Isaac Merrit Singer, Sewing Machine Inventor, Founder of Singer – Entrepreneur

Isaac Merritt Singer was born in Pittstown, New York, on October 27, 1811. He was the youngest child of Adam Singer  and his first wife, Ruth Benson. Adam, a millwright, and his wife emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1803. They had eight children, three sons and five daughters. When Isaac Singer was 10 years old, his parents divorced. After Adam Singer remarried, Isaac Singer did not get on well with his stepmother.  When he was 12, he ran away. He later went to live with his elder brother in Rochester.

Started with Machines

Singer’s elder brother had a machine shop, and Isaac went to work there. It was there that Isaac grew to his full height of 6 feet 4 inches  and where he first learned the machinist trade that would become the basis of his fame and fortune.

First inventions Led to Singer Sewing Machine

After a series of inventions in the machine trade, Singer went to work in Boston for a man named Phelps.  Lerow & Blodgett sewing machines were being constructed and repaired in Phelps’ shop, where Singer went to work.  Phelps asked Singer to look at the sewing machines, which were difficult to use and produce. Singer concluded that the sewing machine would be more reliable if the shuttle moved in a straight line rather than a circle, with a straight rather than a curved needle. Singer was able to obtain a US Patent for his improvements on August 12, 1851.

Singer’s Prototype

Singer’s prototype sewing machine became the first to work in a practical way. It could sew 900 stitches per minute, far better than the 40 of an accomplished seamstress on simple work.

I. M. Singer & Co

In 1856, manufacturers Grover & Baker, Singer, Wheeler & Wilson, all accusing each other of patent infringement, met in Albany, New York to pursue their suits. Orlando B. Potter, a lawyer and president of the Grover and Baker Company, proposed that, rather than squander their profits on litigation, they pool their patents. This was the first patent pool process which enables the production of complicated machines without legal battles over patent rights.

Mass Produced Sewing Machines

Sewing machines began to be mass produced. I. M. Singer & Co manufactured 2,564 machines in 1856, and 13,000 in 1860 at a new plant on Mott Street in New York. Later, a massive plant was built near Elizabeth, New Jersey.  By investing in mass production utilizing the concept of interchangeable parts he was able to cut the price in half, while at the same time increasing his profit margin 530%.  Singer was the first who put a family machine, “the turtle back”, on the market. Eventually, the price came down to $10. According to PBS, “His partner, Edward Clark, pioneered installment purchasing plans and accepted trade-ins, causing sales to soar.” I. M. Singer expanded into the European market, establishing a factory in Clydebank, near Glaasgow, controlled by the parent company, becoming one of the first American-based multinational corporations, with agencies in Paris and Rio de Janeiro.


-If you are an inventor, risk and create something

-Make sure to get a patent for your invention

-Inventions can lead to other ideas or inventions


Liz Claiborne, Fashion Designer, Entreprenuer

Liz Claiborne spent her childhood in New Orleans until she dropped out of high school to travel to Europe to study art.  Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s, she worked for several male designers in New York City, before starting her own company.  As a pioneer fashion designer, Liz Claiborne’s, stylish work clothes have helped women break through the glass ceiling for 30 years revolutionized women’s apparel.  In 1976, she defied the male-dominated industry and broke out on her own, creating Liz Claiborne, Inc., a label that became synonymous with women’s rise in the workforce.

Department Stores Began to Stock Pants for Women

The label turned fashion convention on its head by forcing department stores to stock both skirts and pants in the same section for the first time.   Claiborne shunned feminine frills and catwalk couture for tailored pieces that could be mixed and matched to serve the working woman’s wardrobe.

Husband Became the Secretary Reversing the Traditional Roles

Claiborne also reversed traditions by appoint her husband, Art Ortenberg, as secretary of the company, while she continued to hold the rank of executive until her retirement in 1989.  Her commitment to style and design is ever present in current thinking and the way women work.  She will be remembered for her vision, her entrepreneurial spirit and her enduring compassion and generosity.  Claiborne was also a dedicated philanthropist, who funded millions of dollars of programs to help women, including domestic violence services and business training for budding entrepreneurs.


-You can create your own trends

-Move outside the traditional box


Lauren Remington Platt, Founder of Vensette, Personal Make-up Service, Entrepreneur

Lauren Remington Platt, entrepreneur,  is the Founder of Vensette, a personal makeup service.  As an analyst at a Hedge Fund, Lauren Remington Platt would routinely duck out of the office for blow dries to prep for postwork fund-raisers and charity events.  “I’d have to pin my hair so it didn’t look like I’d gotten a blowout.” Recalls the 5-foot 11-inch, 26- year old  Columbia grad who’s become a fixture on the society pages and on Vogue’s best dressed list.

