Eileen Fisher First, suit yourself
By Joan Caplin

(MONEY Magazine) – By almost any standard, Eileen Fisher was an immediate success. In 1984, with $350 in the bank, she showed four of her clothing designs at a show in New York and got $3,000 in orders. Three months later she received $40,000 more. Today, Eileen Fisher clothes--high quality, simple, comfortable--are found in major department stores as well as in 32 shops that bear her name. In 2003 her company had $154 million in revenue.

"Yes, I'm successful," says Fisher, 54, "but I've only considered myself successful for the last six months." Huh? "It's about finally getting to the essence of me," explains the Irvington, N.Y. resident. "It's about not contorting myself to meet the approval of others." Fisher's move last December into a home she designed made her realize how far she's come. "It's not really the house. It's that I have the confidence to go after what I want and can encourage other people to do it. That's what really feels successful." --J.C.