From Lemonade Stories, a new documentary film, written and directed by Mary Mazzio, that features entrepreneurs talking about—sniff!—their mothers.
"I moved to London and didn't have any money. And my parents didn't have any money. And [my mother] found a brooch in the street one day and gave it to the police station, and she got two or three hundred quid from that. I remember her very kindly delivering the monies that she got from the brooch, which most likely saved my bacon at the time. . . . So I've managed to pay for a few holidays since."
—Richard Branson, founder, the Virgin Group
"All that you get in life is your connection to your heart. The closer you get, the more powerful you become. My mother gave me that."
—Russell Simmons, cofounder, Def Jam
"Let me tell you: If she went to a Home Depot store and the service wasn't right, the first person that heard about it was me."
—Arthur Blank, cofounder, The Home Depot
"My mother, who took up golf at the age of 65 and became Rookie of the Year, has an adventurous spirit and she always told me to go for it. She allowed me to develop the confidence in making decisions. Most importantly, she gave me the sense that I could do anything I set my mind to."
—Kay Koplovitz, founder, USA Network
"My mom has always had confidence in me, and always given me the ability to make decisions which are kind of wacky. . . . I think in many ways I was able to realize a lot of my mom's dreams."
—Tom Scott, cofounder, Nantucket Nectars
A version of this article appeared in the Table of Contents - May 2004 issue of Fast Company magazine.