Name: Dineh Mohajer.
Age: 24 years.
'Foolish' Idea: Funky colored nail polish.
Start-up Capital: Cost of a few bottles of nail varnish.
How idea was Launched: Started company, Hard Candy. Took 4 new nail varnish colors, as samples to store, Fred Segal in LA. Sold instantly and store ordered 200 more bottles.
Sales: They also supplied smaller boutiques in LA. By the beginning of 1996, Hard Candy nail polish was going into all the big stores like Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Saks. Sales are also by mail order.
Earnings: Company is worth over $10million.
Spin-offs: Developed new products for the Hard Candy range, eye shadow sets and pencils.
Dineh Mohajer always mixed up her own nail polish to match the color of her outfit. Her sister remarked on the many compliments people paid Dineh, many also asking where they could purchase nail polish in the colors she wore.
Dineh was set on becoming a doctor, but was so burnt out with studying she quit. Then her sister suggested she sell nail polish. Dineh teamed up with her boyfriend, Ben, and they started mixing colors.
First was baby blue, made by mixing up dark blue with white varnish. Dineh took four samples - baby blue, sunshine yellow, lime green and lavender - to the department store, Fred Segal, in LA.
These four bottles of varnish sat on the counter, unpriced. A young girl spotted them and was so enthusiastic, the store buyer said they were $18 each. When the girl's mother bought all four bottles for her daughter, the buyer ordered 200 bottles - to be delivered tomorrow.
It took four days to make the 200 bottles, in the kitchen, shaking and shaking the varnish until they'd blended and created their new colors. As fast as they delivered, the store re-ordered.
Using bottles bought from a beauty supplier, they made their packaging special, by decorating the tops of the bottles with cute rings from inside kids' goodie bags. They bought the entire stock and then had to start importing the rings from Taiwan.
Soon celebrities began wearing Dineh Mohajer's nail varnish. This attracted the attention of the magazines, and Vogue, Elle and MTV picked up on it in the summer of 1995. By 1996, they were supplying Hard Candy nail polish to the big stores, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Saks.
Next Hard Candy launched more products, eye pencils, mascara and eye shadow sets with names like Rockstar and Techno. Dineh Mohajer has turned her passion for unusual colored nail varnish into a company worth over $10million.