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“Think about what is really going on in your environment” with Gabrielle Goodwin

Think about what is really going on in your environment, what people are struggling with, and what your passions are to see how you can come up with solutions to solve those problems. As part of my series about young people who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gabrielle […]

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Think about what is really going on in your environment, what people are struggling with, and what your passions are to see how you can come up with solutions to solve those problems.

As part of my series about young people who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gabrielle Goodwin.

In the CEO world, 13-year-old Gabby Goodwin is a rising star to watch with her company Confidence, featuring hair accessories and natural styling products. Her introduction to the business world first began at age 7! In 2018 Gabby and Rozalynn started a new business venture launching the Mommy and Me Entrepreneurship Academy. The Mommy and Me Entrepreneurship Academy equips girls to establish profitable businesses and grow mother-daughter bonds. Girl Bosses are able to save earnings for college while learning entrepreneurship and life skills like sales, marketing, budgeting and public speaking. More than 50 Girl Bosses and their mothers from 16 states have enrolled in mentorship and started their own businesses under the Confidence brand.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit how you grew up?

I’m Gabrielle “GaBBY” Goodwin. I am 14 years old and live and grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. I started my business Confidence when I was seven years old with a patented non-slip hair invention GaBBY Bows, and we have been in business for almost seven years.

You are currently leading an organization that aims to make a social impact. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to change in our world today?

The Mommy and Me Entrepreneurship Academy is teaching girls how to start and build their own businesses under our Confidence brand. They are able to sell our products, make money, and learn many different life skills (public speaking, sales, math, etc.) while learning how to be entrepreneurs.

Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?

When I started this business and started to grow, I realized girls were looking up to me. Because entrepreneurship has been such a game-changer for improving my confidence, I came up with the idea that I wanted girls who looked up to me to be CEO’s just like me. That’s how the idea came about.

Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?

An Aha Moment was when I saw how much my confidence grew because I was involved in entrepreneurship. I would meet girls when I traveled to vendor shows and speaking engagements, and so many struggled with shyness like I once did. I wanted to see confidence come out in other young girls.

Many young people don’t know the steps to take to start a new organization. But you did. What are some of the things or steps you took to get your project started?

The first steps we took were researching what franchising and micro-franchising was and if my brand could do that. Then we looked to see if the name “Mommy and Me Entrepreneurship Academy” was taken, and also surveyed our audience to see if they would be interested in participating in a virtual business mentoring program.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

The most interesting things that have happened to me since starting the Academy has been meeting some of our Girl Bosses in person and seeing them grow. Some of the girls were very shy when they first started like I was, and now they are super confident in themselves and in speaking. It is also super cute to meet them for the first time since they have been super excited to meet me in person.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or take away you learned from that?

A big mistake we made in the beginning was sending out different pictures of our barrette idea without good intellectual property protection. We were able to learn from that and since then have always focused on protecting our ideas, such as trademarking the Academy and our brand, and also patenting our barrettes.

None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?

There have been many cheerleaders along the way such as my parents, family, friends, and supporters. I was in a pitch competition in a neighboring state with people I had never met right after we launched the Academy. In the audience was a businesswoman who volunteered to sponsor five girl’s memberships into the Academy for a year. We were able to help girls learn about entrepreneurship and become more confident because of someone’s willingness to help.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

There are many different stories about how the girls’ aspirations and dreams have grown since becoming part of the Academy, but there is a seven year old Girl Boss who was walking in her neighborhood with her mom and saw a building for sale. Because she was in the Academy and learning about making money, she said she wanted to save up and buy that building to become her own storefront.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

Three things the community, society, and politicians can do to address the problem I am trying to solve is spread awareness about entrepreneurship, create programs for girls empowerment and girls in entrepreneurship, and create specific initiatives for the empowerment of black girls and women.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

I wish someone would have told me the girls would be much more empowered than I thought. The girls are super invested in what I have to say and when I meet them, and are super excited and running up to me.

I wish someone would have told me that people would believe so much in what I was doing, they would sponsor girls to be a part of the Academy. We have had someone do that twice, but it can become a regular thing.

Next, everyone doesn’t have the desire to be an entrepreneur. There have been girls who joined the Academy, but did not have the mindset and the work ethic to actually run a business.

The fourth thing is that this would take lots of time. There was legal work that had to take place, and we also had to get all of the items and products to create the business starter kits for the girls.

The last thing is this would take a lot of money. There were many different items and products we had to get to create the starter kit. That legal work to create the Academy was not free either.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

Think about what is really going on in your environment, what people are struggling with, and what your passions are to see how you can come up with solutions to solve those problems.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I would choose to have a private breakfast or lunch with either First Lady Michelle Obama or Oprah Winfrey because they are two amazing black females who are very influential and can share with me a lot of knowledge and wisdom.

How can our readers follow you online?

Readers can follow us and order or products at gabbybows.com. We are @gabbybows on all our social media channels.

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