The Definitive Guide to Business with Marcus Lemonis

Why Marcus Lemonis says moms are good for business

Marcus Lemonis' greatest mentor may have passed away, but she's still a big part of his life.

Though his mother died from cancer in 2013, Lemonis continues to apply the lessons she taught him, like honoring a handshake and basing business decisions off his own assessment and not others'.

The business guru and host of CNBC's "The Profit" knows the value not just of his own mother but of all mothers — whether alive or dead, close or far away.

Below is a list of three times Lemonis especially rooted for moms — and proved having them around is good for business — and good for the soul.

Betty's Pie Whole Saloon

Marcus Lemonis gives Betty Hunt airplane tickets to visit her mother in Texas. Hunt hadn’t been able to visit her mother in over five years — due to long hours and sluggish revenues at her two bakeries, Betty’s Pie Whole Saloon and Elizabethan Desserts.
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When Lemonis met Betty Hunt, the sassy red-headed owner of Betty's Pie Whole Saloon and Elizabathen Desserts in 2015 in Encinitas, California, she was struggling to keep her two stores afloat.

She hadn't taken a paycheck in over a year, and she hadn't had a chance to visit her mother, who taught her how to bake, in over five years.

"I haven't seen her in years and she can't afford to come here and I can't afford to help her at all," Hunt told Lemonis.

Lemonis not only worked with Hunt to close down the flailing Elizabethan Desserts and to upgrade equipment at Betty's PieWhole, but also made sure Hunt had the time and money to visit her mother in Texas.

He handed her a set of plane tickets. "Who you going to see?" "My mother," Hunt responded.

Denim and Soul

Lady Fuller of Denim and Jeans lost her mother when she was 9. Lemonis surprised Fuller with a photo of her mother in the Chicago store’s redesign.
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Lady Fuller of Denim and Jeans lost her mother when she was 9. Lemonis surprised Fuller with a photo of her mother in the Chicago store’s redesign.

Lady Reiss Fuller opened Blues Jean Bar, renamed Denim and Soul, in San Francisco in 2004 with her mom in mind.

"My mother passed away when I was 9 and she took her own life," Fuller said. "She left me money and I wanted to do something with her money that paid homage to her."

Though the denim company was initially successful, by 2015, Fuller garnered over $1.6 million in liabilities and was forced to close 10 of the 13 boutique stores she had opened. Fuller had to put the inheritance money that her mother left her on the line with the bank.

While Lemonis worked to get Fuller's business back in financial shape — saving Fuller's inheritance money from going down the drain — he also helped bring Fuller's mom's legacy into the store.

"I have something really special to show you," Lemonis said. Inside Fuller's revamped Chicago store on one of the shelves was a black and white framed photo of Fuller's mother.

Flex Watches

Co-founders Trevor Jones and Travis Lubinsky started LA-based Flex Watches with a mission to donate 10 percent of sales to charity, after inspiration from Jones’ mother, Karen Kagan-Jones. Kagan-Jones, a long-time volunteer in her community, died in 2012 from breast cancer.
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Co-founders Trevor Jones and Travis Lubinsky started LA-based Flex Watches with a mission to donate 10 percent of sales to charity, after inspiration from Jones’ mother, Karen Kagan-Jones. Kagan-Jones, a long-time volunteer in her community, died in 2012 from breast cancer.

When Trevor Jones and Travis Lubinsky started LA-based watch company Flex Watches in 2010, they did so with inspiration from Jones' mom, Karen Kagan-Jones. Her commitment to volunteerism inspired them to create 10 watches in 10 colors for 10 charities.

By the time Lemonis met with the co-founders, however, the company had strayed away from its charitable mission and was headed toward financial abyss.

The company had lost sight of its branding, partly due to conflicting demands from retailers, and partly because Jones hadn't come to terms with his mother's death in 2012.

After some one-on-one discussions, Lemonis encouraged Jones to move beyond his mother's death and to bring her spirit back into the company.

"One of those 10 watches is going to be solely dedicated to your story and your mom's story," Lemonis told Jones. "You got to tell it with everything that you have.You can't leave anything on the table."