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Chic To Chic

Turn style into sales with a clothing-design company.

This story appears in the December 1999 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Of course, there are the horror stories. Like the times New York-based swimwear designer Malia Mills and her business partner, Julia Stern, spent long nights mixing kettles of fabric dye in Mills' studio apartment because they couldn't afford colored cloth. Or the time a factory breakdown forced them to construct 100 bathing suits by hand in two days.

Let's not forget the rejection. At the start of her career, Mills, now 32, offered to work for a top designer for free and was turned down.

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