Maxine Clark, founder of Build-a-Bear Workshop, says she was ready to strike out on her own after almost two decades working for May Department Stores. "I wanted to have more fun," she recalls. Although adults were skeptical of her do-it-yourself stuffed-animals concept, children thought she was onto something -- and they were right. Build-a-Bear Workshop was a rapid success, and the publicly held company hit $468 million in revenues in 2008.

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