In addition to training for a career as an emergency physician, fourth-year medical student Grant Parrelli has been busy with a new venture – Professionally Proud, a clothing line aimed at LGBTQ+ healthcare professionals and their allies.
Parrelli, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, graduated from Warwick Valley High School in Warwick, New York, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Xavier University in Cincinnati. You can find examples of her clothing line at www.professionallyproud.com.
Parrelli spoke about his company’s mission and goals in medicine during an interview at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences building.
Why did you create the company?
It’s kind of multi-faceted. One of the main inspirations was actually myself as a patient. I’ve never really seen any concrete depiction of LGBTQ+ doctors or nurses or support. Looking back on my experiences, I think it would have helped a lot with comfort in this setting. Also, as a future healthcare provider, I thought this would be a great way for me to put my patients at ease before I even say a word when I walk into a room to get that cue. visible that they are in a safe space.
When did you start the business?
I had the idea last July. It was on a whim. I don’t even know when or what I was thinking at the time, then I just started playing around with artwork and settled on the Professionally Proud logo and built from that. Then I created an LLC, and I’m working on a brand.
Did you get professional help with your website?
I made it myself. I got help with some legal stuff through the Entrepreneurship Law Center Clinic, which is part of UB Law School. They were very helpful.
Who is your target audience?
I would say anyone in healthcare who feels comfortable showing support or being part of the LGBTQ+ community. We have a number of different variations. We have the MD, that’s what I wear. There are also RN, NP, PA, a variety of different designations for different careers.
Do you see this as a side business or potentially a full-time career?
It’s hard to say. If it becomes something big enough to live on, then maybe. But in the meantime, I’m focusing on it more as a passion project with hopes that it can grow into something much bigger where I can donate the proceeds to other organizations.
Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit?
Honestly no. I would say this is the first business I’ve started. My mom always had wonderful ideas that she talked about with her friends, but she never took it to the next level. So that was probably also an inspiration.
You want to go to emergency medicine. Why did you choose this discipline?
For what I’m looking for, emergency medicine is a great mix of procedural medicine and clinical medicine. I think it’s the great equalizer. Everyone from all walks of life comes to the ER. So, I think it’s a great way to get exposure and meet people from all walks of life.