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How Feeling Excluded as a Child Drove this Entrepreneur to Start Her Own Company Amanda Ealla's own childhood experiences of feeling like she didn't belong drove her to start ISH Dolls. Here are three lessons she's picked up on the journey of starting her own business.

By Mita Mallick Edited by Jessica Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Itsy Bitsy Memories Photography

I remember having classmates over for a playdate once in elementary school. My friend walked by my parents' room and peeked in. "What are those funny looking dolls? Why are there flowers in front of them? Why is there smoke burning from that stick?"

I explained that it was my mother's prayer area. As a Hindu, my mother prayed every evening after bathing, offering flowers and lighting incense. And those were not dolls; they were our Hindu gods.

"You pray to a statue with an elephant head?" she laughed. Our prayer area later became the talk of my second-grade classroom. The other kids just couldn't understand why we prayed "like that."

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