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Linda Daniel Lights Up a New Career

Linda Daniel knew that quitting a job to start a business she knew nothing about was risky; she did it anyway. Five years later, her lampshade design and production company — elle daniel — is thriving. When Daniel left Capitol Hill after 21 years as a campaign fundraiser, she had no idea what she wanted to do next. Weeks later, she found her true calling at an Anthropologie store. Custom lampshades.

“I’d never made a lampshade, never even glued trim on one, but I loved them and I knew this was what I was meant to do,” she says. So she trained with an experienced lampshade artist and practiced until she was satisfied with the results — a full year. Daniel didn’t strictly follow the rules for starting a new business, and by conventional standards, she was probably destined to fail. Which just goes to show that opening a business to do something you love may be the only rule you really need to follow.