Moms are often breaking their backs over their young daughter’s hair, making sure the styles they craft are just right. Many of these looks are finished off with a brightly colored barrette that clips onto the end strands, and while they’re pretty, they usually aren’t present by the end of the day.
That was indeed the case with Gabrielle “Gabby” Goodwin of South Carolina, whose mom, Rozalynn, became frustrated by the number of barrettes that would slip out of Gabby’s hair by the end of the day.
After Rozalynn had a long rant on her Twitter page about the insecurity of these hair accessories, her church pastor urged her to create a barrette on her own, one that would ensure security throughout the day — and that’s just what she did.
“My mom told me [when] I was 5, I kept asking every single day, ‘When are my bows coming? When am I going to get my bows?’” Gabby said.
One night, the mother-daughter duo sat down at their kitchen table studying and comparing the different structures of barrettes and their functionality. Soon enough, they came up with a formula for a barrette that ensured it would stay for the whole day.
“They have two faces, so you can see the design both ways, and inside those two faces there are teeth and craters meant to trap the hair,” Gabby said. “When you snap it together, the teeth and craters close on the hair so it can stay in place.”
In 2014, the double-faced barrettes were named “Gabby Bows,”
adding 10-year-old Gabby to the short list of kid CEOs. The bows are now being sold in all 50 states and eight countries. The company even scored a deal with Once Upon a Child, the largest franchise reseller of children’s merchandise in North America. The barrettes are being sold in 50 stores across the U.S.
“A lot of the business have been online, but this partnership with 50 Once Upon a Child stores is breaking us into retail,” Rozalynn said.
But Gabby is not just kicking back waiting for the big bucks to roll in. The young CEO also is a budding philanthropist, using her success to help others. Gabby holds “Gabby Playdates” at local children’s shelters, which allows her to speak to other young girls about entrepreneurship, while also having fun.
Gabby also donates barrettes to a small orphanage in Haiti a few times each year.
“Her father and I wanted to make sure she understood her social responsibility as a business owner, and she’s excited about that,” Rozalynn said.
In the future, they want use a hands-on approach to give girls from the shelter an opportunity to work alongside Gabby and learn how to create and handle their own businesses.
“It’s important for us to be an example for other women, for other girls and for other families in business,” Rozalynn said. “And I think people can identify with that.”
Right now, the duo is working to release two new barrettes, “Daddy’s Girl” and “Sunshine,” both of which will be available later this year.