Courtney Sloane, 40: Founder of Alternative Design
What made you go into interior design? After college I got a job in merchandising. It took me two years to figure out that I was totally unhappy and that I needed something creative to pique my interest.
How did you become Queen Latifah's interior designer? Some friends and I had a small catering company and a loft space in New Jersey, filled with furniture I had designed. We would host art shows, and one day Queen Latifah came in. She liked one of my pieces and said, 'When I really blow up, you're going to do my place.' Lo and behold, three years later, I check my voice mail and there's a message from her mom.