Night Shift

Who: Gayle Martz, 51, founder and president of Sherpa's Pet Trading Co., in New York City, a $4-million company with 10 employees that sells travel carriers for dogs and cats. Martz, who is single, has two small dogs: Su-Nae, a five-year-old Coton, and Sherpa, a 14-year-old Lhasa apso and the company's eponym.

5:30 p.m.
Martz leaves her midtown office and walks five minutes to her apartment. At home, the dogs greet her with enthusiasm. "Quality time with the girls," she says.

Tommy, Martz's personal trainer, arrives for a stretching session. This is the one evening of the week that Martz sets aside for a physical workout. On other nights she usually works at her home office until 10:30 or 11. Stretching on her home-studio floor, she listens to meditation tapes. "There's no talking, because my days are talking. Sometimes my nights. If your whole day is intense, and all you're doing is solving and building and meeting people, it's good to be stretching, breathing, and listening to tapes," she says.

Martz snacks on pineapple and cottage cheese while checking E-mail and arranging a business trip to California.

Agnes, Martz's yoga instructor, arrives. "It's really nice to have someone teach you in your home. When I started yoga, if I would have gone to some of these aerobic yoga classes, it wouldn't have been what I needed in my life. My life's aerobic enough," says Martz.

Martz doesn't squeeze in much socializing these days. Once a week -- but not tonight -- a friend who lives in Connecticut and works in New York will crash on the Murphy bed in Martz's home studio. "That's how I see people," Martz says.

"It's hard to do as much as I'm doing, but there's so much further the company could go. Time is really what I would like more of," she adds.

Martz has dinner: takeout Chinese-chicken-noodle soup because she feels a cold coming on. While eating, she checks her E-mail again. "I have folders that I'll be organizing for the next day," she says.

Martz calls her agent in China, who is her liaison with the Chinese factory. "Fortunately, the circuits were busy, because I really wasn't in the mood."

Martz reads from one of several books on meditation and relaxation that she keeps beside her bed. No television. "I have to just shut out the world," she says.

Sherpa and Su-Nae are waiting, curled up on Martz's bed. Lights out.

The Inc Life

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