“The Profit” star Marcus Lemonis came back home to Miami to do what he does best: help ailing businesses. His latest mission: Swim by Chuck Handy, a family run. plus sized focuses swimwear brand based in North Miami Beach. We spoke to the stars of the episode, which airs 10 p.m. Tuesday on CBNC: Chuck and Mary Lou Handy and their kids, daughter Mary Ellen McAteer and son Charlie III, whose last foray into reality TV was in 2014, appearing on “Dating Naked;” he’s fully clothed this time.
What was working with Marcus like?
Chuck: He was firm, honest with his comments, to the point and tried to learn as much about our process as possible. Right from the start, he was focused on what made us tick and how we executed each individual’s responsibilities.
Charlie: Working with Marcus was very interesting. He is able to listen and learn very quickly and instantly see the areas that needed improvement. He certainly lived up to his reputation.
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Mary Ellen: Marcus was able to come into a family business that had a successful product but perhaps not the most successful process and immediately identify problems and affect change. One large change was we needed to expand our product offering if we were going to be sustainable long term. He also had us move our swimwear and cover up production from overseas in china to back here in the USA to eliminate our deliery issues while speeding up our turn time from conception to product.
Did you bond over the fact that you were all from Miami?
Chuck: It gave us something in common.
Charlie: Being that Marcus grew up in Miami and that ladies swimwear is so popular down here, I believe it was a win win.
Mary Ellen: It’s a small world, and we like to think that it for sure helped!
What did you take away from Marcus?
Chuck: That he is a caring individual who believed in us and our story. He quickly explored our strengths and weaknesses too. We also learned he wanted us to succeed off the charts and to expand our horizons, which I believe we are aspiring to. Working with him was one of the best experiences of my life. I cannot thank him enough for all the faith he had in us.
Charlie: I learned to focus on the process and keep up our margins because the quality of our swimwear is truly that great. He gave us great confidence that in quality, fit and production we really knew what we were doing.
Mary Ellen: I believe we learned that if we were going to fix the business, it started with process. We had the people and the product but we needed a better process to get our designs from conception to store.
How has your business changed since you taped this episode?
Chuck: Our lives and business alike have changed dramatically. We are focused and working around the clock to execute our product and Web for our show. Our process has changed. No longer am I in a position to carry a lot of the load. Mary Ellen and Charlie carry most of it. When they need me I’m there to help with my contacts, knowledge and hard work to get a job accomplished. I love having the opportunity of watching Charlie and Mary Ellen make it happen. Manufacturing domestically has been a huge challenge we all had to work so hard.
Charlie: Marcus moved me to NYC and gave us a beautiful showroom.
Mary Ellen: We are no longer just a small mom and pop shop; we have funding and a great name behind us.
What was the highlight of the episode?
Chuck: Executing a fully curated collection of resort must-haves along with a full blown trade booth in two in a half weeks! Some how we did it!
Charlie: Mary Ellen. She went from a stay at home mom to running a major resort fashion brand. Her transition is inspiring.
Where can we buy your swimsuits?