Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano latest to leave HSN

Sara Dinatale
Tampa Bay Times
Judge, inventor and entrepreneur, Joy Mangano

St. Petersburg, Fla. – The inventor of the Miracle Mop and Huggable Hanger, infomercial royalty Joy Mangano, has left HSN after two decades with the shopping network.

The “Queen of HSN” — whose trajectory from single mom to millionaire spawned the 2015 film Joy starring Jennifer Lawrence — will “pursue other professional opportunities,” according to an HSN news release. Mangano, 62, started her career on rival network QVC before selling her highly successful company, Ingenious Designs, to HSN in 1999. She continued working with HSN, becoming a face of the network.

Mangano’s departure is the latest shakeup in a stream of dramatic changes that began in October, all stemming from HSN’s new ownership under Qurate Retail group, the parent company of QVC. In the last few months, Qurate has cut jobs at HSN and combined the once-rival networks into the same business and buying team it calls “QXH.”

While the bulk of the 350 job cuts were to the HSN headquarters in St. Petersburg, it also meant the end of Ingenious Designs, the Mangano-founded company in Long Island.

“We and our customers are enormously grateful for all that Joy has done for our shopping community,” said HSN president Mike Fitzharris in a statement. “She has been an important part of the family for many years, and her creativity has influenced us all. We thank her for her contributions.”

A federally required notice filed in New York in October stated all 66 Ingenious Designs employees would lose their jobs once layoffs begin on Dec. 28. The company officially closes on Feb. 28, according to the notice. The reason for the closing is listed as “economic.”

When Qurate announced the HSN cuts in October, it said Ingenious Designs was closing because jobs there duplicated work already being done inside the QVC offices in West Chester, Pa.

Her self-wringing Miracle Mop first shot Mangano to fame. Her HSN hanger sales broke records, with more than 800 million units sold. In 2017, she released her book Inventing Joy. On her own website, she continues to sell travel, closet organization, home and cleaning items.

Managno could not immediately be reached for comment. HSN will continue to sell Huggable Hangers, My Little Steamer and other products Mangano has presented on air over the years, Fitzharris said.

“And at the same time, customers will continue to see other fresh, innovative brands come to HSN as we add to our product assortments and create engaging new customer experiences,” he said.

Already, Qurate has been working to expand QVC and HSN’s digital and social media channels to connect with younger shoppers. They’ve launched YouTube shows and podcasts and will soon have voice-activated technology that works with Amazon’s “Alexa.”

Qurate Retail Group finalized its $2 billion purchase of HSN at the end of last year.