted promote a sense of security and efficiency, but in a way that incorporated both style and elegance.

The mastermind behind this intelligent hybrid? Designer Tommaso Cardullo, who was born and raised in Italy, but has lent his expert eye to big name brands across both Europe and the United States.

Curious to know a little bit more about Tommaso and the process that gave rise to such a sophisticated design, we had a little chat with Tommaso that we’re eager to share. Read on to discover more about Tommaso’s personal philosophy, the totes’ original blend of features and all the reasons you simply must snag one of your own.

Q: Do you have any medical professionals within your circle of close friends or family? 

A: Yes, I do! My father-in-law just retired as a neurosurgeon in Southern California. Also, some of my closest friends in Utah are medical doctors and surgeons in the area where I live.

Q: Does the antimicrobial technology carry a special meaning for you? 

A: Absolutely! Antimicrobial technology has become more and more important in everyday life. Reducing the risk of infection and maintaining sanitary conditions in the hospital, as well as the home, is a major initiative (and challenge) because these environments can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria.

Q: Was this a particularly rewarding project to work on, given the added element of safeguarding a nurse’s health and safety? 

A: Definitely. I love to explore new ground, taking my creativity to new levels and territories, and then, of course, feeling good about developing a helpful, safe and functional product.

Q: What sparked your interest in the project?

A: My interest was captured since the very beginning. I was already tempted to design and to create something attractive and unique for the medical industry. However, when I discovered through my research that it was equally important to develop something functional, intelligent and useful, my interest level skyrocketed to cloud nine.

Q: What are the needs, beyond health and safety, that you focused on when creating the designs?

A: I love to know what customers need and want. I love to hear their voices, feel their pulses, anticipate their needs. My designs are a perfect symbiosis between form and function, and that’s because I’ve been realizing, more and more, that women in the world need products that are beautiful yet practical, functional and useful.   

Q: Did the process of creating a beautiful and practical product feel significantly different from, say, designing a piece that is more fashion-oriented?

A: Yes. The latter is like meeting a beautiful woman who is stunning, elegantly dressed and impeccable in her appearance. But then, after a minute of talking to her, you realize that she is unable to carry on an intelligent and engaging conversation.

Well…the meeting is pretty much over after that minute.

Q: What a fascinating description. So—what’s different about the approach, then? 

A: The difference is pure synergy, where the combined power of the two attributes when they are working together is GREATER than the total power achieved by each working separately.  It’s like 1 + 1 = 3! It is both highly functional and very attractive—really just the ideal bag!

Q: How long did it take you to create your designs?

A: This is a great question! A design is a product of years and years of living and enjoying life, beauty and the world around us, as well as inside of us. You observe, you feel, you follow inspiration and then…you create. To try to answer your question directly, I’d say it takes several months from start to finish, but even then, each design is truly the result of a lifetime of treasured experiences and discoveries.

Q: There are two designs to choose from, but what about the bags in general makes them so universal?

A: These bags really can be used by any woman, whether they’re in the medical field or not. In these bags, there are many different compartments for specific medical equipment, such as a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, etc. But the beauty is that the bags are eclectic in nature, so even a non-nurse can use these pouches for basic items, like a wallet, cosmetic bag, etc.

Q: What, where or whom did you pull from for inspiration?

A: First of all, I love to study the market—to look at the upcoming trends and study what people love and identify with…what they are seeking. But then, the real treat is when I study the ultimate customer. Being with the nurses in the hospital and talking with them, listening to their wants and needs—that was the cherry on top of the cake. Just perfect!

Q: What is the mental picture you painted of nurses in general when you set your sights on designing a bag that represented them? Were there key attributes or was there a certain personality type you channeled?

A: This is a sophisticated, smart, energetic, engaging and vibrant professional; she is always on the go and knows who she is and what she needs. She is most comfortable when in control and organized. We are helping her stay organized and on task—all while looking professional.

Q: It’s clear that antimicrobial scrubs and accessories represent the future of nursing. How does it feel to be a part (and very much at the forefront) of such a major development in healthcare?

A: The antimicrobial products are, without doubt, a cardinal and essential element in the future of nursing, and yes—it feels great to be part of it! The technology works and it makes a difference. However, once we introduce this crucial element to the market, we will need to pursue the next challenge: to foresee, as well as anticipate, the market’s next need and want.

This is an exciting and perpetual ride, and I tremendously enjoy making a difference in peoples’ lives.


Find the tote here at a store near you.

What do you think, nurses—does the new tote meet your unique needs? Tell us in the comments section below!

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