Alice Crisci

Member of the LA Incubator
My Vision Foundation
www.myvisionfoundation.org

My business is… an organization for young adults with cancer. We protect their tomorrow by offering financial aid for fertility preservation. We inspire their today by offering emotionally healing photography sessions, often in the nude, to help them transition with the physical changes they are facing.

My dream is… to be the first place young adults worldwide come when diagnosed with cancer. I dream of an international awards ceremony recognizing visionary contributors funding research projects focused on this underserved community.

I launched because…  when I was diagnosed with cancer this year, my vision for the future of this foundation and the difference it could make in the world pulled me through my darkest moments.

One day you’ll see me…  dancing with Ellen DeGeneres. You’ll also see me lobbying Congress for health care reform forcing insurance companies to cover expensive fertility preservation for patients facing a medical crisis that could prevent them from being biological parents.

Ladies Who Launch has helped me…  keep a positive attitude, launch this foundation, raise money and get through each chemo infusion knowing there’s a community behind me, lifting me up to be the woman that God wants me to be during this very difficult time.

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Wendy Armbruster Bell

Bell focuses on women\'s issues by bringing breastfeeding back to the mainstream.Member of the Vancouver, BC, Incubator

My business is … Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear Ltd., which sources, designs, and produces mom and baby products that are fun, fashionable, and “frumpless”! Through lighthearted humor, we are trying to bring breastfeeding—the most natural and beneficial thing we can do for our babies—back into the mainstream as it once was 100 years ago. We are also committed to raising awareness around the demand for donations (both breast milk and monetary) at your local breast milk bank.

My dream is … to be content, to love what I do, and to be successful enough to work hard, play hard, and spend quality time with my family on MY terms.

I launched because … after having my second daughter, I didn’t want to go back to my job of 21 years at a telecommunications company—a job that, over the years and after a merger, just wasn’t the same anymore.

One day you’ll see me … on Oprah!

Ladies Who Launch has helped me … meet and network with incredible women, stay inspired, stay connected, and learn, learn, learn! I love the “put it out there and it will come to you” magic of Ladies Who Launch.

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Stephanie Dickerson

Atlanta Business Women and Incubator Member

Member of the Atlanta Incubator

My business is … Hug Your Hero Gifts, Inc., which is all about giving thanks and hugs to heroes of all kinds—military, teachers, firefighters, police officers, veterans, and breast cancer survivors—through the signature “Have you hugged a hero today?” shirts and product line.

My dream is … to be a successful entrepreneur, mother, and mentor/leader to those who are in need. We have plans to expand to two nonprofit organizations, one to help those who need any kind of help and the other to assist visually impaired people gain their independence by providing transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, errands, and grocery stores.

I launched because … I wanted to be empowered to be what I have the full potential to be. I wanted the freedom to be able to raise my 6-year-old daughter, work with her class, attend field trips, and work on our long-term family goals on our own time and not someone else’s time schedule.

One day you’ll see me … all across the nation, doing fundraisers, benefits, raising money for those in need, assisting our military and their families and spreading hugs across the nation.

Ladies Who Launch has helped me … understand that I don’t have to do this all by myself. I now have a network of wonderful, talented, and experienced friends to help me down the road to entrepreneurship. Ladies Who Launch has been the best thing in starting my business: I have received a lot of wonderful advice, found great new friends, and business partners. It’s a great family and I love them all.

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Petite Fashion Expert Christa MacLellan

Member of the Toronto Incubator

My business is … Petite Fashionista, a multimedia Web site that is dedicated to petite fashion and the celebration of petites of all shapes. It’s the everyday fashion destination for women 5’4″ and under.

My dream is … to develop Petite Fashionista into the #1 trusted brand in the petite market (up next: a weekly Internet video show, shopping events, a clothing line, and a book).

I launched because … I found something that I couldn’t wait to do every morning when I woke up!

One day you’ll see me … in Vogue magazine, in a five-page interview about how I put the glamour back into being petite.

Ladies Who Launch has helped me … network with amazing women, determine what it is I want, and just go for it!

Jill Frechtman

Member of the New York City Incubator

My business is … Fretzels by Jill, which are hand-dipped gourmet chocolate-covered pretzels like you’ve never seen or tasted before. These sweet treats are drenched in milk, white, and dark chocolate and adorned with toppings like mini M&Ms, mini chocolate chips, and toffee. They make the perfect gift for yourself or someone else … if you’re willing to share.

My dream is … to make the world a sweeter place, one Fretzel at a time.

I launched because … I was encouraged by my bosses (no joke) and coworkers. After making my chocolate-covered pretzels for an office holiday party, I was told I had to get them out there for other people to try. I really wasn’t happy working in corporate America, and pursuing Fretzels as a business allowed me to incorporate three of my greatest loves into a more fulfilling way of life: my love of chocolate, my love of design, and my need to feed people (which I proudly inherited from my Bubby).

