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Success Stories

Learn from business owners who have been there before. The latest success stories from SMBs.

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Article
How to Write a Bold Story Through the Mess of Everyday Life
By Sammi Caramela | November 01, 2017

As a working mother, Tiffany Sauder realized she was the only one who could create boundaries and write her life story the way she wanted. Here's what she's learned along the way.

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His, Hers or Anyone's: How This Unisex Accessory Line Challenges Gendered Fashion
By Nicole Fallon | October 31, 2017

Gabby Morris was always passionate about jewelry. She created her own gender-neutral line, DPRD by Gabrielle Nicole, to help everyone tell their story through accessories.

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When Cleaning and Pro Sports Collide: How An Athlete Disrupted the Laundry Market
By Sammi Caramela | October 31, 2017

Professional lacrosse player Drew Westervelt launched HEX Performance laundry detergent to help athletes get their workout clothes and uniforms cleaner. Here's his story.

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How I Transformed my Hobby Into a Thriving Bath and Body Business
By Sammi Caramela | October 31, 2017

Science teacher Denise Zannu loved teaching chemistry by making homemade soaps. When she started gifting and selling those soaps, she realized she could turn her hobby into a business.

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I Challenged Traditional Architecture Cultures and Helped Ours Succeed
By Sammi Caramela | October 29, 2017

Diana Nicklaus knew she wanted to break the architecture industry's cultural status quo when she started her own firm. Here's how Saam Architecture does things differently.

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Water in the Desert: How a Trip to Burning Man Sparked My Business Idea
By Nicole Fallon | October 26, 2017

Nicholas Reichenbach saw how much waste was created from plastic water bottles at Burning Man. This inspired him to create Flow water's eco-friendly packaging for spring water.

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Serving from the Inside Out: Why I Don't Manage From Above
By Sammi Caramela | October 26, 2017

Tony Lamb was always searching for the "greener grass," until he took the leap and started the Kona Ice truck franchise. Here's what he's learned about entrepreneurial success.

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How I Turned My Side Hustle into a Thriving Franchise System
By Sammi Caramela | October 24, 2017

Scott Marr spent his teen years washing vehicles, homes and buildings for spare cash. He eventually turned this into a successful franchise concept, Fleet Clean.

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Health Before Wealth: Partnership and Collaboration in Your Personal and Professional Life
By Sammi Caramela | October 24, 2017

Former college athlete Mark Rose was in denial about his weight and health. He finally made a change and made health a priority, and encourages his company to do the same.

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Experiences Over Possessions: Cheers to a Life of Adventure
By Sammi Caramela | October 20, 2017

When Jacki Strum got engaged, she realized modern couples would rather register for experiences than possessions. This inspired her to start ThirstyNest, a wine wedding registry.

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Behind the Glitz and Glam: An Inside Look at My Entrepreneurial Dream
By Sammi Caramela | October 19, 2017

Jean Noisette conquered her fear of the unknown and made her entrepreneurial dream a reality. Today she runs Dazzle Me Parties, and serves as a role model to young girls in her community.

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An Experience Worth My Time: How I Started a Men's Grooming Franchise
By Nicole Fallon | October 16, 2017

As a former insurance executive, Ben Davis understood the value of his time. He created The Gents Place to give men a grooming experience worth their time.

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How Reverting to 'Old School' Ways Helped Me Build Strategic Relationships
By Sammi Caramela | October 10, 2017

In a fast-paced, digital world, Demetri Argyropoulos of Avant Global believes "old school" relationship building is the key to success. Here's his story.

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Losing My Job Was the Beginning of My Career
By Sammi Caramela | October 03, 2017

When Lauren Danziger lost her finance job during the recession, she explored other career paths but didn't feel fulfilled - until she joined the nonprofit world.

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The Gift of Giving: How I Found Success by Helping Others
By Sammi Caramela | October 02, 2017

A philanthropist at heart, Gavin Keilly built his business on making a difference with gift-giving, whether it's through a celebrity gifting suite or nonprofit donations.

