Mary Margaret Cannon
Description: Hand-painted glass ornaments featuring biblically allusive designs
Start-Up: Five figures in 1996
Sales: 2003 projected sales of approximately $4 million
Test of Faith: While Cannon's business was flourishing in 1998, a divorce left her homeless, and her angel investor backed out. Devastated but hopeful, Cannon spent the next 25 months trying to resurrect Sacred Season while sleeping in her car or staying with friends. "I knew the reaction to the ornaments was so powerful that I had something special. I just couldn't give up."
Rebirth: An group of investors enabled Sacred Season to return to shelves all over the United States in summer 2001, ranging from high-end department and gift stores to interior designers.
Creative Delegation: Cannon's ornaments boast brilliant colors and delicate paintings, but, ironically, she's colorblind. "Just because you don't have the talent to do something doesn't mean you can't get it done," says Cannon. Artists listen to her ideas or work from her sketches.
Love Thy Neighbor: Now she has a partnership with Twin Hills Collectables for distribution and licensing. Cannon has also created a universal peace ornament to appeal to any denomination. Never forgetting her experience, Cannon donates a portion of profits to charities for the homeless and hungry.