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To the Letter Testimonials lead to a world of opportunity.

By April Y. Pennington

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Tara O'Keeffe's rancher father had long endured splitsand cracks in his hands and feet, motivating her to create O'Keeffe's Working Hands Creme. Impressed withthe product's healing powers, independent pharmacies carriedit. But when O'Keeffe, 48, tried to get the cream in retailersnationwide, buyers only cared about which major stores alreadystocked the product.

Undaunted, O'Keeffe collected letters from gratefulindividuals. She shared the testimonials at a trade show, where aWalgreens buyer was impressed by the binder that contained 1,000letters.

Before long, the buyer had placed O'Keeffe's product inevery store--allowing her to begin advertising nationally. "Webecame a brand in consumers' minds," says O'Keeffe,who saw sales increase 20 to 25 percent and projects 2003 sales toreach $2 million.

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