Where women share how economic independence through business ownership has changed everything.

A column spotlighting a woman entrepreneur speaking in her own words about how owning a successful business has transformed her life — and the lives of people around her. It looks at what economic independence through entrepreneurship makes possible for real women. The #IndependentLife column ceased publication in March 2018.

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""Being my own boss has allowed me to step into rooms I never would have thought imaginable.""
— Elizabeth Eichhorn
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"Every day, getting up and building this, it doesn't feel like work."
— Ileaa Swift
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"I feel so grateful to have a business that's doing well enough that I can say, 'Hey, I want to move across the country.'"
— Keavy Landreth
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"I live a lifestyle that's exactly how I would design it - because I did design it."
— Alexandra Clark
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"Entrepreneurship has truly provided me the best of both worlds for a working mom."
— Rosanna Berardi
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"It's definitely scary, but it's worth it."
— Tanya Costigan
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"I had this idea, and I wanted to make it happen. I'm happy that I've been able to accomplish my dream."
— Samantha Stephens
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"Entrepreneurship allowed me to be a role model for my family and for my community."
— Penelope Shihab
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"Work doesn't feel like work. It feels just like a continuous flow of my life purpose."
— Vivien Francis
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"While I was in the corporate [world], I would look forward for weekend breaks. Now, all 7 days of the week are equally interesting!"
— Manali Shenoy
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"I'm so proud to provide work for people, and to give back to this amazing country."
— Flora Pringle
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"I've been able to support, hire or give a leg up to a lot of amazing activists, makers, friends and talented writers and photographers through our work."
— Sophie Slater
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"Every day, I wake up not knowing what will happen next. I like the variety in that. "
— Judy Mazzuca
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"Interacting with people in other places and cultures is the best thing about what I've done."
— Yvette Jenkins
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"Entrepreneurship helps me to grow and continue moving forward."
— Ashley Michele
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"Now, people are taking me seriously because of my business."
— Allison Statter
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"I made a nice life for myself and my team."
— Janet Odgis
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"Entrepreneurship makes me feel like I can accomplish anything I set my mind to."
— Karen Roche
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"Entrepreneurship enables me to the be mom that has no regrets."
— Monica Ruffo
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"At its heart, entrepreneurship has provided me with the chances to become more comfortable with uncertainty."
— Margaret Wolfson
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"I wanted to show them [entrepreneurship] can be done, at any age, at any point in your life."
— Takia Ross
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"My lifestyle is so much more comfortable now than when I started up."
— Jessica Rosen
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"Before, I was never confident in becoming an entrepreneur. Today, I am mentoring a lot of women to start their businesses."
— Monica Sabharwal
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"Getting in tune with what you're capable of really touches the rest of your life."
— Rashmi Melgiri
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"Changing my surroundings is a great source for inspiration, both professionally and personally."
— Phuong Mai
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"I definitely like to meet new people, and having a regular, 9-to-5 job wouldn't allow me to do that."
— Jennifer Williams
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"Outsourcing household chores makes it possible for me to be the most efficient and present person."
— Susan Johnson
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"It feels healthier, mentally and physically, to organize your life your way, instead of a schedule being dictated to you."
— Jessica Porter
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"Now, all that I do is for women. It's fantastic."
— Melissa Moo Harkins
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"I have the flexibility to volunteer with my kids at school, on field trips or at special events."
— Pam Cooper
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"To be self-sustaining is very rewarding."
— Emily Gimmel Mitchell
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"It gives me a depth of purpose and certainty of my worth, and it doesn't get any better than that."
— Melon Dash
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"Designing every detail of the studio to my exact specifications and needs was exciting, and I love working there every day."
— Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes
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"I am who I was supposed to be — not at the expense of being a wife and mother, but in addition to it."
— Lee Ann Maxwell
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"I am a total homebody, and couldn't go back to the 9-to-5, 7-days-a-week office life."
— Luisa Alberto
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"There's a power in having choices."
— Fatima Khamissa
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"Having a purpose-driven business has helped shape me into the person I probably always was deep down — someone who cared about people and the planet."
— Sandra Nomoto
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"Creating a successful business has changed my life for the better because it gave me a platform to help others."
— Katie Niemeyer
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"As a business owner, I have so much freedom and time to dream. What could be better?"
— Jill Marcus
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"I'm not only doing something professionally fulfilling, but I'm bringing along my daughters for the opportunity to learn."
— Samantha Hodgkins
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"It has made me more disciplined and focused."
— Ranjani Iyengar
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"I not only get to spend more time with my husband, but I can focus on other things, too."
— Marisa Lightfoot
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"I have always had a passion for traveling, and it's even more adventurous to travel with family."
— Lisa Batra
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"It allows me to get involved. It allows me to dream a lot bigger."
— Azra Khalfan
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"I'm a very independent woman; I don't rely on anyone to take care of me."
— Daisy Jing
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"Achieving financial freedom has been one of the most liberating experiences."
— Kymberlyn Lacy
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"It's your money, your time, your life -- you don't need to wait for anyone."
— Maggie Hallahan
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"I got a chance to see the world."
— Tanya Chernova
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"This is what happens when you start to have financial stability. You feel differently. You're open for more."
— Helen Denise
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"Starting a business was extremely uncomfortable, but I’m so much happier for it."
— Julie Crabill
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"There is something special about creating your destiny and impacting others along the way."
— Melissa Mendez
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"I feel like I can hold my ground. I value myself. I really love myself."
— Shannon DePalma
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"To meet people from different walks of life has helped me grow as a person."
— Judi Townsend
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"Having a successful business has changed my life for the better because I get to choose."
— Nance L. Schick
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"To have the freedom to support melding a family together, to meet those needs, was crucial. I'm really grateful."
— Michelle Myers