How Oprah Winfrey Changed My Life

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A year later, she quit her job at the school and, after several miscarriages, had her first son. Three years later, she had a second. Now, her business has expanded beyond online sales to its first boutique in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. A second location will open soon and Macy's will start selling her products in retail stores beginning in fall 2012.

"I can't believe the growth of the brand," said Russell, now 34. "I can't believe the kids are here. It's like I'm living a dream. I hope Oprah understands the reason why I sold the car. It gave me these two beautiful kids and a great business. I'm hoping she would be proud."

Just in case Winfrey has any doubt about Russell's gratitude, Russell created Angel's Halo lip gloss in her honor. The case is shaped in a circle, an "O" for Oprah. "I really feel like she's my angel in disguise."

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