What did you want to be when you grew up? In our special Women in Business section, you’ll read about some St. Louis women who dreamed big and worked hard to turn their vision into reality. Their path to success serve as an inspiration to others who may be seeking their calling—either as a fledgling employee or someone who is embarking on a second career.

In the case of Build-A-Bear’s Maxine Clark, her multi-billion-dollar enterprise grew out of a longing for a beloved stuffed bear she had as a child. Of course, success didn’t materialize overnight, as Ms. Clark took some detours on her way to being ‘Chief Executive Bear.’ But don’t the best success stories start out that way? And it proves once and for all how important it is to find your focus—your heart—and couple it with ingenuity and resolve to make things happen.