One day you’ll see me … on “Oprah”! It was an Oprah show back in 2003, with Po Bronson (author of the book What Should I Do With My Life?), that really inspired me and pushed me to launch Fretzels.

Ladies Who Launch has helped me … realize that I’m not alone. Launching can sometimes be a seemingly lonely process, but it’s a great feeling to know that I’m surrounded by other launching ladies who are going through the same ups and downs, the same challenges, and conquering the same fears. The wonderful women of Ladies Who Launch have been a tremendous source of support, resources, encouragement, and inspiration for me.

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Jennifer Dziura

Member of the New York City Incubator

My business is … dedicated to bringing adult spelling bees to all.

My dream is … to teach the world when to use “its” and when to use “it’s.” If you mean to say “it is,” use an apostrophe. If not, don’t! I could go on for days! Want to talk about the subjunctive mood?

I launched because … I’m never not running my own business. I have run one small company or another my entire adult life. I actually founded my first company (an Internet marketing firm) as a junior in college, and had eight employees by the time I graduated. That company ultimately tanked, but once you’ve printed up business cards with whatever fancy title you’ve decided on for yourself, there’s really no going back. I’ve never had a jobby-job! I don’t do meetings, pantyhose, or bureaucracy. Feel free to quote me on that. Actually, maybe I should put that on bumper stickers.

One day you’ll see me … hosting a TV game show.

Ladies Who Launch has helped me … meet people I wouldn’t have come into contact with otherwise.

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Ann Greenberg

Member of the New York City Incubator

My business is … Eco-Logic, a source for innovative green-friendly products including T-shirts, bathrobes, cooking aprons, oven mitts, and tote bags, for both retailers and wholesale companies in the apparel, culinary, spa, hotel, and hospitality industries.

My dream is … to provide green-friendly, sustainable products and solutions which reduce adverse environmental impact and offer ways to use the earth’s natural resources imaginatively, intelligently, and responsibly.

I launched because … consumers are becoming more critical and conscious regarding the origins and content of what they eat, wear, and apply to their skin, resulting in an increased demand for environmentally friendly products.

One day you’ll see … my organic cotton cooking aprons, oven mitts, pot holders, and dish towels in Whole Foods, Crate & Barrel, and Williams-Sonoma, and my organic cotton terry bathrobes and slippers in the Bliss catalog and worn by clients at well-known spas and hotels.

Ladies Who Launch has helped me…. turn my dreams and visions into reality. LWL’s extraordinary network of women have extended themselves unconditionally with their support, encouragement, and inspiration to help me achieve my goals and open my eyes to see what is possible.

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Celeste Katz

MTM - Celeste Katz       Member of the Atlanta Incubator

My business is … Send Out Cards.

My dream is … to show others that when we give with no expectation of getting something back, we receive more than we ever imagined.

I launched because … I have a unique and amazingly simple business system—something wonderful to share with others that nurtures business and personal relationships and improves effectiveness.

One day you’ll see me … on the covers of Sassy Quarterly and Brave New Women, where I will be interviewed in my capacity as a mentor to women who want the perfect home-based business.

Ladies Who Launch has helped me … overcome the fear and insecurity that was holding me back from accomplishing my goals. I now have the courage to make big dreams reality, and the feeling is indescribable. I think I’m two inches taller!

Sarah Shaw

           Member of the Los Angeles Incubator

My business is … Simply Sarah. I design and manufacture the patented Handy Hold All, which is the ultimate closet organizer for handbags, BB caps, and scarves. It’s a chic, simple solution for tiny living. We also sell cosmetic bags as well as our new fabric basket sets, which can hold everything from bread to your wedding ring.

My dream is … to have distribution deals in all the overseas markets and to be able to work less and spend more time with my adorable five-month-old twins.

I launched because … creating is what I do best. I love bringing a new idea to market and watching it grow.

One day you’ll see me … in Entrepreneur magazine, talking about my book, The Entreprenette Handbook, about how to start an accessory company from the ground up.

Ladies Who Launch has helped me … with everything! I took the first Incubator in Los Angeles in 2005 and launched this new business in February 2006. I am now a leader in L.A. and I continue to be inspired by each and every person in my classes and who I meet along the way. LWL members are the most generous people I have ever met, only want the best for each other, and will do anything to help you achieve your goals. The shared information and connections are priceless.

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Wendy Taylor

Member of the San Francisco Incubator

My business is … hosting the Prosper 2008 Green Economy Summit, which is bringing together entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and consumers to redefine prosperity for the digital and green economies.

My dream is … to host quarterly Prosper Summits across the country.

I launched because … I realized I could be a role model for younger women and add more value to the world as an entrepreneur than as a corporate executive.

One day you’ll see me … hosting my own show on CNBC.

Ladies Who Launch has helped me … make my Prosper 2008 Summit dream a reality.

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