Elizabeth Werner: Toy and Child Lifestyle Expert - tBR Person of the Week
Who would have thought that going to law school would prepare you for a career as a toy pundit?
Certainly not Elizabeth Werner, one of the toy industry’s biggest cheerleaders. Her desire to help people and use her joy of research and communication has allowed her to become a national spokesperson for must-have products as they come to market. Being in demand, you’ve seen her on The View, or perhaps Access Hollywood. If you’ve tuned in to QVC over the last 20 years (!) she’s a frequent guest host. TV segment producers love her, and publicists adore her as she’s a spokesperson in media tours, presenting products packaged with a fun topical theme to local affiliates and radio stations coast to coast. Describing her in a word is impossible: she’s a TV personality, on-air toy saleswoman and lifestyle expert. One moment she’s interacting with Whoopie Goldberg on a Halloween Gadgets segment she named Tech or Treating. She’s dressed like Cher next to Whoopie’s Vampirina outfit.
Next she’s on QVC demo-ing Flappy, the animated plush elephant by Gund who plays peek-a-boo. Her infectious ease in explaining any product makes her the best friend you wished you had, who has the inside track on everything. She tells us what toys are best for teaching and what toys are just a blast to play with. There are toys for everything -- from learning how to take care of pets to toys that will help your kids become more creative. Viewers know that Werner reveals what’s trending, so they pay attention for her tidbits on the best gifts for kids. And to think it all happened on a whim. Years ago, her inventor-husband needed someone to pitch his newest invention on QVC. She had already taken her bar exam and was just waiting around for the results. She had the time and curiosity to take on the plumb on-camera assignment. Her debut was a hit and amazingly, she fell in love with being a TV spokesperson. As she explained, it had so many parallels with law-- from the amount of research involved to properly understanding the product to always thinking about how to answer questions. She had her own perky style to present information in the most positive way possible. Despite the perfect QVC experience, she wasn’t ready to give up her career in law, so for a couple of months, she just collected business cards of manufacturers who were requesting her to promote their products. One gigantic stack of cards later, she realized that this could be a career of its own and started calling manufacturers. One of the best pieces of advice she received during this new part of her career was that as a new mom, she’d easily be able to connect with that audience. As her personal and professional life clicked, she decided to become a toy expert!
Her best-known gig is as the regular life-style expert on The View, appearing multiple times a year on the popular to talk show to discuss the hottest trends in toys. Over the years, Werner has appeared on the Tamron Hall Show, Fox and Friends, CNN, Access Hollywood and TODAY. What you don’t see is the preparation it takes to make those 5 to 10 minutes of airtime seem effortless. She spends the first part of the year testing and evaluating new products. Then there’s a whirlwind of research, interviews, and traveling to talk with manufacturers and then she shares her findings on air. In July and around the holidays, it’s especially busy because of Christmas in July at QVC and the holiday shopping rush. As a spokesperson in sponsored media tours, she can be found presenting products based on fun themes throughout the year to local TV affiliates and radio stations across the country. During COVID, like so many on-air media personalities and pundits, Elizabeth had to learn a new way to do things and keep things going. She built a home studio so she could continue her appearances and it became a family affair. Her husband and daughter served as camera and lighting crew and also made several TV appearances! If you asked her, she’d tell you her favorite aspect of her job is getting to see the joy in kids’ and parents’ faces that comes from opening the perfect toy; it truly makes everything worth it. As a beloved children’s toy authority, she has been recognized by Women In Toys (WIT) as a Woman to Watch in the Toy Industry. Her expertise is welcomed as a member of the Toy Industry Association's Toy of The Year Award Committee. When asked what advice she had for young women considering a career path she warmly advises to “never close your eyes to opportunities that may arise. Many people tend to set a rigid path for themselves and are afraid to wander from it. I think the best thing you can do is explore the paths that you come across because you never know how positively life changing it might be. I never dreamed I’d have a career on live TV, but if I hadn’t allowed my path to shift, I wouldn’t have found my dream career.” In case you were wondering, she passed the Bar Exam and is admitted to practice law in New York and Maryland and the Second Circuit of New York!