Of Shoestrings and Bootstraps: How to Start a Business Without Investors

As a follow up to my recent post on starting a business without breaking the bank, here is another example of a successful business that is being successfully built without angels, venture capital, or other outside investors.  For this entrepreneur, maintaining control over decision-making and keeping the employees engaged through their own ownership stakes seem to be the key to their success. While the founder has to give up some ownership in either case, for this company, giving up value to the employees made for a stronger organization. As she notes in the interview, there may be a time to take on experienced investors at some point in the company's development - so called "smart capital" because with the money comes the expertise of seasoned investors and often former entrepreneurs who can provide value to building your business.  But many entrepreneurs are more reluctant to take that plunge until they have established the business and need the capital to advance to a new level.

I am curious to hear more stories of this (both successful and otherwise).  Has bootstrapping worked - or not worked - for you?