THEN: When we first profiled Rhonda Lashen in 1996, Fortunately Yours Inc. was doing well in its innovative niche: selling fortune cookies as marketing tools to big corporate clients.
NOW: Lashen's business got serious exposure in 1999 when the entrepreneur was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Boosted by the response, Lashen created a Web site (www.fortunatelyyours.com) that sells her fortune cookies and other products: chocolate baby announcements, chocolate coins with companies' names on them and more. In 2000-with clients like Walt Disney Co. and Marriott Residence Inns-she expects to gross about $1.7 million in sales.
"If you grow too fast, you can't handle everything," says Lashen. "My customers like that I'm still the one talking to them [personally]. We're able to build a rapport."