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September 19, 2008

3 of Our Favorite Entrepreneurs Share Their Best Advice

female business owners
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Jennie Cini, 30, and Ingrid Soderberg, 35, co-founders of Black Sheep Baby Minneapolis, MN

THEIR STORY: Ingrid says, “I first had the idea in the early 90s when my niece was born. I remember telling my sister-in-law that I wanted to make baby clothes in black. She just about had a heart attack saying, ‘You can’t put a baby in black!’ Even something like a leopard print outfit or cool diaper bag was unheard of back then. And when I had my son in 2004 the idea was reborn. Jennie and I wanted to start our own business, selling kid’s clothes with a rock star sensibility. We had to be very creative about financing. We used personal cash and credit cards to start, but now we have enough coming in from sales to keep us going.

WORD TO THE WISE: Jennie says: “Have a passion for what you're doing. Believe in your product or service and know that you're filling a gap or providing a need which would not otherwise be filled—this will keep you going." And Ingrid: “One, write a solid business plan and get enough money. Two, be very careful and thoughtful about the building of your website and three, if you have kids, wait until the youngest is in elementary school before starting your business. There's something to be said for off-time.”

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