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Firing the boss to fly solo
Hope & Jennifer Perkins
Founders
Hot Pink Pistol and the Naughty Secretary Club

Hope and Jennifer Perkins are longtime craft entrepreneurs. As kids, the sisters fashioned earrings out of fishing lures and decorated T-shirts with puffy paint to sell at family garage sales. Later, working as a secretary at a stockbroker's office in Austin, Hope painted pictures on purses whenever her boss wasn't around. Jennifer was similarly unfocused on her secretarial duties. So the pair fired their bosses.

Now Jennifer, 34, sells handmade jewelry on her Web site, the Naughty Secretary Club. Hope, 30, sells clothes and handbags adorned with paintings of animals, desserts and dead rappers, among others, on her site, Hot Pink Pistol. The pair co-host a show, Styleicious, on the DIY Network. Jennifer teaches business classes for local artists and co-founded Babes in Business, a monthly meet-up for Austin businesswomen. Her book, The Naughty Secretary Club: The Working Girl's Guide to Handmade Jewelry, came out last August.

The sisters are part of the Austin Craft Mafia, a gaggle of business owners who share advice and ad space they couldn't afford individually. "More people notice you when you're part of a group," Jennifer says. Neither sister will reveal her revenue, but they haven't gone back to those day jobs.

NEXT: A business built from spare parts

LAST UPDATE: Feb 12 2009 | 5:42 PM ET
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