Gabby Goodwin might still be a sophomore in high school, but one thing is certain: she has solidified her future as a successful entrepreneur.
Nine years ago, when Goodwin was 7 years old, she launched Gabby’s Bows, a patented non-slip, double faced and snap barrette. Goodwin and her mother, Rozalyn, came up with the idea after she would come home from school missing barrettes. Her mother vented her frustration on Twitter and realized that they were not alone in their struggles.
“I didn’t necessarily know what entrepreneurship was,” Goodwin told AfroTech. “But I did know that I wanted to inspire people, and I saw this as a way to do that.”
Soon after, they launched their business. In addition to being present on the company website, the products are also available via Target since 2019. According to Goodwin, her South Carolina business generates over six figures annually, although they have not revealed the exact figure.
In 2021, she landed a total of $200,000 in investments from television celebrities Gayle King and Marcus Lemonis to branch out. Lemonis invested $150,000, and King, $50,000.
And now, she’s expanded her empire with Confidence, a haircare line and salon for Black girls.
“I really just wanted to inspire people, especially girls who look like me. I saw this product as a way to do so,” Goodwin told RollingOut in a recent interview. “I really just thought this would be a way for me, to not necessarily gain recognition, but [to] be able to inspire other girls to go after their dreams, and see that they can also achieve whatever they want to achieve.”
With her parents’ support, Goodwin opened the Columbia-based hair salon especially for Black girls in 2021. Hairstylists are present to provide styles for Black girls ranging from flat or double strand twists to crochet or box braids. According to the company website, prices range from $65 to $380.
“We have hair products and boxes and books and just different products to make wash day easier and to help girls feel inspired and confident in themselves,” Goodwin told WISTV in 2021.
Patrons can do so much more than just get their hair styled. In addition, there’s the signature barrettes, plant-based haircare products, and a business mentoring program for budding entrepreneurs.
For Goodwin’s parents, expanding their brand from barrettes to a full-fledged salon is the motivation for young girls and adults alike.
“It causes folks of all ages to say, ‘Wow if that little girl can do that, I can do it also,’” Mike Goodwin, Gabby’s father, told Afrotech. “‘Let me blow the dust off my journals and the dreams I had.’