Laid off from her job as a mental health agency director, Gwen Longbotham (center) started working in light commercial construction, pushing a broom, doing demolition, and fighting the chauvinism of male co-workers threatened by a woman in the trades. But the experience she got working with a skilled carpenter and punching out jobs helped her to partner with the company owner to do spec rehab in up-and-coming neighborhoods.

After founding her company (named after a powerful Greek goddess), Longbotham pursued clients who appreciated her artistic eye and attention to detail. Today, she teams with architects to design and build kitchens, baths, and other award-winning jobs ranging up to $1 million. Although Columbus is home to 1 million people, for Artemis' market -- incomes of $100,000-plus -- it's a small town, so Longbotham must deliver.

A former NARI board officer, the remodeler says her reasons for success are ethics, perseverance, and honesty.