About two years ago, Sutton walked away from corporate life and became a Mary Kay cosmetics representative.

First she found a product and a lifestyle to emulate. Mary Kay Ash, who founded her company in 1963, is regarded as a historical female entrepreneur.

“Her philosophy changed my life,” Sutton said. “After I got my degree (I have a bachelor of arts in finance), I went into the corporate world. And I loved the money and the prestige because I thought I was ‘somebody.’ But I’m a mother first, and that didn’t jibe with corporate America.”

Motherhood defines Sutton. Her son has some health challenges, she said, but she believes being a mother should be the touchstone for most women. “I could go anywhere and get a job,” she says. “But I only have one shot to be a mother, to give to my child and, through that child, to the rest of the world.”

This seems a good time to mention that Sutton is a “director in qualification” with Mary Kay after less than two years. If she makes the director level, she will have a unit of women she leads as well as continuing with her own clients.

Why does being your own boss and having your own business redefine women? Sutton says it is because “women think more spherically than men. Our thinking encompasses household, spirituality and a need to achieve. That doesn’t fit into corporate America, which is more linear in its approach.

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