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Marty Stevens-Heebner receives California Business Award
Jun '09
Marty Stevens-Heebner, creator of Rebagz Eco-Chic Handbags and president of Half the Sky Designs LLC, accepted the "California Small Business of the Year" award at a May 26 ceremony in Sacramento during the California State Legislature's annual California Small Business Day. Selected from among 3.7 million small companies in California, she received this special recognition from State Senator Carol Liu, who represents California's 21st District. One business owner from each of the state's voting districts was honored for their outstanding contribution to the California economy.

"This award is really a tribute to our company's employees and customers, who support the way we do business," said Stevens-Heebner. "It's a huge honor to be recognized as Small Business of the Year and I especially appreciated receiving it from Senator Liu, who's the kind of smart, compassionate person we need more of in public office." Rebagz are made using colorful recycled materials and are all made under fair trade conditions. One of Senator Liu's key interests is the "greening" of California.

Small businesses serve as the primary economic engine that drives the state's economy. Over one half of Californians employed in the private sector work for a small business. The state's small firms produce more new jobs, more innovations and more patents than any other size company in California or any other state in the nation.

"While those of us who live in the main urban fashion centers like New York and Los Angeles have had easy access to eco-fashion for the last few years, the eco-pickings have been slim for shoppers in middle America," notes Stevens-Heebner. "In a lot of cases, when they think of eco-friendly fashion and accessories, they still conjure up images of the old beige-and-itchy kind. There are so many vibrant and colorful things out there begging for a second life, that there's no excuse for eco-fashion not to be as stylish and vivid as its non-eco counterparts."

In other company news, thousands of InStyle magazine readers cast their vote online for which star's eco-friendly bag they loved the most -- and InStyle's July issue reveals that Rebagz' Multi-Color Large Tie Tote won by a large margin. As Stevens-Heebner says, "Eco-fashion's finally becoming mainstream. Our goal is to make it the norm instead of a niche." Many people are curious about how Rebagz are environmentally friendly, why fair trade is important and similar topics. Additionally, Rebagz were recently offered through multimedia retailer QVC.

Stevens-Heebner will also be sharing her views on Intent.com, where she was recently selected as an expert blogger, and joins fellow contributors Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Don Miguel Ruiz, Debbie Ford, Ed Begley, Jr., Barbara Marx Hubbard and Russell Simmons, among others. "All I can say is I'm honored and kind of shocked to be included with such extraordinary people," said Stevens-Heebner.

Half the Sky Designs

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