This story first appeared in the April 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

When Lana Bilzerian left her position at an upscale Italian knitwear company to start her own line in fall 2001, she put together a winter collection of her knitwear in three months. Short on time and money, Bilzerian, 27, opted to forgo a showroom and instead invited buyers from seven stylish stores, including Barneys and Fred Segal, to view the collection in her home.

Buyers were led through the back entrance of a restaurant to reach Bilzerian's Greenwich Village apartment for individual appointments. "There were chairs hanging everywhere; it was where the waiters changed, and there was no doorbell, so I'd come down to get them," recalls Bilzerian. Once inside, buyers were greeted by a fireplace, tea, cookies and mellow music-as the designer modeled the collection.

Providing a cozy atmosphere for buyers paid off-all of them placed orders. Her highly exclusive line of knitwear is in 20 stores, and 2003 sales are projected to hit $1 million.