Mary Norton, founder of the handbag line Moo Roo, gave a surprisingly forthcoming presentation to a group of business owners in Charleston yesterday. Included was a fantastic story about Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran. You know about my obsession with Shark Tank so I had to share the story.
But first, a little background on Mary.
Mary Norton is an extremely successful bag designer here in Charleston. Her bags were carried by oodles of celebrities (see below), she had gorgeous boutiques filled with her designs and the bags were chosen as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things.
Once the bags really took off a group of investors infused millions into her company. They re-branded it from Moo Roo to Mary Norton and changed the products. This proved to be a big mistake and they ultimately declared bankruptcy.
And now onto the story…
After the business folded Mary was invited to attend a “Reinvention” conference hosted by More Magazine. She went but was very unhappy about it. As she sat down another woman with short hair sat down next to her.
“Are you hitting on me?” asked the woman to Mary.
“No!” Mary exclaimed, “You sat down next to me!”
“Well, then why are you here?” the woman replied.
“I don’t know why I’m here. I don’t even want to be around all these happy women! Why are you here?” rebuffed Mary.
“I’m Barbara Corcoran and I’m here to give the presentation today. Why are you so unhappy?”
(Side note: Apparently Mary never watches Shark Tank. I’m going to let that go – for NOW.)
Mary went on to tell her tale of woe to Barbara. The two women discussed their business and then Barbara summed up Mary’s position. “Well you’re the goose that laid the golden egg.”
“That’s RIGHT. I AM the goose that laid the golden egg! Why did this happen to me then?” Mary wondered.
“But it’s just a fucking egg.” Barbara remarked. Mary was shocked. “WHAT?!” she questioned.
Barbara explained, “It’s just one egg. YOU are the goose. YOU could lay a thousand more eggs.”
Talk about an AH-HA moment. Such a great story for all of us to remember. If one great idea doesn’t work out, then just come up with the next one. You’re the idea MAKER, not just the idea.
For more on Mary Norton and what she’s doing now visit her website at www.marynorton.com. Her current line, Frosting by Mary Norton, is available on HSN.