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Ottoman Empire Up close and personal with the queen of the fifties footrest

By Victoria Neal

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

From their perfectly situated Los Angeles showroom, VeronicaKoltuniak and her former partner erected a design studio simplyknown as Mildred in 1991. There, they kept themselves busy,producing high-end window hardware and draperies for Hollywoodtypes like Madonna and Matthew Perry. But one life-altering day,while driving through the alleyway behind their workroom, theintrinsically observant Koltuniak came upon a crusty old vinylottoman that had obviously been uprooted from its posh living roomof 40 years and finally put out to pasture.

Inspired by its fun, cylindrical shape, Koltuniak went to workfashioning her own line of retro ottomans. With three sleek designsin tow, she hit the trade-show circuit, where the pieces outsoldher drapery designs.

fixture perfect: Eventually splitting from her partner,Koltuniak continued the colorful drapery designs and established atoll-free number and a series of brochures for her current line ofsix campy footrests. With sales of $300,000 last year, Koltuniakoffers "ottomnal" concoctions such as the Hazel, whichresembles a carefully tiered tower of three pillowy greenlifesavers; Goo, a small, plush cylinder of brilliant crimson; andEleanor, a fiery pyramidal sandwich.

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