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Growing Your Business the Adventurous Way
By Sammi Caramela | September 22, 2017

Entrepreneur Maggie Schlarb spent five months cycling around New Zealand with her two-year-old son. This journey inspired her adventurous business philosophy.

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How a Failed Exam Gave Me the Tools to Succeed in Business
By Sammi Caramela | September 22, 2017

Despite failing her board exams, Lynnsey Jepsen never gave up on her dream of becoming a doctor of chiropractic. Here's how she became the owner of a HealthSource clinic - and a full-fledged doctor.

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How Valuing Myself Made My Cosmetics Business More Valuable
By Sammi Caramela | September 20, 2017

Makeup artist Sarah Biggers recovered from a debilitating health crisis by eliminating toxins from her life. This inspired her to create her clean cosmetics line, CLOVE + HALLOW.

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16 Entrepreneurs Share Their Definitions of Success
By Saige Driver | September 19, 2017

We all have a different definition of success and ways to measure accomplishments. Here's how 16 entrepreneurs define success.

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Bad Customer Service Inspired My Multi-Million Dollar Business
By Sammi Caramela | September 19, 2017

Entrepreneur Nick Francis founded Help Scout to help small businesses create a better customer support experience. Here's how he did it.

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Why I Left a Successful TV Career to Become an Entrepreneur
By Nicole Fallon | September 12, 2017

As an overweight child, Alejandro Chabán decided to get healthy so he could pursue his dream TV career. This journey led to his Latin-focused healthy lifestyle plan, Yes You Can!

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An Accidental Overstock Launched My Family's Pool Supply Franchise
By Nicole Fallon | September 06, 2017

Pool supply salesman Fred Thomas resold unwanted merchandise and accidentally launched his own business. His son John shares the story behind his family-focused franchise.

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How I Built My American Dream on French Macarons
By Sammi Caramela | September 03, 2017

Rosalie Guillem moved to America to create a better life for her family - who were still living in France. Here's how Le Macaron French Pastries brought success and reunited a family.

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We Couldn't Find the Fitness Experience We Wanted, So We Created It
By Nicole Fallon | August 24, 2017

Chicago-based friends and mothers Bonnie Micheli and Tracy Roemer were determined to get into shape post-children. Roemer shares how the duo started their boutique fitness concept, Shred415.

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Small Business Snapshot: Lauren James
By Nicole Fallon | August 18, 2017

Lauren Stokes started a small t-shirt business as a side project during her maternity leave. That soon evolved into lifestyle apparel brand, Lauren James. Stokes shares her story.

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I've Got 99 Problems, But People Aren't One of Them
By Nicole Fallon | August 17, 2017

Karen Gordon has been a CEO for nearly 20 years, and in that time, she's learned a lot about understanding people. She shares her best advice for fellow leaders.

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Small Business Snapshot: One River School of Art + Design
By Nicole Fallon | August 17, 2017

Matt Ross, founder & CEO, One River School of Art + Design, started his business to make learning and creating art more accessible, fun and cool for adults, teens and kids.

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Star Power: How I Grew My Ad Agency Only Using Referrals
By Nicole Fallon | August 16, 2017

Abby Endres used the connections she built during her corporate marketing career to grow her ad agency, LIFT. Today, her thriving business remains 100 percent referral-based.

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Family Loss Fueled My Small Business Leadership Success
By Nicole Fallon | August 09, 2017

Dan Tarantin lost his father at age 13. To help his family, he got a job at a sub shop and learned the ins and outs of running a business ownership. Today he serves as CEO of HRI.

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Small Business Snapshot: Attitude Apparel
By Nicole Fallon | August 03, 2017

The founders of Attitude Apparel loved sports, but noticed that the style and quality of popular athletic wear were lacking. CMO Matt Lawrence Davis shares the story behind the brand.