Gabby Goodwin is here to blaze her own trail. She is a young, growing, and budding entrepreneur who has been building her brand GaBBy Bows since the age of seven and hasn’t let off the gas since. Co-founded and mentored with the help of her mother Rozalynn Goodwin, Gabby entered the natural hair industry with her anti-slip barrettes designed to help prevent hair slippage with textured hair. Now at the age of 15, she’s grown her empire to include wash day products, lifestyle products, mentoring services, and her own salon. Building and owning her own physical storefront has been a milestone for her entrepreneurial journey to not only enhance her brand, but fill a gap in the beauty market for young girls needing natural hairstyles from Black stylists. She is a passionate, growing, and thriving entrepreneur looking to pour into her community and provide a path for future entrepreneurs to be successful. We’re so excited to chat with Gabby about the evolution of her brand as she’s growing into a young woman and what she looks to conquer next.
What inspired you to create GaBBy Bows?
I wanted to inspire others and be a role model for girls who looked like me. When I was younger I saw Misty Copeland, Zendaya, Oprah being successful in their careers and I aspired to be like that. I’ve been a dancer since I was 2 and I wanted to be the next “Misty Copeland” and be a great ballet dancer for other people to look up to, but I ended up carving out my own path instead in entrepreneurship.
I got into barrettes because my mom would spend 15-20 minutes doing my hair in the morning and investing her money into these barrettes I was constantly losing. I would get in trouble and my bows would slip out of my hair because they weren’t designed for my hair texture. I wanted to solve that problem by a.) Not getting in trouble for losing my barrettes and b.) Becoming the type of person who could inspire other girls to pursue their dreams.
What was it like co-creating this brand with your mom?
It’s been a very cool journey to grow up in entrepreneurship with my family surrounding me. It’s a family oriented business with me and my sitting as co-founders, my grandmother fulfills the orders, my dad is an advisory member and business keeps us connected. Having friends and family come together to support me in my dream has been such a fulfilling experience because I’m not alone in anything I do. My mom helping me become a good CEO and leader has been vital because I don’t do everything on my own because if I did I’d be really stressed out.
How did you decide what look, colors, and design you wanted for your brand?
Our designs are named after what parents would define as “little girls’. We have “little lady” which is a ladybug, “sweet pea” which is named after the flower, and then “daddy’s girl” is a bow tie. My dad has been coined as the “bow tie” comedian for always rocking this accessory during his stand-up so that honors him. We polled our community to gain an idea of what the color scheme would be and this was very important to me because I wanted authentic customer feedback. The whole brand itself has vibrant girly colors that showcases who we are and that is also reflected in the packaging and products.
Name a few of your favorite hair styles to create using GaBBy bows
I’m in high school, so I don’t wear barrettes any more, but when I was younger I loved to rock twists. When I see our customers all over the world I see them worn with braids, natural hair, extensions, cornrows, and any style with added hair.
Who do you look up to?
One of the most inspirational peers I know is Mikaila Ulmer who created Me and the Bees was an entrepreneur I really aspired to eventually be in my own business. Now that I can call her a friend and see her journey whether it’s traveling around the world or watching her product collection expand, gives me such motivation. There are other amazing women entrepreneurs like Pinky Cole or Lisa Price who are diversifying their portfolios and become serial entrepreneurs with different types of businesses.
What’s been an accomplishment you’ve been proud of?
Being able to buy our own headquarters and salon was a hallmark moment for me and my family. This helped provide fulfillment space because we used to complete orders from our dining room with boxes stacked up to the walls. We can also sell our products in person, have a dedicated space for inventory instead of paying for storage units, and have a salon dedicated to girls' hair. I’ll never forget the ribbon cutting and watching our community be enthused to see the doors open. It’s an honor to say we own our business and a building where we can provide a space for Black stylists to create amazing styles for little girls.
What is one tip you could give mom’s when they are during their daughter’s hair on wash day?
Be patient and have fun. It can be stressful on both sides and developing a routine can help to make the process easier. Go into it with a good attitude and look at it as a time to bond instead of a stressful task. We’ve been able to provide helpful tips to set up a wash day and successfully style hair through our Facebook group and immerse yourself in the community.