Actress Monica Potter won raves for her performance on NBC’s Parenthood, but her role as CEO might be her toughest one yet. The 46-year-old, most recently seen on CBS’s The Wisdom of the Crowd, runs a Cleveland-based lifestyle brand called Monica Potter Home, which has been struggling to get its footing. In fact, she appeared on this week’s episode of CNBC’s The Profit to save the company.
The Monica Potter Home website shows the company offers a wide range of “family inspired” and “thoughtfully made” home goods, textiles, skincare products, and food items — including sea buckthorn balm, soy candles, coffee, t-shirts, and holiday decorations.
“When I say Monica Potter Home was inspired by my family, I’m not just talking about my mom, dad, children, and sisters (even though I would be nowhere near where I am without them),” the actress says on the site. “To me, the word ‘family’ also encompasses my wonderful friends, thoughtful neighbors, loyal customers, the city of Cleveland, and of course, you.” The business venture has cost Monica dearly, though. It’s been losing almost $100,000 a year and has nearly burned through her initial $1 million investment. When The Profit’s Marcus Lemonis stepped in, he found the problem was a trust issue between Monica and her employees.
“I was hired to make decisions,” Caity, the company’s director of operations, told Monica on the show. “I don’t feel like I can do those things without you thinking I’m going behind your back. Really, I have your best interests at heart.” Caity even revealed she had considered quitting, as did multiple other employees.
Marcus offered to invest $100,000 in the business, and he arranged meetings with a fragrance laboratory, a graphic designer, and a packaging company. But Monica eventually vetoed his suggestions. "Monica is very resistant to change,” Caity told Marcus. “Every time we try to do something, whether it's developing a new scent of candle, the product line, rebranding… it becomes a very tedious process. Monica pulled the plug on it. I think she's a self-sabotager.”
Eventually, Marcus walked away. “I’m disappointed that I’m going to miss the opportunity,” he said. “But sometimes it’s better to get out while you’re ahead.” For her part, Monica thinks the experience with The Profit was a positive one. “It taught me a lot about… digging deep with personalities and relationships and understanding what people's fears are,” she said, per local news affiliate WKYC. “It’s been an amazing journey so far and I can't wait to continue.”