CHICAGO (Reuters) – When John Zimmer, 26, left his job at Lehman Brothers to pursue an entrepreneurial dream in the summer of 2008, he had no idea how fortunate his timing was.
“How can you leave a sure thing…to do this risky startup?’” Zimmer recalled a family friend warning him. Just months later, Lehman collapsed into bankruptcy, part of a chain reaction that sparked the financial meltdown on Wall Street.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Frustrated that she couldn’t find her lipstick, keys and other essentials in a stylish new handbag given to her as a gift by her son, Anita Crook came up with a solution. In 2005 she designed the Pouchee – a pocketbook organizer that Crook expects will fetch her close to $2 million in revenues this year.
“I couldn’t find any way to organize it and I thought, well, you know, maybe I could design something,” said Crook, 63, who began the company out of her home in Greenville, South Carolina with $10,000 from her savings and the conviction she was filling a need. “I don’t look at myself so much as an entrepreneur as I do a problem solver.”
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Last summer, Melody Jamali lost her 21-year-old son, Eric. Her pain was heightened by the impersonal service she received while selecting an urn to hold her son’s ashes.
“I was appalled, absolutely appalled,” said Jamali, who was overwhelmed by the stress of it and wound up settling for a vessel that had little meaning. “It was just a transaction. It was the height of insensitivity.”