Mignonne Wright, 29

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call it chutzpah, Memphis-style.

Mignonne Wright didn't see any reason not to call up the nation's largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, and ask them to sell her not-yet-published American Magazine. Ms. Wright had done her due diligence and knew it would take time to get the magazine picked up through traditional distribution routes. She wasn't willing to wait. She felt the time was right for a magazine that delivers the "best of America."

The 29-year-old publisher-editor in chief developed the idea for American Magazine in May 2001 after her magazine editor father was diagnosed with cancer. "He told me it was time to start [a] national magazine," she recalls. "He said [working on it was] the only thing that would make him feel better." The younger Wright already had one successful launch to her credit. At 25, she published Southern Home Design.

Richard Wright passed away in September 2001. American Magazine's first edition landed on Wal-Mart shelves this year.