Charlie Chanaratsopon runs $550 million (sales) accessories chain, Charming Charlie, known for its bright, colorful array of scarves, jewelry and handbags. He founded the retailer, named after himself, in 2004 as a side business to fill out Houston shopping malls he was developing. He now has 350 stores across the United States.
Charlie Chanaratsopon is the first generation in his family born in America, after his parents immigrated from Thailand in 1974 and eventually started sterling silver jewelry import business that sold to some department stores. Always entrepreneurial, Chanaratsopon ended up in the elementary school principal’s office after charging first-grade classmates $1 a day to rent his Nintendo games.