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Joy Mangano, real-life inspiration of 'Joy,' has an empire based on extroversion, and mops

Joy Mangano, real-life inspiration of 'Joy,' has an empire based on extroversion, and mops

Just before midnight on a recent Saturday at the headquarters of HSN, the home-shopping pioneer Joy Mangano had a time-sensitive mission.

Mangano had just wound down an hour, in heels, of striding around a set, pitching a space-saving closet contraption she devised called Huggable Hangers. About 60 seconds later she was due to go live on another set several hundred yards away‎. Mangano is lithe, with long legs, but even they were no match for the labyrinthine corridors and stacks of blenders‎, skin-care products and ergonomic pillows that lined her path.

So an assistant handed Mangano a mini-box of coconut water and strapped her into a wheelchair. Then the assistant got behind...

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