Entrepreneur trades bestsellers for bracelets

– Melinda F. Emerson, known as the SmallBizLady, is an entrepreneur, professional speaker, small business coach and the author of “Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months“. In 2010, Forbes magazine named her as one of the Top 20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter. This article originally appeared on Second Act. –

Until three years ago, Janet Hill Talbert worked as a vice president and executive editor at a major New York publishing house. It was challenging work, and Talbert enjoyed nurturing her writers, including many bestselling authors.

But the stress of the job took its toll, and she started making jewelry as a way to unwind after hectic days.

“I needed to make something that was my own,” Talbert says, “since I spent my days helping authors with their creative endeavors.”

At 45, after more than two decades working her way up from editorial assistant to top editor at the Doubleday/Broadway Publishing Group, Talbert walked away from her high-powered career. She is now a full-time jewelry designer and entrepreneur at her own company, On This Rock.

Four wheels and style to burn

– By Regina Schrambling. This article originally appeared on SecondAct.com. –

First food trucks gave eager young chefs a route into the restaurant world. Now a new fleet of entrepreneurs is close behind with seriously cool mobile retail.

On weekends, one of the hippest places to shop in SoHo In New York sits at the corner of Broadway and Prince, with street artists to the west, trendy stores all around and an endless stream of tourists and shoppers flowing past on the sidewalk. Danceable music pulses out of speakers to stop the human stream long enough for it to notice a show window with graphic T-shirts and collectible toys on display. And every few minutes, a passerby becomes a patron, handing over $35 in cash for a tee and providing a smiling photo op – everyone who buys is snapped with a Canon digital camera, his/her visage to be posted on a website.

Pilot trades 747s for water taxis

SecondAct contributor David Ferrell is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and the author of the comic baseball novel “Screwball”. This article originally appeared on SecondAct.com. Top photo by Veronica DeLuca

Pilot John Voishan devoted a long career to flying travelers across the globe. He loved to gaze down on mountains and rivers as he guided massive 747s to cities in Europe, Australia and throughout the Americas. His final assigned route – from Los Angeles to Sydney – took 14 1/2 hours and spanned 7,500 miles each way, with hundreds of people reading and napping in the cabin behind him.

Though retired now, at age 65, Voishan hasn’t quite given up the passengers. But he’s traded in jumbo jets for a slow, boxy, open-air vessel known as a shoreboat, a water taxi that serves Santa Catalina Island. The rugged fleet of shoreboats – each slightly smaller than a bus – is one of the distinctive features of the picturesque island 22 miles off the Southern California coast.

From aerospace engineer to horse healer

photo: courtesy Gail SnyderSecondAct contributor David Ferrell is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and the author of the comic baseball novel “Screwball”. This article originally appeared on SecondAct.com. Top photo courtesy of Gail Snyder.

As an aerospace engineer, Gail Snyder labored on the frontiers of science, devising experiments for the Space Shuttle and later designing flight-simulation software for the X-31 high-maneuverability fighter jet. She spent her final years in the corporate world at Boeing Aircraft, in Southern California, doing flight simulations for satellites.

Two bad breaks, however, knocked her life into a wholly different orbit. One was the loss of her job; Boeing retrenched in 2002, laying off close to 5,000 workers. At about the same time, Snyder’s young horse, Clover, went lame.