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Use Your Intuition

A keen eye for trends helps this style-setter attract all the right people to her boutique.

In 1999, after a divorce, Jaye Hersh needed a way to earn money to pay college tuition for her two children. Her solution was Intuition, a Los Angeles clothing store with a knack for attracting celebrities.

Hersh, 48, leveraged her connections early on to grow the business. Using her Rolodex of Hollywood names--some were parents of her son's friends; others came from her sister, who planned Jessica Simpson's nuptials--she started throwing in-home shopping parties for the likes of Heather Locklear and Denzel Washington's wife. In 2001, she opened her boutique, which drew famous clients such as Drew Barrymore and Kate Hudson and got publicity from InStyle, The Wall Street Journal and more.

Hersh is a pro at spotting "something everyone will want." Last year, after seeing a teen wearing Minnetonka moccasins, she sold 1,200 pairs by getting celebs to sport them, too. Her knack for creating trends has helped her reach annual sales of $5 million.

This story appears in the March 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »