“The SBDC helped anchor and direct my plans. They gave me the tools to reach my potential."
Background: At the age of 34, Heidi Marble was diagnosed with inoperable stage 3b breast cancer. It was an aggressive inflammatory form of the cancer and she was given eighteen months to live. With a young child and husband, she was determined to live and underwent a double mastectomy and endured four rounds of chemotherapy. She has written a autobiography about her experience titled, “Waiting for Wings: A Woman’s Metamorphosis Through Cancer” and created unique artwork in the form of mannequins adorned by buttons and jewelry she calls “Buttons-n-Dollars”. Every Mannequin has jewelry or buttons from people who are no longer with us. Proceeds from sales go to support the North Bay Cancer Center.
Problem or Challenge: Marble had developed a following for her artwork and she also had a powerful inspirational story to tell. However, she did not know how to turn that into an actual business that would both generate profits and allow her raise funds to donate to cancer causes. She approached the Solano College Small Business Development Center with assistance on the business side of her venture.
Assistance Provided: Marble first met with the SBDC marketing consultant. Since the SBDC Business Advisor had published several books of her own, she was able to provide some advice to Marble in regard to publishing her book. The SBDC also suggested that Marble meet with the SBDC Director for assistance with legal structure issues and taking a look at the financial aspects of her business.
The SBDC was also able to introduce Ms. Marble to a local author, radio host, and motivational speaker, Wil Cason with Positive Steps Consulting. They hit it off immediately and Cason invited Marble to participate as one of the speakers on a 24 hours of motivation event he sponsored on New Years. For the art side of her business, the SBDC also introduced her to a local entrepreneur that is planning on opening an art gallery where she could may be able to display some of her artwork.
Outcome: Things have started to happen for Marble. On March 24, she had her first book signing at the Barnes and Noble in Fairfield, has been featured on a KCRA 3 TV report with Edie Lambert, and has also been featured on a local TV report called “The View from the Bay.” She is also working with Motion Eclipse Pictures to film a documentary based on her book “Waiting for Wings.” Her determination to survive has turned into a new determination to not only build a business, but help the thousands of people who are also battling cancer or some other life threatening diagnosis.