Innovative peg manufacturer hooks onto SA Business of the Year title
Inventor Scott Boocock’s HEGS Australia, the local manufacturer of the ‘heg’ – a clothes peg with hooks, has tonight been named the 2015 Telstra South Australian Business of the Year.
The light bulb moment for creating the Clovelly Park business came in 2012 when Mr Boocock was hanging his wife Rebecca’s black cocktail dress on the washing line.
Determined to tackle the age-old problem of peg and line marks on clean washing, he launched into research and development before patenting his idea in December 2012 and beginning production a year later.
The heg is now international, with distribution in 18 countries, production at 53 million a year, and the invention winning a key design award as well as investment from TV’s Shark Tank entrepreneur and Telstra Business Women’s Award Alumni, Naomi Simson, who said of the heg: “it really is a better mousetrap.”
Mr Boocock, founder and CEO, says he started HEGS Australia with a simple idea but a big purpose.
“I wanted to make HEGS an example of Australian innovation and manufacturing. The product was created to solve the problem of peg, line and sun marks on laundry while the business was created to show the world the quality of Australian industry and to support local jobs.”
HEGS Australia is responsible for 50 jobs and has its space-saving, dual-hook pegs assembled by Orana Disability Services.
“You can do it, you can do it local, and you can succeed,” Mr Boocock says.
Currently available in more than 630 Australian stores and 10,000 supermarkets and camping stores internationally, Mr Boocock says hegs will be launched in Woolworths stores in about six weeks, which will take the total to more than 1500 supermarkets in Australia and New Zealand.
Another winner of the 2015 Telstra South Australian Business Awards named tonight at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre is Kent Town’s Posture Podiatry, which has elite athletes and professional dancers among clients for its services for foot and lower leg pain.
Two other winners are from regional South Australia, family-owned organic and biodynamic wine producers Kalleske Wines from Greenock in the Barossa Valley, and large-scale livestock enterprise Princess Royal Station from Burra.
Will Irving, Telstra Business Group Managing Director and Telstra Business Awards Ambassador, said: “The four SA winners are brilliant and inspiring businesses that are being celebrated for innovation, industry leadership, creative use of technology and their contribution to the local economy.
“HEGS Australia is an innovative company with a great vibe and a serious passion for their business.
“The Telstra Awards judges praised its global planning on patents, noting it has a strong marketing presence in many different countries. Bringing back their manufacturing to South Australia from their initial venture overseas, they have created dozens of local jobs,” Mr Irving said.
Winners of the Telstra South Australian Business Awards will now proceed to the 2015 Telstra Australian Business Awards that will be announced in Sydney on 20 August.
Winners of the 2015 Telstra South Australian Business Awards are:
Telstra South Australian Business of the Year and Start-up Award
HEGS Australia, Covelly Park
Micro Business Award
Posture Podiatry, Kent Town
Daniel and Julia Gibbs launched Posture Podiatry in 2009 to address the physical and mental aspects of the root cause of foot and lower leg pain. Combining traditional methods, state-of-the-art technology and a caring service experience technology, they apply manual therapy techniques such as foot mobilisation, dry needling and massage before relying on external aids or devices. Clients include national athletes, Olympic basketballers, and members of the Australian Dance Theatre. The Telstra Awards Judges said the business owners had a strong vision for why they do what they do and offered great customer service. Strong leadership, succession planning and marketing were accompanied by strategic work on growth opportunities.
Small Business Award
Kalleske Wines, Greenock
The Kalleske family has been farming and growing quality grapes since 1853 near the village of Greenock in the Barossa Valley. In 2002, winemaker Troy Kalleske, together with brother Tony, whose skills lay in management, business development and sales, established Kalleske Wines. The first wines from the family estate were released in 2004 and quickly gained recognition nationally and internationally. Now exporting to 23 countries, the Kalleskes are committed to making chemical-free wines of individuality and excellence – their organic wines won recognition at the prestigious AWC Vienna Awards in 2013. Judges said Kalleske Wines was a scaleable family business with huge growth opportunities and obvious passion from all employees. They were impressed by its sustainability plan, community involvement and the alignment of its marketing plan.
Medium Business Award and Regional Award
Princess Royal Station, Burra
Family-owned Princess Royal Station is a highly respected large-scale livestock enterprise situated in SA’s historic pastoral centre of Burra. Formed in 2003 from an existing business, T&R Pastoral, by Simon Rowe and his father, the late Robert Rowe, the business breeds and prepares premium cattle for domestic and overseas sale, and trades cattle, sheep and lambs. Boasting its own freight division for livestock transport, it produces a third of its feed requirements from a large-scale cropping program. A major local area employer, Simon Rowe says they are always looking at new methods and technology to ensure its end product is constantly of premium standard, as demanded by the international marketplace. Telstra Judges said it is an innovative, steady family business that continuously improves the quality of its product. They had very structured future business plans, strong vision, were community-focused and had a strong online presence that was rare for a regional business.
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