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Tank Girl

An eye for beadwork set this entrepreneur on the path to glamorizing the plain old tank-top undershirt.

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This story appears in the March 2006 issue of Start Up.

Vital Stats: Laura Dahl, 31, of Wifebeader by Laura Dahl

Company: Hand-sewn and hand-beaded apparel

2006 Projected Sales: $1 million

The Topper: After earning a master's degree at New York City's Fashion Institute of Technology, Dahl worked for couture designers like Anne Bowen, who creates high-ticket beaded sensations with semiprecious stones. On a whim, Dahl bought some beads to adorn her "wife-beater"-a tank-top undershirt. After receiving scores of compliments and gauging the interest of friends who worked for Vogue and In Style, Dahl started Wifebeader with the shirt on her back in 2003.

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