Nurturing By Design
"The entrepreneurial journey is a humbling one in which you will encounter many obstacles. It is very important to accept change and remain positive. If you do what you love and love what you do, it will reap countless benefits."
Named after the German phrase which means “to cherish and nurture”, Hegen was established in Singapore in 2015, designed to create sustainable, practical and high-quality breastfeeding products that meet the different needs of a growing child, and provide an integrated solution for breastfeeding, from expressing to storing and feeding for mothers.
Its award-winning and revolutionary Express-Store-Feed system reimagines the milk bottle in a practical way while remaining efficient, simple to use and functional. All Hegen feeding and storage containers are made of PPSU, a high-performing mouldable plastic that resists high temperature, making it a top choice for products requiring repeated steam sterilisation.
Hegen’s parent company, Fitson, is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM and ODM) that produces baby care products for global baby product brands.
Currently retailing in Singapore, the United States, China, Russia, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Taiwan and Cambodia, Hegen aims to launch in at least 35 markets by 2020.
Yvon Bock grew up in an environment that made her no stranger to running one’s own business. Her parents are both entrepreneurs, so becoming one seemed like a natural route for her to take when she entered adulthood. Her parents had always encouraged her to be creative in every aspect of life, urging her to seize opportunities to be inventive. Her love for design and craft, coupled with a thoughtful nurturing outlook, prepared her for the leadership role that she would assume later on in life.
Today, Yvon is the founder and managing director of Hegen Pte Ltd, which the 39-year-old runs while juggling her role as a mother of four children. A regular speaker and panellist at forums for women and mothers, she engages actively with a community of like-minded women across the world who understand and identify with the struggles she faced during her breastfeeding journey.
I am very involved in the research and development process, from conceptualising to sketching, down to the production line. I am also Hegen’s brand spokesperson and represent the company at talks and symposiums on precision engineering, as well as at various motherhood-related seminars in Singapore, China and Southeast Asia.
One of Hegen’s key tenets is “Hegen Grows with Your Child”. All of Hegen’s bottles are made with interchangeable spouts, teats, lids and more. This allows one to keep the Hegen bottle after a child has been weaned, by replacing the teat with a spout to create a drinking bottle. In addition, all Hegen bottles come without a screw thread closure, allowing you to close the bottle without the added hassle of twisting the cover. This revolutionary design is a departure from the traditional baby bottles and is one of the first of its kind in the mother and baby care product market.
It is important to stay positive, as the entrepreneurial journey is a humbling one where you will encounter countless hurdles. Embrace change as a constant and stay focused.
In 2008, when I was 29 years old, Fitson won the contract for a big account. To accommodate the increase in business, we tripled our headcount and expanded our factory within 12 months. However, shortly after 18 months, the client terminated the contract prematurely. I was at a loss and I felt an immense responsibility to our team, I was also worried about any irreversible impact this might have on the company; I wanted to retain all our employees, so I started exploring new business opportunities. From that incident, I learned that we need to plan ahead and control our own circumstances, which is why I started Hegen, because having a brand we can call our own is very important.
Yes. From 2018, Hegen has sponsored annually up to 10,000 sets of manual breast pumps and breast milk storage containers, in a collaborative effort with Thomson Medical Centre to encourage mothers to breastfeed.
Currently, we are partnering KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital to create an exclusive product line for babies with cleft palates. The first clinical trial was a success, resulting in a range of Hegen teats suitable for feeding these babies.
Ultimately, through these initiatives, we hope to impact change within the mother and baby care industry in whatever way we can.
The female entrepreneur who juggles motherhood and domestic responsibilities alongside building a business may often feel quite lonely on her journey. Having a strong support system, especially from her family and team, can help her succeed.