Brooke Cohen, Weston, FL
Jared, 3, and Jamie, 5 months
BabyBargainsUSA.com, an online shop that specializes in both new and used products for babies, children, and pregnant moms
How it began: "I had a relatively expensive stroller I wanted to sell," says Cohen, who used to teach seventh-grade English. "I thought, Wouldn't it be great if there was a website just for moms who wanted to buy and sell?" So she wrote up a 70-page plan that described the look and function of her online dream in click-by-click detail, handed it over to a designer, and her website was born. When sellers log on, they list the item they want to sell, name their price, and select a shipping method from a list. If someone purchases their item, they ship it to the buyer, who pays in full for the sale and the shipping. "I make my money by deducting eighteen percent from the sale. The rest of the profit goes to the seller," says Cohen.
Toughest moment: Just after the site launched, things got harried for Cohen. "I was nine months pregnant, the business was brand-new, and I was spending a lot of time shipping out many of my own things to buyers -- which meant there was a ton of boxes piled up in my living room," she says. At the same time, she was wondering whether her venture would actually pay off, her friends were questioning the wisdom of starting a business with the birth of her second baby just around the corner. "In the end, though, I made the right choice -- I decided to trust my heart instead of listening to others," she says.
How to find it: Go to www.babybargainsusa.com or e-mail email@example.com.