Broadcast journalist Gayle King understands the importance of investing in Black-owned businesses, but perhaps more importantly, how significant it is to endow young entrepreneurs.
“It’s has been hard raising capital,” Gabby Goodwin, the 14-year-old CEO of GaBBY Bows, recently told Black Enterprise. The young teenager from Columbia, South Carolina, founded her company when she was just 5 years old after becoming frustrated with constantly losing her hair barrettes.
“When I was little, I lost my barrettes. My mom lost barrettes. My grandma lost barrettes. So it was a generational problem,” she explained, adding that when her mother, Rozalynn Goodwin, would pick her up from school “half of my bows were gone.” The Black Enterprise Teenager of the Year added, “She was very frustrated because she was losing lots of time, wasting lots of money on these barrettes that did not stay in her daughter’s hair.”
That’s when, with support from her family, she decided to create the first patented double-faced double-snap barrette. However, unbeknownst to the young business owner, years later she’d be getting help from a famous figure who also faced similar accessory issues when she was a child.
During the Wednesday, July 7, episode of “One Hundred Percent with Marcus Lemonis,” Goodwin shared her journey with the entrepreneur advocate and philanthropist. Toward the end of the show, Lemonis revealed he had invited King onto the show and that they both would be making sizable monetary investments to further her business.
Upon meeting Goodwin, King immediately showered her with compliments, jokingly asking, “Gabby, where were you when I was a little girl losing all my barrettes and bows.” Goodwin responded, “I wasn’t born.” “I’m bowing down,” the journalist added. “Know what I was doing when I was your age? I was hoping I would get Barbie’s dream house. That’s what I was doing.”
Lemonis, who invested $150,000, then told the young girl to really “study what kind of product you’re missing, like on the hair care products, not just the barrettes.” King then said she’d be investing $50,000.
“It’s just great to have this type of support,” Goodwin expressed. “As a Black-owned business, it’s kind of hard to get capital, and for me to get this $50,000, and just to meet both of you, this is a great experience. I guess dreams do come true.”
“I’m so excited about your business and what you’re doing, really excited about it,” King replied. “Congratulations. Can’t wait to see what you do, Gabby. Can’t wait.”
In addition to bows, Goodwin has also created a range of natural hair products, including styling creams, hair wash day products, and pomade that are sold in 74 Target locations around the country. Along with her mother, “the mother-daughter duo has since filled online orders to all 50 states in the U.S. and twelve countries,” according to Goodwin’s bio.