Terese is a true maker. She is not only a mother of two but also a successful business woman. Seven years ago she founded her brand HEVEA, a green brand making beautifully designed, sustainable and non-toxic babies accessories made from natural rubber. We wanted to know a bit more about this interesting woman, her thoughts about sustainability and some facts about HEVEA. We are so happy, that we were allowed to take a look behind the scenes of HEVEA…
Before you founded HEVEA, you used to work for Mars. What exactly did you do there and why did you change your career path?
At Mars I was working as a Marketing Manager on their chocolate brands (Mars, Snickers, M&M etc.) in the Nordic markets. I loved my job and working for the company, but when I became a mother for the first time, my world changed overnight – as it does for everyone who becomes a parent. Sadly, I lost my own beloved mother 10 days after my daughter Augusta’s arrival. Augusta has therefore always been my true angel, bringing joy in the darkest time of my life. These events naturally changed my view of life, and I decided to begin at the end: What did I myself expect to gain from my life? So when I couldn’t find a pacifier that was non-toxin with a smart design, I decided to start looking into the opportunity of making one myself – staring up a green business and aiming to make a difference. The start-up took 2 years and I quit my job in Mars in the spring 2010.
HEVEA has been around for 7 years now. What was the biggest highlight during this time?
- To see happy consumers around the world using your products – even Hollywood stars
- The many great awards HEVEA products have received
- That I have build a global, green and sustainable business
Which production steps are required, until a product can be sold?
Designing the product and packaging.
Testing the idea amongst end-users.
Choosing the material.
Finding a reliable manufacture.
Testing the prototypes for chemicals and functionality and amend along the way.
Invest in production molds and start production.
After that logistics, packing, marketing, order taken and invoicing can begin.
What do you pay attention to in the materials you use?
First of all, quality and that the people handling the products have a high level of material know how. As natural rubber only is to be found in South East Asia and South America, it makes sense for us to produce many of the products here. But we do also have some European manufactures. It is great to have the mix. For us the location isn’t important as long at the manufactures apply to our codes of conducts, which is all about being fair and sustainable in the way we run our businesses.
How important is sustainability to you, personally and for your label?
Creating my company was driven by the desire for me to reduce my global carbon footprint, living a greener life and contribute in a positive and sustainable way for generations to come. The company name HEVEA comes from the Latin name for the rubber tree; Hevea Brasiliensis. In many parts of the world, the tree’s commercial value has protected forests from cattle ranchers. By using natural rubber – instead of synthetic rubber made from oil – we take a step to act against climate changes by protecting and increasing forests and by cutting back on the use of fossil fuels. Everything you do affects our planet. What you eat, drive and buy has a real-life impact on our habitat. We all leave our fingerprints on the planet. And luckily, we all get to decide what kind of fingerprints we leave. It’s my hope that our work and our products, will help leave a fingerprint to be proud of.
What was the biggest challenge on the way to becoming self-employed?
Economy – that is the short and truthful version.
What is the best thing about being self-employed?
For me, it is doing something that I love everyday and which I can be proud of. Also I love to drive a global business, which enables me to travel and meet people from around of the world with similar values as my own – that is so encouraging.
You are a mother. What is particularly important to you in your daily family life?
Being part of my kids’ everyday life without being too involved… I love to be able to give them freedom and independence and to support them in growing up. Making them happy and confident persons are our main goal.
When you look back on your work and life in 20 years, which memories do you think will be strongest?
My family, my children, HEVEA, travelling.
Thank you so much for this inspiring interview dear Terese! We are so happy, that you and HEVEA are part of the ManyMiniThings community!