Christiane Lemieux
MPW entrepreneurs christiane lemieux
Age: 43
Company: DwellStudio
Founded: 2000

After graduating from Parson's School of Design in 1997, Lemieux was working on surface design at home goods store Portico in New York City. She tried out several trendier, fashion-driven pieces on the floor and customers seemed to love them, inspiring her to leave and start her own company. Lemieux considers DwellStudio to be the "new economy" version of more established brands like Pottery Barn, though success did not come overnight. "I made the mistake very early on of saying yes to everything and I lost some good years of growth." Lemieux advises, "Say yes to the opportunities that grow the business and no to the ones that are clearly a distraction."

In 2010, DwellStudio opened its first retail location in NYC's famous ABC Home & Carpet -- and in May, it cut the ribbon to its first standalone store in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated September 27 2012 03:31 PM ET
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