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Love, Exciting and New

Web business sells napkins bearing warm, fuzzy message for kids

This story appears in the September 2000 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

It seemed like a stretch--a stay-at-home mother of four who didn't even own a computer launching a Web business selling napkins bearing warm, fuzzy messages. But 35-year-old Melisa Cowden, the owner of Austin, Texas-based Little Love Letters LLC, is wiping the smirk off the faces of those who told her it couldn't be done.

The devoted mother and former teacher was in the habit of writing encouraging words on the napkins she packed in her kids' lunches. The simple messages, like "Don't be afraid to ask for help" and "When you're mad, take time to chill out," caught the attention of other kids and parents. Looking for a way to make money from home, Cowden decided to start a business creating and selling inspirational napkins.

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