In early 2015, Wendelien Hebly, along with her business partner and co-founder Mariah Mansvelt Beck, created Yoni – a brand of organic tampons, pads and panty liners.
“Working in the corporate world, I found it doesn’t really fulfill you as a person. What you’re mainly doing is filling the pockets of the board or the people above you, while you’re not able to make the decisions that you want to, based on your own principles. I was very open to setting up a business that was sustainable on its own, and even more so as being a driving force for doing something good.
At the same time, I had recently reconnected with Mariah, an old friend from university. She told me the awful story that she had begun developing cervical cancer and was advised to start using only cotton products. For myself, like most women, I had never heard or thought about the products that I had been using in such an intimate area. She biked way out of town, getting soaking wet in the process, to find one of the only places that sold such things. That’s when we started thinking: Hey, this is not right.
At the same time, as consumers, we are becoming more and more aware of everything we consume and even the clothes that we wear, along with what kind of effect that these have on ourselves and also on the environment. That’s when we found out that there are no ingredients listed on the packaging of these products. It’s crazy, when you consider that listing ingredients is required for pretty much everything else we buy.
After a few months of doing research on these feminine products outside of our normal jobs, this idea, this feeling, would not let us go. We quit our jobs and said ok, we’re doing it!”
The Hub Effect. We…
Inspired Yoni to:
- think big. ‘’After participating in Impact Hub Scaling, we now dare to aim to make every woman aware of what her tampons, pads and panty liners are made of. We aim at making that choice as widely available as possible.’’
Enabled Yoni to:
- reach a new level. ‘’Impact Hub Scaling gave us the tools in order to reach a new level. We’re no longer a start-up, but a scale-up because of that.’’
Connected Yoni to:
- experts and other social entrepreneurs. ‘’During Impact Hub Scaling we were able to talk to experts in areas like tax, financing, and PR. We were even able to have a session with one of the world’s largest PR agencies. On top of this, we also found it very useful to meet other social entrepreneurs that belong to the Impact Hub.’’