Your #1 source for all things Entertainment, Fashion, Business... and Finance!
Growing up, she would use whatever supplies she could gather around the house to make homemade inventions. Years later, during a Google search, Marcy would unknowingly stumble upon something that would forever change her life- Catapulting her from a homemade inventor to a "Homemade Millionaire."
On July 25th, Marcy will be debuting a revolutionary new product that landed her a coveted spot on one of the world's largest promotional Tv networks, The Home Shopping Network (HSN). Continue reading to find out what that product is, how she came up with the idea out of pure frustration with her messy bathroom, and exactly how her idea made her a "Homemade Millionaire."
How She Started: Growing up, it seemed that everyday brought a new experiment or a new way to solve a problem. Where most people would get frustrated or annoyed by a problem, I would get excited. For me, a problem represented an opportunity to create a solution...or better yet, an invention. My great grandfather had 100’s of patents to his name when he passed away. Probably, his most famous invention was the delay mechanism for bombs that he created during World War I. Prior to this, when a bomb was dropped both the airplane and the pilot would explode in the process. Believe it or not, he created the mechanism in his garage using a single aspirin in water. My 5 year old daughter is much the same...constantly inventing!
Her First Invention: Though I experimented as a child, my first real invention was created in 1998. Having just moved into a new home and finding myself frustrated with how tedious and difficult it was to hang multiple pictures on a single wall, I set out to find “a better way”. Within hours, I had developed my first invention Help-U-Hang,a simple solution that would help me hang pictures evenly and efficiently. This quest to find simpler, better ways to do things quickly became a way of life for me.
How Much Money She Started With: Almost nothing. Much like my Great Grandfather, I believe in starting simple. I make a rough prototype out of whatever materials I happen to have around the house. I do my own preliminary patent searches on Google Patent or Patent Storm.
How She Created Her First Invention: To answer this question, I’d have to refer to the first invention I actually took to market – The Cambia Collection™--a three-in-one designer quality interchange handbag that allows women to stay on the forefront of fashion at a tiny fraction of the cost. There were a couple times I thought the product might never see the light of day. I believe that’s true with every product. There was a day when I realized the attachment mechanism I designed for the interchangeable flaps wouldn’t work the way I had hoped. I remember the pit in my stomach when that realization came.
To be a successful inventor, you have to have a “can do” attitude. Failure cannot be an option.
I believe there’s always a way and as an inventor it’s my job to find it. The biggest lesson I learned was how important it is to pay attention to every detail—to oversee even the tiniest details. When my finished product arrived from China, I burst into tears realizing that leather color was not as I specified. My manufacturer didn’t want to waste time sending color swatches. Instead he emailed me a photo—and I agreed that this would suffice. Now I know there is no substitute for seeing the real thing. When you’re looking at launching a product, spend the extra time to make sure it’s exactly right. You only get one shot at a product launch!
Photo: Marcy Presenting The Cambia™ Collection on HSN
How She Came Up With A Million Dollar Idea To Create The Style & Go™: Out of sheer necessity! My messy bathroom counter was probably the biggest marital issue my husband and I had. He was so tired of the messy, tangled cords, the hair dryer tucked into the towel bar and the curling iron left in the sink to cool. Combine that with the fact that Mom was living with us and her bathroom doubled as the guest bathroom. With a pedestal sink and no storage to speak of, she kept her appliances in a “Simple Green” bucket under the sink—the black cords wound up the wall until they plugged in at eye level. I knew there had to be a solution!
How She Became A "Homemade Millionaire": In July, 2009, when doing in online invention search, I stumbled upon Kelly Ripa’s new television venture, Homemade Millionaire—the show that would allow a lucky winner to have her invention manufactured, marketed and sold on HSN. I knew this was the opportunity of my lifetime. And I knew just the invention for this show—The Style & Go™ Hair Care Valet. I was certain that if I won, my product would be hugely successful on HSN. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that I was too late in learning about the show. The casting calls across America had been concluded and there were only four hours left until the application process would close. With my “can do” attitude, I tracked down Kelly’s production company and begged for one more day. I promised them that I would put together a video tape and have it over-nighted that day. Within a few hours the video was in the mail. Six months later I got the call that would forever change my life.
How Her Life Has Changed Since The Show: Though I like to think my life hasn’t changed much, the fact is that I’m in that I’m in the midst of launching an international brand—“Simply Solved by Marcy McKenna,” and as a result am working full time in addition to being the mom of three young children. In order to continue to do what I love most (be a Mom) I sleep about half as much as I used to. I’m doing what I love, so it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice...and I know this is what it takes to get a company off the ground. Doors have opened for me that I never thought possible, so I’m taking advantage of everything I can right now. I’ll have time to sleep later! I’m happy to say that in many ways my life is the same. My priorities haven’t changed—the most important thing to me is and always will be my children and my husband.
Her Secret To Juggling Her Life As Inventor and Mother of 3: Ha! If there’s a secret...please let me in on it! I’m still trying to figure that one out! For me it comes down to discipline. I’m up at 5am everyday so I can work for a couple hours before my kids wake up. Once they’re awake, it’s full time mom until they’re off to school. When they come home, I’m back to being Mom. After their bedtime, it’s back to work for a couple hours. My goal has always been that they don’t even realize I’m a working mom. Just last week, my 6 year old daughter asked me if I’m ever going to get a job!
Has She Ever Had An Idea Stolen? Oh yes definitely! I don’t want to say what it was, but I came across it online a few months ago. This person not only stole my product, but also the name, the logo, the color scheme, the story...absolutely everything. Unbelievable!
Who Has Helped Her Most Along The Way: Two people have been the true backbones to my success. My husband who not only supports me unconditionally, but has also helped guide much of my decision making. Without his support and his belief in me I’m certain I would not be where I am. One of my best friends from childhood, Kara, came on board about a year ago to help me with social media and marketing. This has been instrumental to my success. She is unbelievable. Having both she and my husband by my side has given me the courage to do what I’ve done. I’m so blessed!
Marcy has several other products in the pipeline that are expected to launch over the next 12 months.You can learn more about her products at www.marcymckenna.com
Just a couple of weeks ago, one more of her products was selected as the winner of another high profile invention competition. It’s currently in development and will be launching across the country via infomercial in the near future.
Check out Marcy's Boss Chick Profile HERE
Check her out on Facebook HERE
Follow her on Twitter: @MarcyMckenna
Continue reading HERE to find out what Marcy would have done differently in her entrepreneurial journey and her advice to aspiring inventors!
Click HERE to watch her present her invention to a panel of judges.