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CNBC The Profit

"As a single mom, I never got to get a good job," says Lisa Howard, 28.

Lisa had her son when she was only 16. She was also in foster care at the time, so for more than half her life, she struggled to make a living and take care of her family.

And she's not alone. According to the United States Census Bureau, 27.5% of single moms were jobless in 2016, and those who did work only made an average of $34,500 that year.


Many single moms feel limited in their options, struggling to balance the demands of child care with workplaces that may not always be able to accommodate their unique needs. It can quickly become discouraging, a struggle that Lisa knew all too well.

"If you want your child to be the best they can be, you put them first," she says.

Despite challenges, Lisa didn't give up. And that determination would lead her on a path that would not only transform her family's life, but would allow her to support other families like hers.

But it wasn't easy. At first, they had to forgo some things many other families take for granted — like a car.

It was a "luxury" Lisa simply couldn't afford, so she and her son had to take the bus everywhere.

Despite that, Cory and Lisa made do as best they could.

Cory, however, wanted to do something big to help his mom— he wanted to make enough money to buy her a car.

He started selling cookies to passersby at a small stand when he was just 6 years old to put that goal within reach. Before long, he and his mom developed the definitive cookie recipe — and they decided to turn that into a fully incorporated business.

They called it Mr. Cory's Cookies.

Cory's the CEO of the company and Lisa's the CFO. Considering she was the catalyst for the whole idea, it seems like a fair split. They make a great (and adorable) team.

Their company garnered a lot of attention initially, even from talk show hosts. In fact, Ellen DeGeneres had him on her show and surprised him with a new car for his family.

But while his first goal of getting his mom a car was achieved, the duo now had a burgeoning company that still required some special attention.

Both mom and son still had a lot to learn about running a successful business, which they realized when problems with their distribution arose.

Since Mr. Cory's Cookies are made of all-natural ingredients, they don't have a long shelf-life, so their distributor couldn't distribute them as-is. As a result, the manufactured recipe changed and product sales came to a grinding halt.

Cory with Marcus Lemonis. Photo via CNBC.

Thankfully Marcus Lemonis, host of CNBC's "The Profit," came in to help turn things around.

Marcus learned at a young age how to help a business thrive. Now he's using that know-how to help other struggling businesses as part of the reality TV series.

After sampling their product and talking with Cory and Lisa, Marcus agreed to invest in their small company. And while he was incredibly impressed with Cory's maturity and go-getter attitude, it was Lisa's story that inspired him to take on the business.

My ❤️ #cookielove #iminlove #myeverything #shesthereasonforitall

A post shared by Mr. Cory (@mrcory) on

Since she had Cory so young and under difficult circumstances, she's always felt like she's been fighting tooth and nail to get the life she wants and, more importantly, deserves for her family.

This business opportunity is giving her a glimpse of what could be possible for her and Cory's future, which is why it's so precious.

It's her chance to reach the goal she's only dreamed of — running a truly successful company and maybe even help other moms like her along the way.

Lisa's long-term hope for Mr. Cory's Cookies is to hire a staff that's 70% single mothers to help give them a leg up.

Cory's mom, Lisa. Photo via CNBC.

"We can help them by giving them a chance," explains Lisa.

This business could be Lisa's opportunity to turn things around for women like her who've been fighting an uphill battle for their families.

Marcus helps Lisa and Cory get Mr. Cory's Cookies back on track, including solving their distribution problems and introducing them to key companies that can help them expand.

But does Lisa end up with her dream staff? Tune-in to The Profit tomorrow at 10PM ET/PT on CNBC to find out.

Can't wait till then? Here's a sneak peak of the upcoming episode.

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.