Workin’ It 2010

45 of 2010’s Red Hot Entrepreneurs

Martha Davis, originally from the Midwest, accidentally fell into entrepreneurship after answering a newspaper ad for a partner in a Seattle neon sign business in 1987. Twelve years later, Davis bought out her business partner’s share in the company and has since been the sole proprietor of City Lights Sign Company, a firm that constructs signage using neon, hand-gilding, green materials and other methods. Now a board member of the Greater Seattle Business Association, an LGBT business association, Davis says being out has given a huge boost to her role as an entrepreneur. “As a gay woman I had to learn to stand up for myself, to be proud of myself, and to be involved with and open to diverse communities,” she says. “So in a sense, it’s made it easier for me to show those qualities and take the leadership role of the business.”

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