Margaret Vangeli loved her job when she left the music business 10 years ago. And who would blame her? As director of international operations, she ran the international departments at Polygram and Atlantic records, logging time in Sydney, Tokyo, London, and Paris, and promoting rock legends like AC/DC. But, when her father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, Vangeli decided to take a break from the road to help her elderly parents through the crisis. "It is just one of those really big bumps in the road of life," she says of caring for ailing parents. "All of a sudden, you're dealing with a role reversal: the child becomes the parent and the parent becomes the child."
Luckily, Vangeli had the financial wherewithal to take time off during her father's illness. After his death, she did consulting work, and went back on the road briefly, with David Bowie. But when she called home and learned that her mother had fallen down, Vangeli decided it was time for a permanent career change that would keep her closer to home. "I always thought in the back of my mind that I would be an entrepreneur one day," Vangeli remembers.
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So while she was contemplating her next move, she started taking better care of herself, training at a Pilates studio in Manhattan. Within six months, the co-owner of the studio identified her as having teaching potential. Vangeli went through the certification program, and worked for the studio for about a year. She then found a business opportunity near her home in Madison, NJ.
Because Vangeli often regretted having to travel into Manhattan to take Pilates classes, she suspected other women in her community would welcome a local option. When an acquaintance opened a wellness center, Vangeli taught Pilates mat classes; in three months, she bought her own equipment and rented a studio. Within a year, business was thriving.