This 10-Year Old CEO Is Changing The Way Black Girls Are Wearing Their Hair
By Ryan Velez
EURWeb reports that 10-year old entrepreneur Gabrielle Goodwin has hit a major milestone for her hair accessory invention, GaBBY Bows. Having finally received the utility patent towards her invention, Goodwin can add this accolade to being sold in all 50 states and nine countries.
In addition, Goodwin is also the focus of the new children’s book Gabby Invents the Perfect Hair Bow by Entrepreneur Kid, which chronicles Gabrielle’s entrepreneurial journey. As the self-proclaimed president and CEO, Goodwin handles duties like working with inventory, serving as the lead saleswoman at trade shows, writing thank you cards to online shoppers, and helping sales taxes. She also hosts GaBBY Play Dates to teach girls in children’s shelters about entrepreneurship.
More formal avenues are recognizing Goodwin as well. In 2015, she was named the youngest ever South Carolina Young Entrepreneur of the Year. The following year, she and her mom were named a 2016 SCORE and Sam’s Club American Small Business Champion, and awarded as the 2016 SCORE Foundation Outstanding Diverse Business of the Year.
The impetus for the business came from a frustrated Twitter rant by Gabrielle’s mother, Rozalynn Goodwin. She was frustrated that after the effort to purchase many barrettes, only to lose them when he daughter plays. Her pastor came with a surprising response, “Sounds like a market you need to break into.”
“I approached it at first as a science project. We’d lay out barrettes on the kitchen table and study the features that worked,” Goodwin told the Washington Post. Today, the two invented the Double-Face Double-Snap Barrette. This uses teeth and craters to hold and trap the hair in place. Rozalynn wasn’t planning on putting together a business at first, but wanted the ability to sell the design. After being turned down by a major company, she asked if they could help her make one bow, and the rest was history.
As for Gabrielle herself, she says that the “play dates” that allow her to reach out to other children in need is her favorite part of the business. “I have friends at school, and I can think of what it would be like to not have friends. We should all be nice to one another,” Goodwin told Midlands Biz. “The thing I like best about having my own business is traveling. I’ve been to Augusta [and] Chicago… it’s a lot of fun to show the barrettes and meet new people.”