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From a passionate advocate of breastfeeding to a successful entrepreneur of nursing wear, Sharon Ho-Norton has turned her personal belief into a successful enterprise with Mothers en Vogue – a maternity and nursing wear specialist dedicated to using natural textiles.
Sharon started Mothers en Vogue in 2003 to provide mothers with nursing apparel that is both stylish and comfortable, with the vision “to empower moms around the world with the confidence to embrace breastfeeding”. Its stylish and fashionable nursing apparel, which are designed to allow for discreet and convenient nursing access, aims to instill greater confidence in women to breastfeed on-the-go and thus encourage them to breastfeed longer. Since its inception, Mothers en Vogue has been growing steadily. From an online business, it now has stores in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Qatar and Cambodia. The brand is also sold and represented internationally, via distribution and wholesale, in more than 20 countries.
The MEV story grew out of Sharon’s own breastfeeding experience with her firstborn. Back then, she had problems finding nursing clothing that were current, well-designed and comfortable. The US and European nursing labels she knew of had designs that did not fit the Asian body well, were made of fabrics that were unsuitable for the tropical climate and were costly to import. Sharon saw the gap in the market as an ideal business opportunity and Mothers en Vogue was born. In wearing her own nursing clothing designs, Sharon found huge convenience in breastfeeding her two children; she nursed her first child for 3 years and her second child for 4.5 years.
Sharon’s foresight has led to many tributes – for her as well as the brand – over the years. She was a nominee for the Spirit of Enterprise Awards in 2007, then a nominee for Singapore Women’s Weekly Great Women of Our Time in 2008, and received the Annum Breastfeeding Role Model Recognition Award in 2010. Mothers en Vogue received the Expat Living Reader’s Choice Award in 2010 and one of its designs, the Fleurette Top, was voted Best Nursing Top for Play by Mother & Baby magazine in 2011. Mothers en Vogue Hong was voted The List, Readers' Choice Award, Best Maternity Fashion, Hong Kong in 2013.