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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.
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