With a vast array of must-have goods for the home, the record for the best-selling product in electronic retail history, and a motion picture about her rise to the top currently in theaters, it’s safe to say that Joy Mangano is truly one of a kind. After having brought inventions like the Miracle Mop and Huggable Hangers, for starters, to households across America over the years, her next stop is Macy’s, and we couldn’t be more excited! We caught up with the game-changing innovator to talk inspiration, her favorite creations and everything you can expect from the new line…
mBLOG: You have a ground-breaking career, and there’s no question that you’ve taken your entire industry by storm. What were some of the motivations that kept you going throughout the years?
JM: I’ve always been somebody who, even if I was building a science project in school, would stay up until 4 in the morning to finish it. I’ve always been a highly motivated achiever and am very passionate about hard work and doing and creating things, so I think my main motivation was within myself, you know, when one challenges themselves.
I think as life continued on, I knew that I looked at life through product. I had designed various things that I didn’t follow through with, and then, as a single mom with three kids working various jobs, I came to a point where I was like, “Okay, am I just going to keep on not following through with the ideas that I have or am I going to try and go for it?” I think the motivation there was the courage to do it. So many people don’t have the courage to do something, and if you don’t, then you never will achieve it, right?
JM: So I think, at the end of the day, it has to come from within you.
mBLOG: You’ve been inventing since you were a teenager. Of all your creations, do you have a favorite?
JM: It’s the Miracle Mop, the Huggable Hanger, Forever Fragrant, Memory Cloud Pillows, My Little Steamer, and I can go on. It’s like talking about your children — you can’t possibly love one more than the other. All of the products have equal intrigue and challenge. Some were harder to design, but they are all blockbusters that have features and benefits that changed the industry so much.
Listen, if you don’t have to pull out an iron and ironing board but can steam in two minutes and make your clothes look gorgeous, that’s the better option, right? So, I think the answer to that is that they all stand out in their own way. And actually, the consumer is whom I design for and think of every moment I’m creating — they’re the ones who make that decision for you.
mBLOG: While we’re on the topic of designing, we know that you like to match innovation with style. Can you tell us a bit about your creative process and where you draw inspiration from throughout your day?
JM: If I’m traveling or out and about and see people, I literally watch their struggles and invent something from that scene in my mind. I look at features and benefits that will make a product stand out. It’s really innovation first, but it’s not innovation for innovation sake. It’s innovation that’s meaningful. Then I match that with something that’s going to be beautiful and stylish.
A lot of times, they really mesh together as I’m designing. The technical parts and the style of it, usually happen hand in hand as you’re creating, whether in your mind or drawing it.
mBLOG: Since your first QVC airing, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
JM: The truest answer is that product is king. At the end of the day, it really is about the product. We have the smartest consumers ever in the history of time. They’re so educated and have so many places to go to choose and look and understand. So what I’ve learned is that if I can be the storyteller for a great product, that equals success.
mBLOG: So touching on the movie for a second, what were your thoughts when you found out Joy was actually moving forward? How did you feel?
It was very exciting. I didn’t search for this to happen, people came to me and it just kept spiraling into something bigger. What is so amazing about David O. Russell — and obviously you loop in Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper — is that he takes what appears to be the ordinary and finds the extraordinary in that. And that’s what this movie is. It’s so inspiring and it really tells the story of how, in life, we all have to manage and navigate everything around us, but have to have the courage to forge forward. For most people, the easier road is, “That’s it. I can’t do it. Look at that obstacle,” but you have to have the mindset to say, ”Okay there’s the obstacle. Let me figure that one out because then when I get to the next one, I’ll figure that one out.”
I hope that the movie helps people take a step back and say, “You know what, I really can do it if I take it one step at a time.” And not just for women. Men came out of the movie and said, “I feel like I want to climb a mountain.” A husband said to me that he and his wife went home, and she wouldn’t stop talking in the car. She’s a writer and said she was finally going to write that book that she’s always wanted to. So, I think this movie has so many touch-points for so many people. Millions of people are going to be inspired in different ways. Really, it’s so multi-faceted. I’m so very excited about that.
mBLOG: Following that inspiration, do you have any advice for all the aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
JM: Going hand in hand with that, it would be to not be an aspiring entrepreneur, quite frankly. Set and define your path. Identify exactly who you want to impact, whether it’s through a service, a product, or anything. It doesn’t matter what you do! And then diligently and passionately and courageously go after it. If your instincts have worked for you, then go follow them. And I mean, if they haven’t worked for you ever, then maybe think twice about it, haha.
mBLOG: And last but not least, are there any special surprises that Macy’s shoppers can look forward to once the upcoming collection hits stores this month?
JM: All of these products are new to Macy’s, and the real surprise is when that Macy’s customer gets it home and uses it. They’ll realize that the little changes make a big difference, and that kind of goes hand in hand with the magic of Macy’s, don’t you think?
mBLOG: We absolutely agree.
JM: I am so thrilled and honored to be a part. I grew up on Long Island and always shopped at Macy’s, so at a time where I can choose my partners in life, it really is meaningful for me. And it’s brand new to the store, so how exciting for all of the customers to be surprised and delighted with the Joy brand. I can’t wait!
Get your home in the perfect shape for the New Year ahead with the Joy Mangano collection, available in-store and online now