Megan Duckett, Sew What? Inc.
Rancho Dominguez, California
2007 Sales: $4.6 million
When Duckett, 36, started her theatrical drapery manufacturing business, Sew What? Inc., in 1997, she found many companies eager to work with a woman entrepreneur. Still, she's learned the importance of tolerance, flexibility and dedication, as well as having an inner drive. "Find what makes you tick," she says. "You can be successful if you choose your business endeavor to suit who you truly are." --Lindsay Holloway
Lani Hay, Lanmark Technology
2007 Sales: Approximately $15 million
In 2000, Hay founded Lanmark Technology while on active duty status with the U.S. Navy. Now she heads a successful technology enterprise that provides services and systems to strengthen the federal government as well as the private sector. According to Hay, 32, hard work, sacrifice and focus have been the keys to her success: "Hard work is the great equalizer that this country affords everyone who wants to be successful." --Sara Wilson
Sally Weatherly, Weatherly Consulting Inc.
2007 Sales: $7 million
Driven by a desire to find balance between her family and professional lives, Weatherly took it upon herself to create her own solution. In 1998, she founded Weatherly Consulting Inc., which provides business-focused project management and business analysis consulting services to financial services clients. Weatherly, 40, shares three golden rules: Identify your market differentiators and stay true to them, define your culture and model your culture's values every day, and be persistent. --S.W.
Linda Moraski, PeopleSERVE Inc.
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
2007 Sales: $11.7 million
Moraski didn't have a technical background or experience recruiting, but that didn't stop her from founding PeopleServe, a technology staffing company, in 1999. The learning curve was steep, but what really made her business a success was her general life philosophy. Says Moraski, 42, "Do the right thing, take care of people and, whether or not it brings you any business today, goodwill ends up coming back." --S.W.
Pam Wolf, New York Kids Club
New York City
2007 Sales: $7.5 million
Wolf longed for a job that would let her be with her kids. So in 2001, she launched New York Kids Club, a children's enrichment center. Now with five locations, Wolf, 46, attributes many of her achievements to support from her family. "You can be a successful mom and businesswoman, but you need everyone onboard with you," she says, emphasizing the importance of seeking support. "There are so many people out there willing to help." --L.H.
Though it's only been a year since Maureen Kelly won the Woman of the Year title, "it has helped open doors that may not have been available to us," she says of New York City-based Tarte Cosmetics. Behind one door was a "massive rebranding initiative" that includes focusing on the company's site, making the products all-natural and preservative-free, and partnering with charities like Sambazon's Sustainable Açai Project. (Sambazon was one of our 2007 Young Millionaires.) Bringing in sales of $20 million in 2007, Kelly, 35, plans to expand internationally this year.
Going abroad is something 2005 Woman of the Year Jill Belasco has already achieved with her Rancho Dominguez, California, company. Latitudes International, a private-label designer and manufacturer of fragrance products, recently expanded into Europe. Belasco, who saw sales of $32 million last year, expects even more market penetration in 2008. "Our industry [is] strong," says the 51-year-old. "Our expansion into other markets will help fuel our organic growth."
In 2004, Liz Elting, founder of Trans-Perfect Inc., won us over with her competitiveness, compassion and clarity of vision. Since then, Elting, 41, and her team of more than 700 have been up to a lot. "Since I was named Woman of the Year, TransPerfect has continued on a trajectory of rapid growth," says the New York City entrepreneur. The language and business services company has offices in 46 cities worldwide, offers an array of products and services and brought in sales of more than $150 million last year--a nearly 430 percent increase from 2004. --Lindsay Holloway
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Go to entrepreneur.com/shortcuts for an exclusive interview with Adela Cepeda, keynote speaker at OPEN from American Express and Entrepreneur magazine's Women in Charge conference.