The idea for Salvation Tree grew
when Laurie first visited India. What
she saw deeply affected her.
“Amongst the hustle and bustle,
there was so much poverty,” she
remembers. This hit home even
more when two young boys, barely
clothed, found her on the street
and wrapped themselves around
her. She couldn’t find their parents
anywhere. She remembers feeling
heartbroken but determined. “I
knew in that moment something
had to be done. I wanted to be the
one to start something.”
Drawing on her successful one-
woman business venture, Sharma
knew one person can make a big
impact. After a luncheon in India
with their employees’ children, the
Sharmas gained clarity.
“Timmy said, ‘I know what we’re
going to do. We’re going to start a
school. We will educate those kids.’”
Laurie was ecstatic and the school has
since become her life’s passion.
“Seeing the joy on the students’
faces boarding their new school buses,
wearing their new clothes—it is so
rewarding for us,” Sharma says. Salvation Tree started with just 40 students
and now has over 200 enrolled.
Sharma’s young daughter has
played a role in her business life too.
“My daughter has had so much to do
with my direction, especially when it
comes to design,” she says. “I always
wanted to dress her more mature
than the cartoon-type clothes that
were available, so I designed the same
outfits for kids as I did for adults.”
Sharma’s advice for aspiring entre-
preneurs? “Go for it. Don’t think,
just do. Many of us are afraid to fail
and that fear can become paralyzing.
Override all of that and listen to that
small voice inside and simply trust it.”
All three of these women pushed
aside their fears to create careers out of
doing what they love. “When you find
your life’s passion, work will never seem
like work, but rather a labor of love,”
Julia Arnold is a freelance writer living in
Minnesota with her husband and two
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