Marty Stevens-Heebner was called a "fashion outlaw" by one magazine editor because of the chances she takes in her designs, her life and her way of doing business. Marty's the creator of the award-winning Rebagz Eco-Chic Handbag line and president of Half the Sky Designs LLC, a 2009 California Small Business of the Year. Voted favorite eco-bag by InStyle magazine's readers, Rebagz are made from vibrant and colorful recycled materials.
Marty's eco-design and insistence on fair working conditions have their roots in her human rights work in Chiapas, Mexico amid the aftermath of the Zapatista rebellion. She was amazed by the inventiveness of the artisans in Chiapas, who lacked resources but more than made up for that with their originality and flare. It amazed her how resourceful the indigenous people living in the jungle were and how nothing went to waste. Everything not only had a purpose, but each and every thing had a second and often even a third purpose beyond that.
Following her humanitarian work--but prior to becoming a handbag designer--Marty had her own small but successful business creating original handcrafted jewelry. Her work wound up on the cover of Belle Armoire and was featured in Altered Couture and Jewelry magazine as well. She appeared as an expert crafter on HGTV's "Crafters Coast to Coast" and on the DIY network's "Craft Lab" and also co-authored the book, "Beading Vintage Jewelry Designs". Her latest book, "Altered Shoes: A Step-By-Step Guide to Making Your Footwear Fabulous," shows women how to recycle your shoes and become your own shoe designer in the process. Marty shares her home with three dogs who are all mutts and all rescues--and that means even her dogs are recycled.