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201 GREAT IDEAS for Your SMALL BUSINESS, Third Edition by Jane Applegate

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GREAT 178 IDEA: Make Apparel to Order

As a young woman, Nina McLemore's career goal “was to be a fashion buyer and earn $25,000 a year.”

She's done much better than that. McLemore worked her way up to be the executive in charge of accessories for Liz Claiborne. In 1993, after 13 years at Claiborne, she surprised everyone by enrolling at Columbia University to complete her MBA. After graduation, she leveraged her new financial skills to work as a venture capitalist, helping to raise and invest $25 million. Although she was often invited to sit on the board of directors of the firms she funded, she yearned to start her own business.

“Friends always called me and asked if I could help them shop for clothes,” said McLemore, a tall, attractive, silver-haired ...

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