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Solve a problem, become a leader

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Leaders solve problems. So, it should come as no great shock that Barbara Kavovit, who owned her own construction company but wanted more creative work, would hit on the idea of designing a tool kit for women.

She got the notion while watching “Sex and the City” in 2001, when one of the female characters wanted to put up curtains but didn’t know how.

“I hated the fact that women who are perceived as being so strong are helpless when it comes to handiwork,” Kavovit says. “I can say from experience: It’s harder to bake a cake than it is to hang a ceiling fan.”

U.S. women spend $55 billion a year on home improvement, so Kavovit wagered that they would shell out for small tools in a stylish, streamlined blue-and-gray kit that weighs less than three pounds, instead of those ugly, clunky sets that appeal to men.

She won the bet. Last year, Barbara K! Enterprises sold more than $5 million in sleek drills, hammers and six-in-one screwdrivers. She expects sales to hit $15 million this year.

Kavovit’s motto: “Home improvement equals self-improvement.” Just her way of solving a problem.

— Adapted from “Barbara K: With great power tools comes great responsibility,” as told to Allen P. Roberts Jr., Inc. magazine.

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