Kathy Ireland built a billion dollar consumer business.

Ireland, CEO of Kathy Ireland Worldwide, started a sock business decades ago that has since expanded into furniture and jewelry, among other consumer products.

"For young entrepreneurs, ask a lot of questions," she said. "Don't be afraid of rejection - no means now we're talking."

She stressed the importance of having conviction for goals and the stamina for working around the clock and surviving the inevitable challenges that come with launching a business.

Ireland is now chief brand strategist for Level Brands (LEVB) .