Marcy McKenna was destined to be an inventor.
She was born into a family of inventors with multiple patents and products to their name, but it wasn’t until 1998 that she knew she had officially acquired the “bug”. Having just moved into a new home and finding herself frustrated with how tedious and difficult it was to hang multiple pictures on a single wall, she set out to find “a better way”. Within hours, she had developed her first invention, Help-U-Hang, a simple solution that would help her hang pictures evenly and efficiently. This quest to find simpler, better ways to do things quickly became a way of life for Marcy.
Help-U-Hang was just the beginning of a massive portfolio of inventions that Marcy has built over the past 12 years. As a wife and mother of three small children, including a special needs child born with Williams Syndrome, she knew that bringing these inventions to life would remain a dream for her and most likely never be a reality. She vowed to keep a binder of her inventions that she would one day pass on to her children in hopes of them turning them into reality and securing a future for themselves.
Over the years, Marcy spent many a late nights doing searches on “Google Patent”, building prototypes, filing out patent applications and reading books about launching products. She entered several of her inventions in contests across the country in hopes that one would be discovered and brought to life by a company that had the funding and the distribution to make it happen. She traveled the country to attend conferences for new inventors in hopes of learning something or meeting someone who could help her on her journey.
In July, 2009, Marcy learned about 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—she knew this was the opportunity of her lifetime. And she knew just the invention for this show—The Styling Station™ Hair Care Center, now called The Style and Go™.
Unfortunately, Marcy quickly realized that she was too late in learning about the show. The casting calls across America had concluded and there were only four hours left until the application process would close. With her “can do” attitude and her strong perseverance, she tracked down Kelly Ripa’s production company and begged for one more day. She promised she would put together a video tape and have it over-nighted that day. Within five hours the video was in the mail.
Six months passed before she finally got the call that would forever change her life. Within weeks Marcy was on a plane to New York City to tape Homemade Millionaire with Kelly Ripa. It would be the journey of a lifetime. One that would inspire her to follow her dream, so that instead of passing her inventions onto her children, she would make them happen herself—because after all, Marcy knew her children would have dreams of their own!
In May, 2010, when the taping of the show concluded, she went on to create her own company, Simply Solved Innovations. Her brand, Simply Solved by Marcy McKenna is devoted to creating products that offer simple solutions to life’s everyday problems. She will be launching two products this year and has several more in active development. Her “binder of inventions” is now officially open for business, and she has plans to produce each and every one in the years to come.
In November 2010, Marcy and her invention, The Style & Go™, were featured on the premiere episode of Homemade Millionaire. After beating out the other contestants to become the winning inventor on the show, Marcy’s life changed instantly and would include multiple trips to St. Petersburg Florida where HSN is headquartered. By becoming the winner, she would realize her dream of having The Style & Go™ formally The Styling Station™ manufactured and sold on HSN. But beyond that, she secured a contract that would give her a straight line to the top Buyers at the home shopping powerhouse. And with so many inventions still in her “binder” and ideas that come to her on a daily basis, this may turn out to be the greatest prize of all for Marcy.
The Style and Go™ is currently in production and is scheduled to launch this summer on HSN. Marcy continues to learn the art of selling on TV, as she will be the face for all her products on HSN and beyond.
She currently resides in Newport Beach, CA with her incredibly supportive family—Screenwriter/Producer David McKenna and their three beautiful children, Jack, Colin and Courtney. A full-time mom and now business owner, Marcy is dedicated to finding the balance between work and motherhood that she feels is so crucial to achieve. She doesn’t let the lack of sleep get in the way of her vision for Simply Solved Innovations, and is continually excited by what is to come.
Away from home Marcy dedicates much of her time to The Lighthouse Guild—a fundraising arm of Olive Crest Homes & Services for Abused Children that she and her husband helped found in 1999.