Name of Recipient:
Mr. Robin Tan
Ms. Elizabeth Lin
Ben Victoria International is a company that specializes in a unique line of maternity products. With a partnership with a USA company, they launched the Dry Mama brand reusable nursing pads into the market in 2012.
The unique, patent-pending fabric in the nursing pads is anti-bacterial, absorbent and wicks moisture away from a woman’s body. “This fabric keeps itself dry so mothers can comfortably wear it for hours,” says Liz. “This fabric works to actively keep itself dry, wicking away moisture to a dry state within 30 minutes to an hour.” Dry Mama reusable nursing pads is curved in shape and is larger than conventional pads. This allows them to contour to a woman’s body without shifting and bunching.
“The disposable pads on the market were flat, round circles,” said Ms Lin. “But since a woman’s body is curved the flat pads aren’t flattering. You can see the imprint of the pads through the clothes.” Washable pads were also a disappointment, added Ms Lin, because they would become wet after one use. “They were very uncomfortable,” she remembered. “The washable pads would become wet and begin to leak after they reached saturation point, which was also not flattering.” With the realization that a solution was nonexistent, Ms Lin determined to put her business savvy to use and actually created the product that she had been looking for.
Applying the same innovative technology found in the Dry Mama nursing pads, Ms Lin developed the Dry Mama line of nursing bras. “Other nursing bras on the market are generally very basic, in neutral colors, with no beautiful designs,” says Ms Lin. “As a mother, I still want to feel beautiful and wear fun-looking bras.” Dry Mama nursing bras utilize the same antibacterial, wicking fabric to allow nursing moms to enjoy the experience of breastfeeding in comfort and confidence.
One major component of the Ben Victoria’s philosophy is Ms Lin’s belief in second chances. Ben Victoria now bases much of Dry Mama’s manufacturing in her home country of Singapore. Through a partnership with the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE) and Changi Women’s Prison (CWP), Ben Victoria helps with the rehabilitation of women who have been incarcerated and are searching for a life skill to help them establish a meaningful life. “With the salary that the inmates earn,” says Ms Lin, “they are able to help their family on the outside by providing for their own children. When they are released from prison, they have a skill that will allow themselves to be self-supported.”
With a manufacturing operation that is based in the prison system, Ben Victoria provides women with training, support and a new sense of self-confidence. “We teach them how to sew, but we are also handing them a ladder to climb” says Ms Lin. “We’re giving them hope by saying that even though they are down and out now, it is not the end of the world. If they want to change, they have an opportunity.”
With plans to open additional manufacturing facilities outside the prison walls, Ben Victoria will offer re-employment opportunities to former employees who have stepped back into society, allowing them to rediscover a meaningful life outside prison walls.
From the woman who places the first stitch in each product to the woman who will ultimately wear it, Dry Mama nursing pads and bras touch the lives of women in ways both large and small.
To Ms Lin, entrepreneurship is about managing risks, hard work and a tinge of luck. Through trials and errors, this successful entrepreneur today had learnt it the hard way to reach the top. Nevertheless, with perseverance, the reward was astonishing having seen her hard work come to fruition.
Lastly, Mr Tan has some words of encouragement for young people who wish to start their own business one day. “Don’t be afraid of failing. You need to take the bold decision to step out of your comfort zone and learn along the way. No one can claim to have no struggles when they started initially. Life experience is something that cannot be taught through books or school. Have the right concept and product, once you believe in yourself, the only one that can impede your journey to success will be none other than the same person you look into the mirror every day.”
Thanks to Mr Tan and Ms Lin’s vision and the revolutionary technology and design of Ben Victoria’s products, women everywhere are rediscovering confidence and value as they discover Dry Mama products.
50 Serangoon North Ave 4 #07-12 First Centre
T| 6345 4545
F| 6570 5433