Hometown: Newport Beach
Family: Husband, David, and three children Jack (9), Colin (7) and Courtney (4)
First job: At 10 years, old I was a housekeeper at my mom’s hotel in Laguna Beach.
Worst job: Picking up nails from my dad’s job sites – one penny per nail!
Biggest break: Becoming the winning inventor on Kelly Ripa’s “Homemade Millionaire,” which enabled me to sign a contract with HSN.
Secret to your success: Putting fear aside and believing that I can.
Advice to other women in business: We are constantly being pulled in all directions as we juggle home life, motherhood and career. Starting or running a business can seem overwhelming. By setting goals and breaking them down into daily action items, things that once seemed overwhelming became achievable.
Greatest invention in history: There are so many amazing inventions – the alphabet, the wheel, the light bulb, the car, the airplane, the toilet, the computer. But in my opinion, the greatest invention in history was created barely 20 years ago: the Internet. It has profoundly changed our world forever – this may be a blessing and a curse.
What invention does the world really need right now: I think we’re all hoping and praying that the next history-making creation will be the cure for cancer.
On McKenna’s 40th birthday, she made a pledge to live her life fearlessly for one year to see what would happen.
“For 365 days, I took risks I wouldn’t have normally taken, and I committed to doing at least three things every day to follow my dream of launching a product,” McKenna says. “I never wavered from that commitment. … I was amazed at the doors that opened for me and the successes that came my way almost instantly. Over this past year, I have grown to embrace that feeling of fear that paralyzed me for so long.”
McKenna beat out thousands of competitors to become the winning inventor on Kelly Ripa’s TV show, “Homemade Millionaire,” and earned a seven-year television contract with the home shopping powerhouse, HSN.
Her winning invention, the Styling Hair Care Center, is an attractive, wall mounted, fireproof cabinet that neatly houses all your hair-care appliances and accessories – effectively doing away with unsightly cords, hair dryers, curling irons and other electrical appliances cluttering bathroom counters. It’s scheduled to debut on HSN this summer.
Her second invention – a chic, designer-quality, interchangeable clutch purse called the Cambria Clutch – began being sold on HSN late last year, with McKenna serving as the on-air host. And she has five more inventions already in the development pipeline.
“HSN chose me … because they realized the Styling Station was just the tip of the iceberg for me,” McKenna says. “Knowing I had a massive portfolio of inventions already under my belt and seeing that I was comfortable selling them in front of the camera, they knew they could build a brand around me.”
McKenna is currently in talks with several infomercial companies for two additional (and top secret) products, and has plans to expand her product sales into international and retail distribution outlets in the near future.
OC METRO'S 20 WOMEN TO WATCH FOR 2011
Carol A. Taylor | Staci Brillhart | Kay S. Napier | Eve Lowey
Julie Lim | Kate Klimow | Monica Wise | Marcy McKenna
Victoria Wade | India Hynes | Farrah Emami | Lisa Wolter
Mary-Christine “M.C.” Sungaila | Shirley Balarezo
Renee P. McLeod | Laura Khouri | Alyson Noël
Brenda Brkusic | Cathy Thomas | Sue Swenson
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