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A Childhood Memory Helped This Founder Find Her Passion

Marissa Louie, CEO of stuffed animal company Animoodles, found her path thanks to a cherished toy that belonged to her late sister.

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This story appears in the January 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

My younger sister, Lauren, and her boyfriend, Leonard, were college students with bright futures ahead of them when they both died in a car accident in 2007. As I grieved, I tried to make sense of the loss. And that led me to this thought: I'm going to do what I want now. This might be my only chance. Life can be so short.

Courtesy of Marissa Louie

Trouble was, I wasn't sure what I really wanted. I was a 24-year-old tech consultant, which I didn't love. So I quit to learn design, which I was more passionate about, and eventually became a senior-level designer for Apple and then Yahoo. But even then, there was something missing. I wanted to feel like I was doing meaningful work.

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