"I would spend $20 on fitness and glamour magazines at the newsstand. Then I would put together press packets with invites [for editors]. From the PR we got, clients rolled in. We got write-ups in Elle and other [publications]--TheNew York Sun was probably the turning point. When that article hit stands, I had more celebrity [clients] than I could handle."
--Alycea Ungaro, 40, founder of Alycea Ungaro's Real Pilates, a fitness studio in New York City, whose clients include Madonna and Molly Sims. Sales: $1.1 million
"I live in Southern California, and every time I was in Los Angeles, I'd keep a bag of products in my car. I'd have lunch at Fred Segal and see Jay-Z or Dave Chappelle. I told myself to go up and say, 'Hi, this is what I'm doing.' I'd run into a lot of [celebrities] and give them stuff. A lot of them were pretty receptive. At least they'll hear you out because they're entrepreneurs as well."
--Terry Carter, 38, founder of Travertine Spa, a supplier of spa products in La Palma, California, whose clients include actress Deidre Hall, supermodel Amber Valletta and Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child. Sales: about $300,000
"I got our [handbags] into Intuition [a boutique frequented by celebrities]. Britney Spears was photographed [carrying one]. Then I learned about fashion ID-ing: how to e-mail magazines saying, 'This celebrity has my bag, here's a photo, look for it.' Celebrities sell, but it's important for people to know [the brand] they're carrying."
--Kara Kurcz, 31, founder of Solas Fashion by Kara Kurcz, a handbag design company in Los Angeles, whose clients include Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson. Sales: about $1 million