Name and age: Beth Marcus, 42
Company name and description: Glow Dog Inc., a Bedford, Massachusetts, manufacturer of reflective accessories and clothing for pets and their families
Starting point: 1997, with about $100,000
2000 sales projections: $2.5 million
Can't start just one: After selling her first company, which developed PC game controls, to Microsoft, Marcus had no intention of launching another business. "I was just going to consult with other companies," she says.
But as fate would have it, one of those companies happened to manufacture reflective fabric. When Marcus narrowly escaped being hit by a car while out walking her dog, she asked the firm what they were doing in the pet market. Their answer-"nothing"-lured the MIT-grad-turned-engineer-turned-entrepreneur-turned-consultant back into the entrepreneurial fray.
Unleashing her potential: Capitalizing on what she saw as a fragmented industry of one-product companies, Marcus introduced a line of stylish safety bandanas, collars, jackets and more. To protect pet walkers as well as pets, she crossed over into reflective adult and children's apparel.
Barking up the right tree: Marcus offers her products through a variety of vehicles: retail, wholesale and via the Internet (www.glowdog.com). "In today's economy and with the Internet, you don't have to make a huge investment to be a successful direct marketer. In fact, wholesalers like [that I use multiple channels], because the brand becomes recognizable more quickly."
- Glow Dog Inc., (888) GLOW-DOG, www.glowdog.com