Life And Work With Susan Fielder

Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Fielder.

Hi Susan, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Thanks for the opportunity! I am now hopeful we can find a cure to Pancreatic Cancer through art. Let me introduce you to iPlaid. My purpose with iPlaid is to build a global platform that will generate significant research funding that ultimately leads to a cure for pancreatic cancer. At this point, there is no cure.

iPlaid is a force and the acronym means “Intuitive Passion Launches an Inner Discovery”! My husband, Dan Mears, remains the guiding light for this endeavor! Why is it called iPlaid?

Dan was taken by this disease, and it shook me to the core. While dealing with his loss, I pondered on what I could do to make a difference. I started doodling on my iPad and created a plaid piece of art. I looked at it and had an “ah ha moment” as it was a plaid and, on the iPad, so I decided to name it iPlaid… It seemed so obvious to name this in memoriam of Steve Jobs as he was the technical wizard that changed all our lives with Apple and was also taken by this silent killer. So iPlaid was born and on behalf of the many who have departed because of this terrible disease, we can now “Make a Difference” together.

My journey now is far different than before. I spent 35 years in the Promotional and Marketing world helping many companies in and out of the San Diego area. I was a career woman, entrepreneur, singer, writer, guitar player, and former musician. Now I have taken my talents to do art to make a difference. Out of nowhere came the images in my mind’s eyes created for those who have also lost the fight like Jack Benny, Aretha Franklin, Alex Trebek, Patrick Swayze and Michael Landon just to name a few. So, I am hoping to create a way to bring awareness about this disease that is a hidden killer typically until it is too late. I feel doing art and telling my story is a unique way and one that I am passionate about to change the future of thousands of lives… Currently, I have raised over 160K from friends and donated it to UCSD Moores Cancer Center and Sanford Burnham. www.susanfielder.com has my story and the images for iPlaid are there.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
When one is an entrepreneur, it is never a smooth road, but the bumpy ones are the most educational and I am happy to share some. Having been raised with five brothers in Kansas City in the fast-food hamburger business, it was a fairyland existence with my father also being an entrepreneur. But years later after selling his company to other family owners and moving to Colorado Springs, we started yet another fast-food business that sadly grew too fast. My father had several reasons for it not working but many more that would make it work with the right amount of time and money. I won’t go into detail but that was my first experience of a big loss and change as we went into bankruptcy with over a string of 28 Hasty House Restaurants, featuring the hamburger that went to Switzerland. It took me years to digest the loss, but it made me stronger. I began to live my dream in my own way by working and living in Europe for a year with a family and getting my own journey started. My father started the fast-food Hamburger business in Zurich, Switzerland called the Silberkugel which led to the Hasty Houses here in the states. No one thought fast food would be successful in Switzerland, but it was. I went to the opening of the first Silberkugel when I was 12. It was a cash cow with over 100 eventually built all over Europe by Movenpick, Dad’s partner. A great story! For me personally, after years stay in Zurich, I ended up at a dinner theater called Tiffany’s Attic in Kansas City as a pre-show entertainer. It was a great three years. It was there that I met my first husband and leader of the group. We were loved by all! There were eight in our group, and we finally moved to San Diego to find stardom. We were called “The Magic If”. A life’s dream and leap of faith! Now the singing career gets serious and by 1980, I decided I needed to get health insurance and look for a real job. I started real estate and sold a condo my very first day. Then I fell into the promotional products industry and remained in the industry for 35 years. I loved the creativity. After learning the business from the greats, I started my own company with the help of my husband Dan Mears in 1997. It was a wonderful success story with many learning experiences along the way. The struggles were in the decision making but we made the right ones and the first year, I was named Marketing Woman of the Year from the San Diego Business Journal. I was on fire! We did 2 million in sales in the first year. I thought the banker would fall of off his perch, but he was thrilled for me!

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Having been known in the business world as Susan Fielder and Associates, I had a tagline that said it all! Ideas that work! I had the extreme pleasure of working with just about every kind of company you can imagine from real estate, to High-tech to Biotech like Qualcomm, Pfizer, BiogenIdec, non-profits and even Liquor Brands like Remy Amerique who owns Mount Gay Rum, the Sailors Rum. They do 225 Regattas a year and I handled their products, creating a company store that distributed promotional items used for events and more around the world. It was a blast. Then out of nowhere, my brilliant husband who I loved so much contracted Pancreatic cancer. My entire world stopped. 15 months later, he lost the fight. We all lost a wonderful, dearly loved man who we called the King of Grace, I had no idea what to do but had to do something to make a difference?

So now my big idea is to take the iPlaid image and wrap it on a Tesla S-Plaid and hope that Elon Musk, who idolized Steve Jobs will help in this cause by renaming his S Plaid Tesla to iPlaid Tesla while driving a cure for this disease?  It is because this disease has no boundaries and Dan’s story, I pray this idea could happen if Elon was to get involved. I have images of the mock-up below. There is much more to share about this idea. It could literally save 60K lives a year if we could find a cure with his help!

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I wrote a book called “My living Legacy”, a personal journal to guide loved ones. It is in an easy to fill out workbook format. Ones most desired wishes and prized moments are shared within this book for family and friends. It was created 25 years ago and just recently updated. It is one’s own time in a bottle. The best and most cherished book one could ever write! I always say, if you don’t write it down, it won’t get passed down.

Quotes are always something I live by attending events with motivational speakers as well which led me down the positive path of success. Nothing is better than a group of words that really hit home. I worked with Tony Robbins and did his first Fire-Walk T-shirts as well as walked the talk with 2500 other people up in Irvine, California.

Some of my favorite quotes are:

“It’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice”! Dad always said that!

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Zig Ziglar

“You can have everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want…” Zig Ziglar

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