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Get The Last Laugh

. . . even when everyone says your business idea is crazy.

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This story appears in the September 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When Anne Abrams and Cecilia Hugo, both 46, decided to chuck their successful theatrical PR company to start a specialty retail store for dog and cat lovers in Seattle, everyone they knew thought they had lost their minds. In spite of such skepticism, the first Bow Wow Meow Treatoria opened in 1996 to an enthusiastic public. It was located on the first floor of a converted house, with Abrams and Hugo living in an apartment upstairs. Since then, they've added a second retail location, as well as a commissary where they make fresh pet food.

In the process, Abrams and Hugo learned some excellent strategies for dealing with people who think you're crazy for starting your business:

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