Tammi Burns' life of survival and success could have easily gone in a very different direction -- to an early grave.

In the 1980s, Burns was deep in a pattern of physically, emotionally and verbally abusive relationships. Her spouse attacked, raped and threatened to kill her.

After years of abuse, Burns somehow found the strength to leave him. Today, she works to help other domestic violence victims through her apparel line, Break the Chain.

Why We Love Her: After leaving her abusive marriage, Burns began thinking about a business that could help her speak out against the abuse that she and countless other women and men have suffered.

In 2006, Burns met with a friend who had created a successful clothing line. He encouraged the budding entrepreneur to follow her dreams, and soon after, Burns launched Break the Chain. The clothes include slogans such as "Make a stand against an angry hand" and "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but sometimes words are worse," to spread awareness of abuse and inspire hope in victims. Proceeds from clothing sales also help to fund social programs.

Quote: "It is my voice, which becomes two voices, which becomes 10 voices ... If I give one person hope, then that person gives another person hope and the chain reaction pays it forward," Burns said.