About Kim Lavine
Identified as America’s expert on inspirational business advice, critically-acclaimed bestselling author Kim Lavine has transformed the lives of millions through her appearances on the Today Show, Rachel Ray, Good Morning America, NBC & ABC news, CNN, CNBC, FOX, NPR, Oprah & Friends Radio Network, LifetimeTV.com, and features in USA Today, Country Living, Guideposts, Inc, Business Week, Entrepreneur, Women's World, and American Baby to name a few.
As the author of MOMMY MILLIONAIRE (St. Martin's NY, 2007) and THE MOMMY MANIFESTO (Wiley NY, 2009),Kim Lavine’s advice and empowering encouragement have touched and inspired people around the world who have read her books, watched her on TV, listened to her on the radio, and were inspired by hearing her speak to change their lives in powerful ways.
On the Today Show, Kim Lavine shares priceless advice and answers viewers’ questions with four live remotes from around the country.
The inspiring story of how she took her kitchen table idea to millions of dollars in sale at the nations’ top retailers after her husband lost his job is detailed in her book MOMMY MILLIONAIRE, which launched an entrepreneurial revolution, identifying her as the leader in the women’s entrepreneurship movement.
In 2002 Lavine took her kitchen table idea, the Wuvit® – a designer spa therapy pillow you heat in the microwave – to $225,000 in sales in just 8 weeks. She followed up by designing a kid’s Wuvit, called Sleepy-Head Fred™, recognized by the Atlanta Journal Constitution as a “Top 5 Gift Pick,” and a partnership with Waverly®, the nation’s premiere manufacturer of home décor fabrics, designing the nation’s first fabric featuring a pink ribbon motif celebrating breast cancer awareness, titled “Faith, Hope & Love.”
In 2004, Lavine rolled the Wuvit product out to 250 Saks Inc stores in just 4 months, quickly followed by Macy’s, Gottschalks, Von Maur, Bed Bath & Beyond, Whole Foods, and Tabi International, a 90-store chain in Canada, taking her kitchen-table idea to millions in sales, earning a nomination as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
In 2004, Lavine was granted a license by the Collegiate Licensing Company to apply collegiate logos to her Wuvits, marking Green Daisy’s entry into the $3 billion a year collegiate market. She accomplished these feats of design, sales, manufacturing and distribution with little more than determination, the equity in her home and personal savings.
In 2006, Lavine realized that if she was going to take her successful product lines into greater distribution she was going to need to raise serious capital. Without any former business experience and no business degree, Lavine penetrated the exclusive world of private equity, successfully raising angel capital and recruiting senior management to work for her company.
Among the new team that made up her board of directors was Terry Cross, a former Senior VP with Kidder Peabody, founding investor in Google, Inktomi, PayPal, Napster and Warehouse Club and one of America’s experts on private equity, and David Hathaway, Founder of the Grand Angels and retired President of Precious Moments, which he had helped take from start-up to over $700,000,000 annually in sales while creating the gold standard model for the licensing industry.
That same year Lavine and her team researched, sourced and oversaw the design and overseas manufacturing of Green Daisy’s line of designer pajamas, which debuted at Saks, Inc and Gottschalks, racking up record sell-throughs at Saks Inc and earning a prestigious spot in their sales circular, featured next to premiere brands like Chanel, Oscar De La Renta, and Betsey Johnson.
With another winning product line in the marketplace and the opportunity to transition Wuvits from upscale retail into mass-market channels of distribution, Green Daisy’s board of directors gave Lavine and her creative team a mandate to expand the company from its beginning as a manufacturer of a single product into a true lifestyle brand, focused on balancing life with love™.
Within a year, Green Daisy had designed, developed and launched a home décor line in New York’s premiere showplace for home textiles on Fifth Avenue, offering consumers bedding collections featuring a youthful modern aesthetic, with a mission to bring extraordinary design within reach of the everyday consumer. Just months after beginning the transition of her company from the kitchen table to the boardroom, Green Daisy was valued by an expert in the private equity market at just under $9 million.
In 2007, Lavine posted another bestseller with the release of her book MOMMY MILLIONAIRE: How I Turned My Kitchen Table Idea into a Million Dollars and How You Can Too (St. Martin’s Press – Feb ’07),
called by Publisher’s Weekly in a Starred Review: “A top-notch, how-to guide on launching a business. Lavine’s human and authoritative story make this one of the most engaging and useful resources available for readers hoping to convert their passion into a healthy company…a rare gem.”
USA Today says “MOMMY MILLIONAIRE is loaded with resources for a fledgling business person…armed with a good idea and boundless energy.”
Barbara De Angelis, PH.D.—#1 New York Times Bestselling Author says, “MOMMY MILLIONAIRE is an inspiring gift and road map to success for anyone who’s ever had a dream.”
Strategy and Business Magazine chose MOMMY MILLIONAIRE as one of the best business books of the year: “Kim Lavine’s memoir-cum-business-primer breaks new ground in the crowded field of startup sagas. By seamlessly blending the epiphanies that she gained through launching a business with practical lessons, Lavine has packaged a core set of new-venture tenets into something fresh and relevant.”
