The Real Joy Mangano on the Biggest Challenges of Building a $3 Billion Empire

By Zoe Henry, Reporter, Inc.

The iconic inventor of the Miracle Mop, and real-life inspiration behind the movie ‘Joy,’ opens up about the secrets and challenges of building a $3 billion empire based on household products.

There’s been a lot of buzz around Joy Mangano lately, the famed creator of the Miracle Mop, a widely recognized household product.

That’s probably because she’s been the inspiration behind Joy, the new film directed by David O’Russell (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook)–starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. While Mangano’s trials have earned her recent fame in Hollywood, she’s had to weather more than two decades of business ownership to get there.

Against the odds, she found success with the invention of a self-wringing mop, which she marketed through the television sales giant QVC. Now, more than twenty-five years later, her company, Ingenious Designs, has topped $150 million in annual revenue. (To date, she’s generated about $3 billion in her career.)

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