Just catching up with Jen Groover is impressive in itself.
“I’m just driving from the studio,” says Groover in her car, “but I’m all yours to talk!”
Groover is a pro, so she says “the studio” in the same casual way you might say “the office.” For her, the studio is a national television studio, where she’s just done another live TV segment.
Which network, you ask? Depends on the day. Groover appears regularly on Fox News’ “Strategy Room,” ABC’s “Money Matters,” CBS’ “Early Show,” CNBC’s “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch,” and Meredith Corporation’s “Better TV.”
Even more impressive is Jen’s laughter. What’s so funny? It’s been a year since we last spoke, and I’ve just asked her what she’s been up to?
“Well….” she begins, “I’m launching a book (‘What if and Why Not?’) and planning the 24-city book tour; I’m working with Avon to produce a Jen Groover-branded line of accessories – and I’m doing a lot of TV.”
“Wow,” I begin intelligently, “that sounds like a lot.”
“Oh, I should add I’ve also started writing for the Huffington Post as a feature columnist.”
Suddenly my life seems comparatively quiet – and that’s not all. When I last interviewed Jen to be MOMeo Magazine’s original Success Profile, I particularly focused on her first and arguably biggest success, the Butler Bag.
The Butler Bag was worth focusing on. When Jen calls it the first innovation in the handbag industry since the zipper, it’s not hyperbole.
Adding compartments (modelled on dishwasher cutlery trays) to make handbags and purses easier to sort through seems obvious now – but that’s the genius of it. It’s a great story, well worth reading (here at MOMeo Magazine, of course.)
Still, even a year ago, the Butler Bag was hardly Jen’s sole project or accomplishment. She had launched her own entrepreneurial community, Launchers Cafe. She was collaborating with game development company McNeill Designs for Better Minds. She was and is the spokesperson for Girls Take Charge, a leadership organization for girls.
One year later, the biggest single area of change seems to be her impressive media reach.
“I’ve created a niche for myself,” says Groover.
“There were lifestyle experts, and there were business experts – nobody seemed to try and combine the two.”
It’s a niche that obviously needed to be filled. Jen is regularly interviewed (most recently on MSNBC’s “Your Business”), appears as a guest (as on Fox Business’s “Your Questions, Your Money”) where she takes live call-in questions every other Saturday.
Jen Groover appeared as a guest on Fox Business’s “Your Questions, Your Money”.
That’s a lot. Is that all?
“Not at all,” she laughs. She can’t talk much about it yet, but she’s in the early stages of developing film properties – including a TV series inspired by “someone’s” life.
Asked if she’s learned anything in particular over the past year, Groover is assertive.
“Yes! Talking to as many business owners as I do, I really believe small business owners in particular need to start thinking differently.”
“Access to capital is tough right now – but don’t let that be a barrier. People should consider joint ventures – partnering with people with infrastructure – which allows you to incubate your company in their company.
“Don’t give up, just follow a different model. Always think how else you can achieve your goals.”
“100 per cent of $100 is $100, but 20 per cent of $100,000,000 is a lot more!”
It’s been a busy year for Jen Groover – will the next 12 months be just as hectic?
“There’s so much more I want to do, I’m just scratching the surface.”