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This story appears in the November 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Inc.
Company description: Online shoe retailer
Founders: Tony Hsieh, 29, and Nick Swinmurn, 30
Year started: 1999
Location: San Francisco
2003 sales projections: $65 million

Getting a Nordstrom buyer to be your senior vice president of merchandising when you haven't even started your company seems tricky. Getting an entrepreneur who just sold his company to Microsoft to invest seems impossible. But MacGyver's got nothin' on Nick Swinmurn. "[I did this] at a time when anything seemed possible," says Swinmurn, who got the idea for his shoe dotcom after a frustrating quest for shoes at the mall. "It was an idea that made sense."

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