Most people never get a movie made about their life, but Joy Mangano isn’t most people — she’s an inventor and entrepreneur extraordinaire. Mangano’s latest interview reveals her modest origins, struggle to be taken seriously and her instant connection to Jennifer Lawrence.
In an upcoming issue of Good Housekeeping, Joy Mangano, inventor of the Miracle Mop and inspiration for the new film, Joy, reveals the “aha” moment she had when people claimed her specialized, self-wringing mop wouldn’t sell.
“People I told were like, ‘Who cares?’ The aha moment for me was that people didn’t even realize they’d care about [the Miracle Mop]. [I’ve been told] I think about things we need and want before we even know we need and want them,” Mangano says.
For Mangano, becoming an inventor was never about getting rich; it was just about sharing a way to make things easier for working moms. “When I wake up, I think, What can I do to help others? I think we all owe the world something. That’s the way I am when I’m designing a product.”
Of course, it’s not easy to take big risks, especially when the welfare of your family is at stake. But Mangano truly believes women are stronger than they think, saying, “I would love to see every woman feel that she knows who she is and how she wants to lead. Every part of me is passionate about having the ability to do what I never could when I was young.”
Mangano isn’t against marrying a successful man, either. “If some amazing guy plots out of the sky, that’s OK, too!” she says.
Whether you’re the breadwinner in the family or married to one, Mangano says, “You can’t truly be [complete] until you know yourself. You have to trust your instincts in life. There are so many times I’ll be talking to executives who are afraid to say the right thing — and I will be the one who says, ‘Hey, listen! You know what…?’ It’s paid off every time to be courageous and not sit in the background.”
Her biggest piece of advice about following your dreams is very practical. “Multitudes of people tried to get in the way of my dream. If you can’t go around a rock, go over or under it.”
When Mangano met Jennifer Lawrence for the first time, she claims it was truly special, saying, “You know how you are meeting somebody and all of a sudden you’re finishing each other’s sentences? It was like that.”
The full interview with Mangano will be published in Good Housekeeping on Tuesday, Jan. 19. The movie Joy, starring Jennifer Lawrence, is currently playing in theaters.