Teen entrepreneur Gabby Goodwin came up with a solution to a problem that has plagued Black girls for generations: lost hair bows.
Like many other little Black girls, Goodwin used to leave home with a head full of hairbows and came back with disheveled hair and missing barrettes.
“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,” she recalled to AfroTech. “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.”
After her mom Rozalyn complained about the issue on social media, the family’s pastor suggested they make their own bows. Gabby took the suggestion and built her empire, GaBBY Bows and Confidence, by Gabby Goodwin.
The Washington Post reported that Gabby and Rozalyn came up with a double-face, double-snap barrette after examining existing bows to see why they slipped out of girls’ hair. They shopped the product around but received multiple rejections.
“As I was able to go through those ‘no’s and go through those obstacles, I came up with a quote that says ‘No is just an abbreviation for next opportunity,’ ” she told KidsPost last November.
On Wednesday, their luck changed after the 14-year-old appeared on the One Hundred Percent with Marcus Lemonis podcast, which pairs guests with celebrities who share a similar story. Gabby was matched with journalist Gayle King. After the interview, Lemonis asked the teen to pitch her business.
“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,” Gabby recalled.
Her pitch impressed Lemonis, who pledged $150,000 to her business. King was also moved and threw in $50,000. Gabby was surprised by the gestures.
“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 AfroTech. “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.”
Gabby and her family want to use the money to grow the business. Check out the Confidence by Gabby Goodwin website to purchase products and learn more about the brand. Gabby’s products can also be found in 74 Target stores across the country.