Michele Lanfrank and Susan Belfer launched Lanfrank + Belfer Communications in Red Bank, New Jersey, in 2002. With "ideas so grandiose," says Lanfrank, 31, the firm grew quickly and significantly. Then in 2003, Belfer gave birth to her first child, Eva.
"Michele took on two roles after Eva's birth," says Belfer, 35. "She managed accounts, pulling it all together, while I wrote from home. But Lanfrank + Belfer was my first child, and I had a choice to make." So after working up until her due date, Belfer returned to her company's office with Eva in tow--two and a half weeks later.
The challenge of moving the business forward after Eva's birth has given the duo and their 10 staff more fire. "We definitely had to reprioritize and keep going forward," Belfer says of the company, which has projected 2005 earnings near $1 million. "We've been each others' 'lessons'--I've taught Michele patience, she's taught me strength."