Gabrielle “Gabby” Goodwin is the 14-year-old entrepreneur and “CEO of Confidence” behind GaBBY Bows and Confidence by Gabby Goodwin. She is also responsible for saving little Black girls across the world when it comes to losing hair bows as the mastermind behind the first patented and non-slip double-face double-snap barrette (her products can even be found in retail giants like Target).
When she isn’t teaming up with her mother to run her business, Goodwin is just the normal teenager living life to the fullest while being all about her paper at the same time.
In a recent interview with AfroTech, as the South Carolina native headed home from her first day of high school, she discussed her journey into entrepreneurship, a recent surprise from Gayle King, and what’s next for her company.
On Her Journey To Entrepreneurship
Goodwin is much like many other Black girls who know what it’s like to go to school with a head full of bows, only to return home with little to none. In her case, she and her mother were moved to create a solution that would save a future generation of little girls across the nation.
“When I was five-years-old and younger, my mother would do my hair for maybe 15 or 20 minutes and drop me off to school looking very pretty,” said Gabby. “Once my mom would come pick me up from school, she’d find that half of my bows were gone and my hair was a complete mess.”
One day, Gabby’s mother, Rozalyn, took to Twitter to vent about her frustrations only to be met with somewhat of a support group of mothers experiencing the same thing. Despite the influx of mothers with the same sentiments, it wasn’t until the pastor at their church encouraged Gabby and her mother to tap into the hair bow market, that the duo decided entrepreneurship may be the best route for them.
“I didn’t necessarily know what entrepreneurship was,” Goodwin continued. “But I did know that I wanted to inspire people, and I saw this as a way to do that.”
With that said, the rest is history. Now, GaBBY Bows is available on their brand’s official website and in various retail partners across the east coast.
On Her Surprise Investment
Recently, Goodwin received the surprise of a lifetime when making an appearance as a guest of the Marcus Lemonis podcast, One Hundred Percent.
“I was thrilled to be invited to Marcus Lemonis’ podcast because he’s someone that I’ve always admired in the business world,” she shared. “He always brings special guests on his podcast and pairs them with celebs with similar stories. Mine happened to be Gayle King.”
As the two got into the interview, Lemonis gave Gabby the opportunity to pitch her company to him. She thought that maybe he just wanted her to practice and get comfortable with pitching her business, but boy was she wrong.
“I thought that it was just practice or that he was just helping me to pitch and say the right things, but it turns out that he simply wanted to help out and invest in my business,” said the young entrepreneur.
Not only did he invest $150,000 into her business, but King also felt moved by the pitch to commit an additional $50,000 leaving Gabby with a total of $200,000 to put toward her business.
“That was really a huge surprise for me because it’s so hard to get capital as a woman or just as a Black-owned business,” Goodwin told us. “So, to receive support from people that I would have never thought I’d be able to meet or connect with was really overwhelming. I’m just grateful for the whole experience.”
What’s Next For GaBBY Bows?
Now that she’s received the investment, Goodwin and her family have plans to continue to grow the business, especially the team.
“We’re a family business. So, in the past, we’ve always pretty much done things on our own,” she said. “Now that we’re on another level in terms of more customers and visibility, we’re looking to hire new people and agencies to have other people bring their skills to the table.”
Along with GaBBY Bows, the company includes books penned by Goodwin along with her very own collection of hair care products, Confidence By Gabby Goodwin.
Click here to support this young Black entrepreneur.