For the Women/Entrepreneur series Mentor Moments, female founders sit down to chat with their mentors (and us!) about how and why their relationship developed, and the lasting impact it’s had on those founders' careers.

When Anna-Mieke Anderson was starting MiaDonna, her ethical, lab-grown diamond business and jewelry collection, she was told she was crazy by just about everyone she knew -- with one exception: her best friend, Melanie Ware.

As Anderson set up her business in Portland, Oregon (as well as an associated nonprofit, the Greener Diamond Foundation, which funds educational, agricultural and relief programs in diamond-mining communities), Ware cheered her on from Sydney, Australia, where she headed up marketing for Commonwealth Bank.