I had high expectations of myself as well, so I worked all through high school and was able to put myself through college. I did my undergraduate work at University of California, Berkeley and University of California, Davis in business management, and then later went to Northwestern to get my MBA.

I was determined to be successful and make my own money so that I could make my own choices. I went on to work as a marketing manager for major corporations, such as Johnson and Johnson, Hunt-Wesson and Revlon Cosmetics, then as a director of marketing for Mattel Toys. These jobs were demanding, and I wouldn’t get home until midnight. While I enjoyed the success and challenge, I really wanted a family, and I didn’t see how I could have children when I was working so many hours.

In between my hectic schedule, I decided to take a jewelry beading class for fun. I really enjoyed it and made jewelry just for myself. When I wore it, people asked about the jewelry and where I got it. They were surprised and impressed that I had made the pieces of artwork.

This interest intrigued me, so one day, I took a shoebox of jewelry to work and began selling to colleagues. A woman asked if I would bring the jewelry to her home so some of her friends could see it, which I did. Afterward, I wanted to give her something for inviting me into her home and allowing me to sell to her friends, so I gave her some jewelry. — Beliefnet.com