Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) has been inventing things all her life but has never done anything with her ideas because she was too busy taking care of her family.
When she comes up with a self-wringing mop with a removable head, she gets her dad’s new girlfriend to fund the startup costs but they have to partner with a man in Texas and use a manufacturing plant he owns because he filed a patent for a similar invention created by a man in Hong Kong.
At first, nobody wants to sell it in their stores but Joy’s ex-husband introduces her to a mutual friend who works at QVC and, after some persuading from Joy, an executive decides to sell it on the air. At first, it doesn’t sell and she is set to lose everything but Joy finally demands to be on camera herself, since she knows the product better than anyone. It becomes a hit, which causes the manufacturing plant to up their price. Joy flies to California to negotiate and is arrested after making a scene. Her father and his girlfriend bail her out and encourage her to file for bankruptcy.
After doing some research, Joy realizes the man from Texas who she partnered with was committing fraud he didn’t inform the inventor of the similar design about their deal, on top of the fact that the design ended up being completely different than hers. Joy threatens to sue unless he dissolves their contractual relationship, which he does.
Joy then goes on to become a huge inventor and starts her own company, helping other women who have similar ideas for products.