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Two's the Charm

Entrepreneurship is in these sisters' blood, but friendship is what has made them inseparable business partners.
September 1, 2002
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/54638

Vital Stats: Gina Catan-Eckstein, 36, Ivette Catan-Helfend, 35, founders and presidents of Linx & More . . .

Company: Customizable Italian charm bracelets; founded in 1999

2002 Sales Projections: $8.5 million

When In Rome: "My sister was in Italy and saw bracelets with charms on very chic women," explains Catan-Eckstein. "She loved them and realized there's nothing like this in the United States. She called me immediately and said, 'Gina, we just found our next business.' Her vacation turned into a business trip."

Following Father: "My dad used to be in the jewelry business, owned an electrical company and was also in real estate," says Catan-Eckstein. "We learned from him how to be entrepreneurs and work different businesses."


"We've worked for people before, but it's never as exciting as creating something for yourself."
--Gina Catan-Eckstein

Endless Possibilities: "We're sort of like a department store of charms--www.linxandmore.com has more than 350 from five different factories," says Catan-Eckstein. "We're also developing our own line of bracelets, necklaces and charms we can't get from anyone else."

Sans Sibling Rivalry: "It's a dream come true," Catan-Eckstein says. "We're best friends and can spend all day together. We even had our kids at the same time!"

Catan-Helfend echoes: "It's the best. I'm not only working with someone I trust, but I truly like her as a person and what she stands for. I'm creative, while Gina is very focused. We complete each other."