This 14-Year-Old Entrepreneur’s Barrette Invention Launched a Successful Company

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Most little girls come to accept losing barrettes and hair bows as just another part of life. But not Columbia, South Carolina's Gabby Goodwin. At just five years old, she and her mom Rozalynn set out to solve the age-old problem of disappearing hair barrettes.

"I was super excited," Gabby, now 14, recently recalled to The Washington Post's KidsPost of her quest to create a superior hair accessory. "I was nagging my mom every single day about these barrettes."

Her persistence paid off, and by the age of seven, she and her mom had invented GaBBY Bows, the first, patented and non-slip Double-Face Double-Snap Barrette.

Today, Gabby is the CEO of Confidence by Gabby Goodwin, and her barrettes are available online and in Target stores across the country. The bows are so effective, that if one falls out, the company will replace it with two bows.

Confidence also sells eight plant-based hair styling products that "reduce detangling time and tears" so moms, dads, and girls "can cherish this precious time together."

Gabby is engaged in all aspects of the business. She has received numerous accolades, including 2015 South Carolina Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the 2018 Black Enterprise Teenpreneur of the Year.

But it wasn't all smooth sailing for the mother-daughter duo. They told KidsPost that they encountered numerous closed doors on the road to success. But the Goodwins persevered.

"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,'" Gabby explained.

In 2018, The Goodwins launched the Mommy and Me Entrepreneurship Academy to help other girls get into business. Gabby told KidsPost that she hopes to encourage more kids to pursue entrepreneurship, not just for the skills it builds, but because it fosters belief in oneself.

"As you keep doing what you're passionate about, then you'll be able to grow in that confidence," she said.

Way to go, Gabby!