I knew I'd made it when ...

These entrepreneurs had some rocky starts, but each had a key moment when their business turned a corner. They share how they got there.

Customers kept coming back for years

knew i made it regina mcrae
  • Name: Regina McRae
  • Company: Grandma's Secrets, New York

I started Grandma's Secrets in 1995 after people in my running club began asking if they could buy my pies. I put an ad on my local cable station and business took off, though I still struggled financially for many years.

Then one day, maybe seven years in, one of my longtime customers called to tell me the cake I'd made was the best they'd ever had. That was the fourth or fifth returning customer who had called me back that day and it really sunk in: I'd spent all those years planting the seeds and I was at the point where just my returning customers could keep me going. Tears came to my eyes.

I used to charge $6 for a small pie and $10 for a cake. Now my average cake costs $250 to $300. They are works of art. I have two pastry chefs working for me, I host a radio show, and we just started shipping our brownies to customers.

  @CNNMoney - Last updated September 30 2013 11:27 AM ET
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