A former advertising executive, Vicki Esralew of Chicago decided to switch gears after she became a mom. Her brainchild? A software game called Jack's House (named after her firstborn), which she delivered to vendors from the front seat of her Jeep. Ten years later, she now oversees Vickilew Inc., a multimillion-dollar business that specializes in CD-ROMs, music, and videos.
Esralew is just one of a new generation of moms inventors who are discovering ways to capitalize on their newfound -- and favorite -- talent: parenting. Some left jobs for the home front but took their skills with them; others were new to the market but used their mom smarts to brainstorm products. In the end, all have one thing in common: They love what they do.