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From Wish to Walgreens: This 9 Year Old Entrepreneur and Her Mom are Building an Empire

How do you build an award-winning business before the age of 10? Listen to the story of GaBBYBows to find out.

Gabrielle Goodwin was only five years old when her mother told her, “Mommy is going to make you some bows that work”.

From that day on, “the broken record with pig tails” never let loose on her mother’s promise.

How it happened

Rozalynn never dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. She didn’t believe she had the skill set or the time to take on something of this magnitude. The mother of two was already a busy healthcare professional and managed her husband’s comedic career.

Surely there wasn’t time to start up a business too.

According to her Blog, Spituponmyblazer.com, a simple Twitter rant and gentle nudge from her pastor through his reply on her timeline, fueled the fire that little Gabby had sparked.

So How Did She Do It?

“I literally prayed, Ok, God. If there is something here, you are going to have to show it to me,” said Rozalynn.

“Inventing the Double-Face Double-Snap Barrette was not what I had in mind when I logged on to Twitter that day to blow off some steam”, she said.

For one, they needed a prototype. Something tangible to pitch to buyers and show supporters. Then they needed a distributer, a buyer, partnerships a miracle to say the least!

GaBBYBOWS up close

Rozalynn started with seeking help from her church. The people already apart of her community. Juan, a fellow member, drew up the GaBBY Bow design.

Suddenly, there was a face for the double snap, double faced barrette hair accessory!

Next, she sought out major companies that might be interested in the project.

Rozalynn said it took several months of persistent calling of random numbers to find the appropriate contacts for companies she desired to sell the idea to.

“I submitted the idea and drawing through online databases and heard nothing back. But one day during my lunch break, I finally got connected to a woman who gently said, “Oh honey, you need to talk to XXX. Sorry you’ve been getting the runaround. Let me connect you to him now.”

The Set-Back

Boom, bam pow! Rozalynn was able to land a focus group with a major company. But while making it to top executives was a sizable win, they ultimately passed on the deal.

Set-backs are common on the road to entrepreneurship. However, a set-back should not be grounds for you to stop altogether.

This is when her broken record in pig tails started playing again in Rozalynn’s head.

For you it may be an old drawing. A reminder of your goals in a high school yearbook. A dream you had about your business. Whatever the compelling factor is, don’t just sit on it. Make a move.

She knew she still had access to big influencers so she simply asked if they could help her make one bow.

Regardless of how many no’s you get, all you’ll ever need is one yes.

Business is Booming

Since then, GaBBYBows has exploded to being sold in approximately 100 retail stores in 42 states.

In 2015, Gabrielle was recognized as the South Carolina Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

And in addition to inspiring others with their business savvy skills, Gabby and her mom recently made it through as finalists for SCORE and Sam’s Club American Small Business Championship! GaBBYBows, along with 103 other finalists, will compete for a $25,000 grand prize later this year. 

No longer thinking of selling her business idea, Rozalynn now dreams of continuing to scale up, keeping the business in the family, hiring on employees and eventually handing it down to Gabby so she and her family can continue the legacy.

For more information on GaBBY Bows, visit www.gabbybows.com

 

Chassidy Goggins
 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 52 comments
Vernel Edwards - July 6, 2016

Great story. Hat’s off to Gabby and her mom Rozalynn for making it happen!

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