Started Her Own Business

Prompted by the lack of convenient high-quality beauty services in Manhattan, Ms. Platt launched Vensette ( a members-only booking service that sends makeup artists straight to a client’s home, office or even her gym.  Promising speedy appointments that last 90 minutes or less, Ms. Platt’s team of estheticians arrives with a menu of styles ranging from classic chignons to bohemian braids.  Since launching in February, Vensette’s clients – among them model Elettra Wiedenmann, designer Genevieve Jones and Princess Grace of Monaco’s granddaughter Charlotte Casiraghi – have picked from the site’s popular coiffures, including Siren (a nod of 1920’s glam) and Tribeca (a polished ponytail) and makeup looks such as CEO (subtle smoky eyes) and Sun-Kissed (a perfect natural glow).  “The process of getting ready can be really stressful, so we eliminate one obstacle.” Ms. Platt says.  “The idea is to make you look like you, only better.”  Next up, Ms. Platt plans to expand to other cities and introduce new event-specific menus.  (Brides-to-be who fear terrible makeup jobs, take note.)


-Find a niche market out of your observations

-Create your business while you have a job

-Expand your business when it is ready


Kip Tindell, Founder of the Container Store – Entrepreneur

Kip Tindell, founder of the Container Store. Dropped out of the University of Texas. As he noted, “I crammed a four-year program into about eight years.”

When Kip Tindell and his partners set out in 1978 to open a store that would sell storage and organizational products, they had a hard time persuading industrial manufacturers to sell them supplies like egg baskets and tool bags for consumer use in the home.

Nearly 30 years later the 39-store chain offers over 10,000 products designed to hold everything from prescription pills to wrapping paper. Tindell’s team has also managed to parlay an initial $35,000 investment into a $500-million-a-year clutter-fighting company that has produced 15 to 20 percent annual sales growth since its founding.

Put employees before customers.

“If you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of the customers – and that will take care of your shareholders. To myopically focus on the shareholders is wrong. So we invest heavily in our employees. Our sales staff receives 241 hours of training; the industry average is eight. We offer health-care coverage to part-timers, and we offer what we call “mom-and-pop shifts” that allow parents to drop off and pick up their children. And in keeping with my passion for the outdoors – I love fly-fishing – our new headquarters in Coppell, Texas, includes a stocked pond and a really nice lawn.  My day is full of nonstop, unscheduled interaction with others. I’m usually out of my office and in somebody else’s, having one-on-ones. The staff calls them “drive-bys.” A lot of people try to keep their offices quiet, but I like to hear – and encourage – loudness and laughter,” says Kip.


-Stick with your idea no even if no one believes in you

-Help others to fill their dreams and you will fulfill yours

-Be good to your employees



Ash Atalla, Television Producer “The Office” – Entrepreneur

Ash Atalla (born 1972) is an Egyptian television producer responsible for producing several British TV series such as The IT Crowd, The Office and Man Stroke Woman. He has also various cameo appearances in productions such as in Ricky Gervais’s Politics. Atalla made his first appearance on TV in 1999, when he starred in a documentary charting the lives of several disabled people.

Success with Diversity

Atalla developed Polio as a baby, and emigrated to London due to his father’s job constrictions. It was Atalla who played a major role in getting The Office on the air; a risky decision which would ultimately prove to be a success.


-Despire disabilities, success can be yours

-Follow your dream and do whatever it takes to make it happen


Seth Price, Founder “Turlytag”, Identity Protection, Entrepreneur

Seth Price was born in New York City.  His parents met at the High School for the Performing Arts. His father was an aspiring basketball star and his mother a cheerleader. Being of mixed race created some chaos in the family.  Seth was raised by his grandparents until he was six years old so that his parents could finish college. Both his parents became professors, his father an Art professor and his mother a professor of women’s studies. Seth moved to California to live with his father and spent almost all of his holidays in NY with the rest of my family.

Loved the Catering Industry

Seth was not challenged in the little town he grew up in  and took his  GED to exit High School early in Arcata California.  He then I studied computer science at Humboldt State University at the age of 17. He dropped out after my first year to go back to NYC. When he moved to NY, he fell in love with food. He worked for some top notch chefs, Larry Forgione and Herb Wilson. After starting a catering company, he catered parties for the Who’s Who of NYC. Some of the memorable events were at Moma, BAM and for DIFFA at the Armory.

