The Corner Piece

What do you get when you take a moisture-resistant, antibacterial, healthcare textile product and add personal style to make it discreet and dignified? There’s no riddle behind RxBlendables, Diane Poole’s new business, simply an innovative product combining function, form and fashion.

From wheelchair covers to head injury dining accessories and crib pads, RxBlendables textiles effectively inhibit bacterial growth and stains, and come in patterns and colors that add personality to otherwise generic medical merchandise.

Armed with this unique product, an in-depth marketing plan and ample enthusiasm, Diane was ready to launch RxBlendables onto the healthcare scene in 2005, but lacked a crucial piece: the capital to manufacture her inventory. Hailing from Fairfield Connecticut, Diane set out on a quest for investment money—a two-year mission that took her from Boston to Florida, but yielded slim results. That was until the summer of 2007, when a conversation back in her own hometown opened the door she needed. Mark Barnhart, Fairfield’s Director of Economic and Community Development, informed Diane about Community Capital Fund and its new loan funds available for emerging woman-owned businesses.

Diane wasted no time in contacting CommCap, and within three months CommCap offered RxBlendables one of its first loans from GE Money Bank, the fund created to assist women-owned businesses.

“I found the corner piece to my puzzle in my own backyard,” said Diane.

For Diane, RxBlendables is more than a business, it’s a mission—seen especially in her focus on combat wounded and veterans’ products. In partnership with the Military Order of the Purple Heart, RxBlendables provides nationally Purple Heart recipients with personal “dignity” products created to honor their service and sacrifice.

“I am so humbled and proud to be part of such a national effort, VETERANS HELPING VETERANS, and it’s all because Community Capital Fund listened, heard me, cared and did something to make this happen,” said Diane.

While Diane’s business has a national market, it has local impact as well. RxBlendable catalogs and products will be assembled at the Kennedy Center in Trumbull, Connecticut—a rehabilitation agency providing vocational opportunities for people with disabilities. Packaging RxBlendables veterans’ products has special significance to many of the workers at the Kennedy Center, who also write personal letters of encouragement to the troops serving overseas.

“CommCap staff are the most visionary and professional people I have ever had the opportunity to work with. They stun me. They pull out all the stops. They say ‘this is the right thing to do,’ and then make it work.” Diane Poole, owner, RxBlendables