Jessica Pate

Jess Pate first used eBay in 1997 while attending Wake Forest University. The school provided every student with a laptop, and Jess was thrilled to find a favorite out-of-print book on eBay. Feeling lucky, she decided to list an old pair of cowboy boots on the platform and the sale generated an $80 profit. It was then that a light bulb went off and Jess started buying and selling clothes on eBay to make extra money. Jess continued to sell online part-time, until seven years ago when she became pregnant with her first child.

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Lauren Ward

In 2008, Lauren Ward founded NOTO Boutique. Prior to jumpstarting her business, Lauren loved to invite her friends and family into her home to shop special finds. Following this passion by officially opening her own boutique was the next logical step. NOTO Boutique has since evolved into a successful business with two stores in Akron, Ohio that offer boutique dresses, locally made screen t-shirts, secondhand clothes and everything in between. Now NOTO Boutique has three employees and summer interns from local high schools and universities.

Melanie Birkholz

Years ago, Melanie Birkholz started an eBay business to help pay for incidentals, like diapers and toys, for her young children. She found the extra income to be beneficial and was proud to help support her family, while still being able to be at home full-time as the primary caregiver for her kids. Over the years, as Melanie continued to sell clothing, accessories and home goods on eBay, she also ran a brick and mortar antiques shop.

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