Open Bubby’s Restaurant in Tribeca, NY

He started consulting for other restaurants then opened Bubby’s, his own restaurant in Tribeca with my business partner, Ron Silver. After 9/11, he decided to leave NYC with my family. He sold off all of his business holdings and moved to Providence RI. That was the beginning of  his focus on technology. He started a tech services company called Mac Dr. when he couldn’t find anyone to fix his computer. It was the pre-cursor to Apple’s genius bar.

Ended up in Data Security – His Own Business

Most recently he have focused his interests in the area of data security and identity theft protection, working for one of America’s leading providers of ID Services, IDT911. One of the challenges of Identity Theft Protectionis that the major cause of data breaches is human error. He came up with a solution that  helps individual on a human level with data protection. TurlyTag provides services that address the human side of identity protection. It’s a system of next-generation ID tags that help lost belongings quickly make their way back to you. It all started when he left a laptop at airport security,


-One you start a business, you can do it in another industry

-Follow your passions

-Fill the gap – see what’s needed and start a business


Ty Warner, Founder of Ty, Inc, Beanie Babies, Entrepreneur

Ty Warner was born September 3, 1944, somewhere on the outskirts of Chicago, Illinois. His father’s name was Harold, he was a jeweler and toy salesman, mothers name was Georgia, and she was a pianist. Ty also has one younger sister named Joy.  In 1948 Ty and his family moved into the suburbs to a place called La Grange, a small Victorian village about half hour west of Chicago where they lived in a large villa that was originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.


At the age of 14 Ty began attending Lyons High School in Chicago. After only three terms, he moved to St. John’s Military Academy, a private boarding school for boys located in Delafield, Wisconsin. It has been said that his parents sent him there because Ty seemed to be unchallenged in school and lacked motivation to succeed.  After St. John’s Academy, Ty began attending college at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan where he studied Drama. Ty was only here a year before he dropped out to become a star. Ty decided to try his luck in Hollywood, California as an actor. However, about all he did in California was pump gas and sell cameras door to door.

No Hollywood Dream…

Once Ty realized that Hollywood was not going to work out for him he moved back to Chicago where he started his career in toys. Ty went to work selling plush animals for a San Francisco based toy company called Dakin in 1962.  Here is where Ty’s future began to take shape. Ty drove to his appointments as an eccentric, dressed in a fur coat and top hat while carrying a cane. Ty learned a lot while working at Dakin and credits them for teaching him how the plush industry operates. He stayed with Dakin 18 years  before heading to Sorrento, Italy. Italy would be the inspiration Ty needed to start Ty, Inc. where he discovered a nice range of softplush cats.

Used Inheritance and Savings to Start His Own Business

In 1983 Ty returned home and used the $50,000 he inherited from the passing of his father in 1983, and all of the savings he had from working at Dakin to create Ty, Inc. Ty hired two workers Anne Nickels, spokeswoman, and Patricia Roche, Ty UK executive, who both still work for the company today! Ty than travel to Korea to find someone to make his cats!  Ty was able to make a market for his plush by initially selling them to his old Dakin retailers. Ty also successfully selling 30,000 plush at an Atlanta Toy Fair within one hour!

The Beanie Baby is Born

In early 1993 the first Beanie Baby was born, soon 9 Beanies to become known as the Original 9 are released, and shortly thereafter hundreds would follow to create one of the biggest fads in history! Beanie Babies!!

Ty’s Donations

Ty, who is now a success, resides in a home in Oakbrook, Illinois, where the public eye almost never catches a glimpse of this mysterious man.  Ty has done many admirable things;  he has donated large sums of money to several well known charities.


- You may try many careers before you find the right one

-Once you start a business, hire solid employees who will likely stay with you

-Stay with a company to learn what you need to know to start your own business



Michael Sinensky – Successful Restaurant Owner – Entrepreneur

By the age of eight, Michael Sinensky had already developed quite the entrepreneurial mindset.  While most third graders ran around during recess, Michael ran a school supply ring among his elementary school peers.  By the time he was in high school, he employed several of his fellow students in a large network of candy salesmen.  Fast forward to his freshman year at New York University, where he founded two event-planning companies: Corporate Event Management and Disco Sushi.  The budding entrepreneur also handled marketing for various local bars and nightclubs, producing several large-scale events during his college years.

Desk Job Not For Him

Subsequent to his graduation from NYU’s Stern School of Business in 1997, Michael came to the realization that working a desk job in the corporate world simply wasn’t for him.  “. . .I was learning more and more that I loved working for myself.

