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Samantha Hodgkins, the owner of SparkFire Active, a company that makes athletic wear for teen girls, spent over a decade working her way up the corporate ladder in consumer marketing. But that work became unfulfilling, and Hodgkins dreamed of a career path with more purpose. As she told us in her 1,000+ Stories profile, one issue struck a deep chord within her: “Girls need to feel strong and confident in their own bodies, minds and hearts.”

So in 2014, she launched a company that promotes healthy lifestyles along with its workout wear and partners with a range of organizations that are also focused on lifting up young women. “The mission and message are really resonating,” she says. “Now it’s about converting that into actionable business transactions. As a product-based company, that takes time.”

Hodgkins is presently focused on growing her customer base and boosting sales. But already, she says that creating the business has given her a new, meaningful way to connect with her daughters, who are 12 and 7.

“Having them be on the front line and involved in the entrepreneurial journey has been a tremendous focus for me,” she says. They often help with the business “in a hands-on, roll-up-the-sleeves way” that includes interacting with customers at events and processing their purchases, generating ideas for social media content and participating in product focus groups. “I’m not only doing something professionally fulfilling, but I’m bringing along my daughters for the opportunity to learn.”

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