By Lydia Blanco
Gabrielle “Gabby” Goodwin and her mother Rozalynn Goodwin are the creators of the first patented double-face, double-snap barrette also known as GaBBY Bows. The 12-year-old CEO, girl boss, and 2018 BLACK ENTERPRISE Teenpreneur of the Year is an A-student who is just as passionate about giving back as she is about being a boss. That is why she and her mother recently launched the Mommy and Me Entrepreneurship Academy which gives parents and their children the opportunity to work collaboratively towards entrepreneurship through microfranchising the GaBBY Bows business.
The idea of being able to share the gift of entrepreneurship with other kids came to Gabby as she was volunteering at a local children’s shelter. Many of the girls we’re impressed with her CEO status and the fact she was a business owner.
“Everyone talks about how I’m so amazing. I want them to know that they can do similar things as me—and know that anything is possible,” says Gabby.
So she began to let them in on her secrets to success.
“Gabby shared about entrepreneurship with these girls and gave them ideas to help them think bigger and give them some hope,” says Rozalynn.
The Gift of Entrepreneurship
After a year of hoping and wishing she could do something to help others Rozalynn stumbled upon a micro-franchising workshop at a work event.
“A young man was talking about micro-franchising and empowering communities and underserved communities. And honestly, something just kind of grabbed me. We had already been having these conversations about how to get these girls involved and I had never heard of the concept before so I researched it.”
By definition, microfranchising is a business model that applies traditional franchising to very small businesses.
To her surprise, Gabby had learned about the concept through her research project on Madam C. J. Walker during Women’s History Month.
“Gabby shared with me about how Madam C.J. Walker had set up these directors and all of these black women were selling the products,” says Rozalynn.
From there, they continued to do research on microfranchising and created a business model that would allow parents and their children to take part in the business. And they formed the academy which offers business training, mentorship, and community to those who chose to participate. Of course the product which is packaged in a GaBBY Girls Boss starter kit includes 25 GaBBY Bows, name badges, branded t-shirts, and a letter from Gabby herself explaining the program and all of its perks.
With the buy-in price at $99, Girl Bosses can make their investment back relatively fast with the bows selling at $5 a pack or 3 packs for $10.
“They will be able to sell physical packs and receive an affiliate link unique to them that they will be able to share. And if it results in a sale, they’ll get 25 percent of that sale. They don’t have to fulfil any orders or touch the bows—but we wanted to give them more than one way to make money,” says Rozalynn.
Building a business builds character
In addition to being exposed to vending opportunities, there will also be leadership training so that girls can be prepared for public speaking — and learn more about budgeting; marketing; and saving as they prepare for their futures.
Gabby will even be hosting her first webinar, “Big Courage: 6 Ways I Went from Being a Shy Kid to a Kid CEO” to help Girl Bosses shy away from being timid.
Beyond the business of fostering entrepreneurship in young girls, both Gabby and her mother want to help boost confidence and help them plan for their future.
“I think that this academy is going to boost a lot of girl’s confidence because when I started Gabby bows I wasn’t that confident, I was pretty shy and now that entrepreneurship has boosted my confidence I think that it will boost their confidence as well,” says Gabby.
To date, there are 28 parents/guardians and girls enrolled in the academy. And Rozalynn is proud to share that some of the participants have already begun to make returns on the investment.
“We have one girl who has already been selling GaBBY Bows. And when we announced that she was a Girl Boss, people immediately started reaching out to her wanting to buy from her. Her mother had extra bows that she was going to give out as Christmas gifts but then she said she had to sell them. The mother has a picture of her daughter making a deposit at the bank and it’s adorable. And she’s four!”
And it is both Gabby and Rozalynn’s hope that they will foster entrepreneurship in countless black girls as black women lead the charge.