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Tracy Graivier Bell & Robin Oldham

Both 38, founders of Smashing Times Inc. in Dallas

Description: Smashing Times Inc., Dallas' only mosaic gallery and retail mosaic studio, where Bell and Oldham custom-design pieces and allow customers to create mosaics of their own

Number of employees: 8

Start-up: 1999, for $50,000

Sales: Projections of $350,000 for 2001

Franchise plans: First franchise scheduled to open in Boca Raton, Florida, by late fall

Celebrity clientele: Smashing Times has made custom mosaic tables for Cindy Crawford and Susan Sarandon and auctioned off celebrity-designed mosaics for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The joy of mosaic: "Mosaic has been around forever," Bell says. "We're bringing this art form into everyday life. A lot of our business deals with memorabilia and sentimental stuff. People bring us, say, a piece of china that was their grandmother's. We help them recreate that into something they can use now to keep memories alive."

Hands-on: "We know [our customers] by name," Oldham says. "They like that we're friendly, not the women in the back telling the employees what to do. We're out here grouting and gluing with them or hoisting birdbaths and heavy bags of tile around."

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This article was originally published in the September 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Tracy Graivier Bell & Robin Oldham.

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