A divine design
By NICK NARIGON
Stephanie Wieck took two of her passions, nursing and design, and turned them into a business.
The mother of two started two companies out of an office in the upstairs of her Marengo home. The businesses, DiVinyl and Divine Dignity, are similar in nature but cater to different audiences.
Through DiVinyl, Wieck creates vinyl logos and designs for businesses, schools and personal use. She has made vinyl signs that can be placed on windows or walls, such as the ones that can be seen at Cornerstone Apothecary or at the Iowa Valley Elementary School. Wieck has also done smaller projects, such as printing names on sports T-shirts or frames for graduation.
“It has just taken on a life of its own,” she said.
Wieck began promoting DeVinyl last fall in order to sell products for the holidays.
Divine Dignity was launched Jan. 1 and has taken more time to develop. Wieck sells accessories for medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers and scooter.
A nurse for 18 years, Wieck said Divine Dignity is a little closer to her heart.
“Listening to patients’ needs is first and foremost and knowing from observation that people don’t want to use the medical equipment they are forced to use, why not make it positive and fulfilling?” Wieck said.
As part of Divine Dignity, Wieck designs stylish catheter bags that will hide a catheter and tube. She makes sturdy, decorative bags that can attach to the front of walkers. She makes cupholders for wheelchairs. She makes a washable fleece covering for C-PAP or Bi-PAP tubing, and much more.
In addition, Wieck makes accessories, called “Younique Boutique,” such as pockets, flowers or bows that are interchangeable.
“There is nothing out there like this,” she said. “This allows people to express themselves and individualize their medical equipment.”
Wieck, 39, has been caring for people her whole life. Growing up in Spirit Lake, she started taking care of her grandparents at an early age. In 1994, she and her husband, Iowa Valley teacher Martin Wieck, moved to Marengo. For 12 years, she did home infusion nursing, helping out patients with multiple sclerosis, and those undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
Wieck said she was always creative, and was looking for ways to use her creativity to start her own business.
After working closely with her patients for years, and listening to her needs, the idea to market classy and functional products for medical equipment developed.
“Every time I went to a home, I listened to every one of their needs. I wanted to figure out what I could do that would make the most impact,” Wieck said. “In doing research and realizing that the items being offered to patients at this time are pretty generic, this gives Divine Dignity an edge and sets it apart with a great potential for growth.”
When she started the project two years ago, Wieck sewed the products herself. The business has grown to where now, Wieck develops the products, has a professional designer make the pattern and hires the sewing out to a company in Waverly.
The products are being sold through Wieck’s former employer, CarePro, in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, as well as at local pharmacies, the Marengo Memorial Hospital gift shop and on Wieck’s Web site.
She has been in touch with the director of Miss Wheelchair Iowa, and they discussed contestants using Divine Dignity products during the pageant.
Wieck said she is looking to mass market Divine Dignity, and hopefully sell her products nationwide. Many people have loved ones in their lives who use medical equipment for support, she said. Her products would be a great gift for Grandma or Grandpa, or on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
“I know that it was a struggle for me to know what to get my grandparents, and my grandma has been using my products for quite some time,” Wieck said.
Dividing her time between Divine Dignity and DiVinyl has been a challenge she said, much less finding the time to raise two children, as well as working one day a week doing home infusions.
Wieck’s husband helps out with the vinyl patters, and even their children, Parker, 9, and Paige, 6, will help out with some of the smaller tasks.
“Our product list is growing and there are always new projects to work on,” she said. “The possibilities are endless.”
UPDATED March 24, 2010 11:46 AM