Eileen Fisher

Eileen Fisher calls herself "a mother, a clothing designer, a business woman," in that order.

Originally from Illinois, Fisher moved to New York City in 1973 to work first as an interior designer, then as a graphic artist.

In 1984, with just $350, she founded her clothing business, Eileen Fisher, Inc., based on her idea of providing women with simple, high-quality, comfortable clothes that they could assemble as a "clothing system." 

She began with four shapes and took them to The Boutique Show in New York. Encouraged by $3,000 in orders, she expanded her line to eight pieces. The second show brought in $40,000 in orders, after which she incoporated.

Today, the company has 900 employees with 58 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Her company's clothes are also sold at sophisticated shops across the country.