Janki Gandhi says her work advising entrepreneurs at middle-market companies, in some cases working a few years with them as they prepare their business for a deal, is extremely rewarding. For example, she says, she greatly admired the founders of Los Angeles-based Paige, formerly Paige Denim, which was launched in 2004 by Paige Adams-Geller, creative director; her husband Michael Geller, CEO; and Michael Henschel, chief financial officer.

Paige successfully evolved from a denim brand to a lifestyle brand, and Gandhi advised the company on its deal to sell a stake to TSG Consumer Partners in 2012. Another example: Serge Azria, an industry veteran who started building fashion brands under Dutch LLC of Vernon, California, including Joie, Current/Elliott and Equipment in 2007. Gandhi advised Dutch on its deal to sell 60 percent of the company to TA Associates in 2012 for $550 million. She calls Azria one of the strongest merchants she’s ever known, using his acute knowledge of product and consumers to build a highly profitable business.

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