Women in Business: Donna Cooley of The Happy Factory

Donna Cooley

National Business Women’s Week is the third week in October. Beehive Insurance hopes to shine a spotlight on remarkable women in Utah who are redefining leadership and impact in the business world. 

Building Joy: The Journey of the Happy Factory 

Donna Cooley is the co-founder of The Happy Factory, a non-profit organization committed to making and donating toys for children throughout the world. 

She and her husband, Charlie, didn’t embark on their venture with a grand plan. It began as a modest hobby making toys for grandchildren and other children in the area before quickly growing into a phenomenon. 

Today, these simple toys have found their way to over 168 countries, impacting the lives of countless children. 

“Since 1995, we have not missed one month of giving toys to the Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City,” Donna said. “As of now, the Happy Factory has produced over 1.7 million toys that have been delivered around the world.” 

A Champion for Women and Service 

This type of commitment exemplifies what it means to be a woman in the business world. Donna believes that women can go far in life if they give their all. 

“Women just have to believe in themselves,” Donna said. “They have to know they can do something. If they can’t, they need to try. You don’t have to be famous to do wonderful things and become recognized. Get involved with people, be surrounded by good ones, and use their ideas.” 

This belief is rooted deeply in Donna’s approach to life which is to “fill your life with service and fill your heart with love—even if it’s only giving a smile. A smile is a really wonderful way to make people happy.”

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