It's the month in which we honor our mothers for bringing us into the world. These entrepreneurs have yet another gift to thank Mom for: the inspiration to start a business.
Kim BolufÃ©, 46, treasures childhood memories of watching her mom work in the fashion business. "I walked into this big manufacturing house and saw my mom at work, putting pieces together, fabrics, threads. I learned my fashion sense from watching my mom," she says. With fashion in her blood, BolufÃ© and her husband, Carl, launched their Boca Raton, Florida, retail chain, BolufÃ© Fashion, in 1993. Today, revenues are in the high six figures.
Michael Cramer, 40, walked out of a Starbucks with his mother, Sofya Kreymerman, 60, when she was struck with the brilliant idea that tea could be just as successful as coffee. Cramer founded Adagio Teas with his mom and brother, Ilya Kreymerman, 32, in 1999 as an online marketplace to offer the same kind of unique tea blends their mom used to serve guests at their home growing up. "Mom provided the idea and the initial funding," says Cramer. "Without Mom, none of this would've been possible." Her inspiration has garnered this Garfield, New Jersey, company about $3 million in annual sales.
Emily Levy, 27, learned the art of teaching from her mom, who founded a school for students with learning disabilities. "That sense of gratification was something I always saw in working with my mother and observing her making a difference in the lives of these kids," says Levy. She knew she had that same innate desire, and in 2002, she launched EBL Coaching, her New York City tutoring service for children with learning disabilities. While managing 75 tutors and earning seven-figure sales, Levy has also written a series of workbook materials, Strategies for Study Success.
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