Pursued Hospitality and Nightlife Industry

Rather than pursue an investment-banking career, which would have followed his educational track, Michael followed his passion straight to the hospitality and nightlife industry.  The young businessman steadily acquired an impressive resume, which included concert execution, promotions, bar/restaurant management and event planning.  With some coaching from trusted mentor Frank Steo, Michael invested in his first bar – The Big Easy, which was located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Amassed Restaurants and .com Companies

At the young age of 31, Michael Sinensky has amassed a successful nightlife and hospitality empire that presently includes SideBAR, Vintage Irving, Dino’s, Hudson Terrace, and the Village Pourhouse .  He is also founder of,, and  The Village Pourhouse has won several accolades include “Best Beer Bar” by BlackBook Magazine and Time Out New York

Key to His Success

The greatest key to Michael’s success may be his empathy for the people who work for him.  He feels strongly about the benefits of team building, so much so that he recently took seventy-five staff members on a trip to Disney World for two days of bonding.  Camaraderie amongst the staff ended at an all time high and it’s the biggest of the eight company outings he integrates into the annual work calendar.


-When you have your own business, treat your employees like family

-Create and build a team

-Create loyalty and your employees will stay with you




Tina Wick, Founder of “Greenpurse” – Start Your Own Business – Recycling

Tina Wick of Kohler, Wisconsin, founder of “Greenpurse” rescues foamcore, plastic grocery bags and other materials  from land fills as well as reclaimed, recycled and clothing in disrepair to create their purses, bags, accessories, home decor and costume jewelry. Hur mission is to use and reuse the materials already manufactured by designing items to construct new recycled  useable products.

Quoted by Tina Wick:

“When I was a young mother of three children under five, I was forced to search out government support and went on welfare. If that were not available to me, I’m not sure where I would be today. I have been very fortunate and blessed in my life and made the commitment during  our inception that we would donate 10% of all sales to a charity for abused children. My heart breaks each time I hear of an abuse.

A few times a year I make the trip to our local Catholic Charities. I know what you are thinking with all the scandal once again with priests, but they truly do help children and families in need.

Our most popular items are custom bags. I think people like the idea of getting exactly what they want.  Clothing in disrepair is at the top of my list. It is magnificent to see an article of clothing that once had holes or stains and see a beautiful bag or quilt as a result. The next would be foamcore. What really happens to that stuff? I don’t think anyone really knows.”

To learn more:

There are three kinds of parities to choose from and they can be held at a persons house, hall or my home.  The Purseonality Party is a sale of Greenpurse items. The Spring Basket Party allows guests to create their own flower basket from a variety of basic Greenpurse elements and the Build a Bag lets your friends construct a custom bag from their very own rescued item. The host gets gifts and “greenbucks” for having the party. The workshops are held in schools, art centers and the like and are a hands on experience.  Everyone is ncouraged to look at trash differently, outside the box.  In fact when Tina sees a box she thinks; frame. vase, wall-hanging! You’ll be surprised at your own creativity!


-No matter how far down you go, there is a way up and out

-Use your creativity to help others

-Think about what your purpose in the world is and act on it


Bob Proctor, Motivational speaker, Bestselling Author, and Co-Founder of Life Success Publishing – Entrepreneur

For more than 40 years, Bob Proctor has focused his entire agenda around helping people create lives of prosperity, rewarding relationships and spiritual awareness.

Dropped out of High School

Bob knows how to help people from all walks of life because he comes from a life of want and limitation himself. In 1960, he was a high-school dropout with a resume of dead-end jobs and a future clouded in debt.

Inspired by Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”

One book was placed in his hands – Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich – which planted the seed of hope in Bob’s mind. In just months, and with further support from the works of Earl Nightingale, Bob’s life literally spun on a dime. In a year, he was making more than $100,000, and soon topped the $1 million mark.

Worked with Mentors

Bob then moved to Chicago to work for his real-life mentors, Earl Nightingale and Lloyd Conant. After rising to the position of Vice President of Sales at Nightingale-Conant, he established his own seminar company.  Bob Proctor now travels the globe, teaching thousands of people how to believe in and act upon the greatness of their own minds.

Quotes by Bob Proctor …

“The only limits in our life are those we impose on ourselves.”

“You are the only problem you will ever have and you are the only solution. Change is inevitable, personal growth is always a personal decision.”

“It’s the little things you do that can make a big difference. What are you attempting to accomplish? What little thing can you do today that will make you more effective? You are probably only one step away from greatness.” –