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It's Who You Know

Talk about your firm at all times, and you might reach the ears (or head) of a famous client.

This story appears in the July 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

"You never know who you're talking to or who they know," explains Genevieve Piturro, co-founder and president of Bella Luna Creations Inc., a women's hat and accessories manufacturer in New York City. Piturro, 42, and co-founder Alice Pagano, 49, a designer, managed to get one of their hats onto the head of Grammy-winning recording artist Alicia Keys.

Promoting their firm at all times is the pair's philosophy. In fact, they like to wear their hats and strike up conversations with people about their pieces--a tactic that led to the Keys connection. When Pagano shared a floor with other artists and designers, she was talking to someone in the hall one day--someone who happened to be friends with Keys. "I took the opportunity to make freebies and gifts," says Piturro. "We made three hats and delivered them to [Keys'] friend. When he came back from her tour, he said she loved them--especially the black one with the Swarovski trim."

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