The best-selling success of Lavine’s book earned her appearances on The Today Show, Rachel Ray, NBC & ABC news, CNN, CNBC, NPR, Oprah & Friends Radio Network, LifetimeTV.com, and features in USA Today, Country Living, Guideposts, Women's World, Family Circle and American Baby, as well as international appearances on Canada’s CBC radio network and the cover of Mompreneur, Canada’s national business magazine for women—to name a few. Lavine’s new mission was to empower people to follow their dreams, inspiring them with hope, honesty and faith.
In January of 2008, frustrated with her Board of Directors’ insistence on taking Green Daisy into a direction not consistent with her standards, Lavine acquired her company back from investors to become 100% owner and focused the resources of her team onto fulfilling the vision for the brand she had from the beginning. Then in October of that year the financial credit crisis transformed the business landscape in traumatic ways, resulting in the bankruptcy or dissolution of most of Green Daisy’s national retailers, including Saks Inc, Gottschalks, Bed Bath & Beyond and more, forcing the company to absorb losses across the board. The American retailing environment plunged into chaos, complicated by dried up credit markets, which made international manufacturing and operations impossible.
In response to historic change, Lavine focused on developing her own online channel of distribution, while also launching Mommy Millionaire Media, a multi-media company focused on developing traditional and new media opportunities in publishing, TV, radio, social networking, and digital formats. Just six months after launching Mommy Millionaire Media, the company attracted members from around the world to a social networking community, creating one of the fastest growing networks on the web for both women and men seeking inspirational business advice. The launch of a MOMMY MILLIONAIRE digital magazine in fourth quarter 2008 was only the first stage of an aggressive growth strategy which took the digital component of the company into the development of original online radio and video content, and eventually groundbreaking integrated multi-media branded entertainment campaigns designed for Fortune 100 companies.
In January of 2009, Lavine was called upon by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to design an entrepreneurial initiative around the Governor’s women’s agenda. Lavine and her team worked with the best representatives of Michigan’s public and private sectors including the Michigan Women’s Commission, the Michigan Women’s Foundation, and Terry Cross, board member of Great Lakes Angels, Michigan Venture Capital Association, and Automation Alley’s Entrepreneurial Initiative of Southeast Michigan, to create an ambitious and innovative program, designed to connect women and their families with resources and capital necessary to grow businesses.
Later that year, based on the success of her book MOMMY MILLIONAIRE, Lavine went on to negotiate a production deal with one of Hollywood’s top hit makers for her own TV show, retaining Executive Producer, Writer, and Series Creator roles, while maintaining creative control. The first deal Oprah’s new network OWN struck was with Kim and her team, though it later died in negotiation when Kim and her team walked away from the deal.
In 2010 Lavine launched an innovative online shopping portal called BUY MOM at www.buy-mom.com new source for the hottest and newest consumer products. In 1909, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING Magazine established its Seal of Approval. BUY MOM® is the symbol of mom-approved products for a new generation. BUY MOM® provides both retailers and consumers alike a quality seal of assurance they can trust by leveraging the expertise of MOMMY MILLIONAIRE™ to bring mom-invented and mom-approved products to the shelves of major retailers across the U.S. Many products launched through Kim’s ground-breaking BUY MOM program have gone on to distribution on retailer’s shelves across America in just months after launch, with major deals currently in negotiation with national retailers including Rite-Aid, Walgreen’s, Dillard’s, and more.
In September Lavine published her second book THE MOMMY MANIFESTO, Wiley NY, Sept. 2009, simultaneously launching her ambitious and inspiring campaign of a MILLION NEW BUSINESSES. With her empowering advice for surviving an economy in historic transformation in high demand by print, radio and TV media sources, she was launched on another exciting publicity tour lasting months, kicking off with an appearance on ABC NOW’s Good Morning America, followed up with interviews on FOX Mike and Juliet, FOX Atlanta, FOX Detroit, ABC Grand Rapids, CNN and NPR radio, Business Week, Inc, The Small Business Advocate, and countless other nationally syndicated news outlets.
With a desire to focus on the home front, in January of 2011 Kim Lavine combined the experiences and successes of the last eight years, bringing everything she’d learned from the front-lines of business, private equity, media, entertainment, government, design, international manufacturing, and publishing to launch H.O.M.E., Home Office for a Million Entrepreneurs, in her hometown of Grand Haven, Michigan—debuting the new venture with a spectacular kick-off of her most important and historic mission—a Private Equity Summit designed to connect women with capital.
With intense interest demonstrated by local and national media for the modest launch event, entrepreneurs from across the US and Canada gathered during a blizzard in January to pitch investors, with some going on to close deals.
With the model for her most important mission ever proven with the spectacular success of this very small-scale experiment, Kim Lavine resolved to “Think Huge” in making her dream of holding a Private Equity Summit a reality. Within months she had $100 million in commitments from investors, with A- level meetings with Fortune 100 companies, who all wanted to learn more about how they could join her in THE NEXT BIG DREAM.