Think back to when you were seven-years-old. Do you remember what you were doing at the time? Or what your interests or aspirations were? We might have had our noses deep into a book, been playing with dolls, looking for new hobbies, or dipping our toes into a new sport we were looking to master.
While Gabby Goodwin was likely doing some of these things when she was seven, she also kicked off an initiative that most adults don’t even get to do in their life: start her own business. In 2014, Gabby Goodwin and her mother, Rozalynn Goodwin, created a hair accessory called GaBBY Bows alongside a corresponding online store. From February 2014 to February 2022, the mother-daughter business has only grown over the eight years, first turning Gabby into a child entrepreneur. She is now a teenage entrepreneur at age 15 as her company continues to grow and expand into retail locations, headquarters, heightened online sales; oh my!
Who is Gabby Goodwin?
Hailing from Columbia, South Carolina, Gabby is the daughter of comedians Mike Goodwin and Rozalynn Goodwin, making the company a full family affair. Today, Gabby holds the title of CEO of Confidence by Gabby Goodwin and embraces her role as a keynote speaker, too. Due to her savvy entrepreneurship as a child into her teenage years, she’s been honored with the Black Enterprise Teenpreneur of the Year in 2018 and became the Youngest South Carolina Young Entrepreneur of the Year three years before that.
Through her work and her speaking appearances, Gabby has become a beacon of inspiration for fellow young entrepreneurs, a title she wields happily. Her advice to other budding young, female entrepreneurs is “to work hard, try your best, and remember ‘no’ is just an abbreviation for “next opportunity.”
What is Confidence by Gabby Goodwin?
It all started with GaBBY Bows. Those who use hair accessories understand the struggle of not only keeping tabs on each piece when we store them in our homes but the knowledge that at any moment, it could slip out of your hair and be effectively gone forever. Gabby and her mom tried to combat that common issue, thus inventing the GaBBY Bows, the first patented non-slip double-face, double-snap barrette.
The line doesn’t stop at secure barrettes, though. The mother-daughter duo created a hair care line that provided detangling, moisturizing, and styling products for girls with natural hair to help take the stress out of their hair care routines. The company also shares hair care tutorials on its website and offers a hair tool organizer for time-saving techniques. Aside from hair care-related products, you can’t forget the children’s book “Gabby Invents the Perfect Hair Bow,” in addition to a virtual entrepreneurship academy geared toward young girls and presentations that are meant to help guide budding entrepreneurs and instill both Confidence and creativity within them.
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The company’s journey
The road to spearheading and launching your own company is not an easy road to take. It’s a journey that’s often littered with handfuls of “no’s” as you navigate the waters of creating your venture and writing your future. Despite the company’s longevity after launching, getting initial buy-in was a feat. According to the Washington Post, they were rejected after sharing their first design with potential business investors and were told that the product wasn’t the right fit. So, they began to sell the barrettes themselves and eventually got a patent for the product. The rest, well, is history.
Confidence started with selling GaBBY Bows through an online store. In the years since the early days of Confidence, Gabby and her mom have fulfilled orders of the store’s products in all 50 states within the United States, in addition to 13 countries. Not only are Confidence’s products sold online, but they’ve also expanded into retail locations and beauty supply stores across the United States–including a brick-and-mortar location in her hometown–Canada, and even South Africa, spreading their reach on a national and global level. Their products aren’t the only thing that’s making a far reach, either.
In 2018, Gabby and her mom created the Mommy and Me Entrepreneurship Academy. To date, over 50 young girls and their moms from 16 states have enrolled in the online program and have begun their businesses. And inspiring others is something Gabby has wanted to achieve all along.
“I didn’t really know what entrepreneurship was at first, but I did know that if I could create something that could not only help me but help others, that I’ll be able to inspire people too,” she said on the podcast, One Hundred Percent with Marcus Lemonis.