At The UPS Store, we're focused on providing solutions to our customers' challenges, no matter how big or small. In the case of GaBBY Bows, one franchisee helped a nine-year-old entrepreneur solve her shipping challenge to spark a booming business.
Gabby Goodwin, like most nine-year-old girls, loves her hair accessories. Starting at a young age, her mother, Rozalynn Goodwin, would place a variety of bows and snap barrettes in her hair to keep pigtails or ponytails in place. Much to Rozalynn's dismay, Gabby would often come home from school with a lost bow or barrette. Rozalynn took to Twitter with her complaint asking fellow moms for recommendations for better quality barrettes, finding many other moms shared her frustrations.
"We received advice from our pastor that maybe this is a market we should break into," Rozalynn said. "I mentioned to Gabby that we need to create a bow or barrette that works and from then on, she was dedicated to making this happen."
The idea for GaBBY Bows, a double-face, double-snap barrette, was born. Gabby and her mother began to compare different types of snap barrettes, looking at the design, the claws, the materials and testing what worked best for holding hair styles in place. After creating an initial design, they found a local engineering company to produce the final model and prototype. Gabby participated in every step of the way.
"It was so exciting to make our own bows," shared Gabby. "I loved picking out the colors and creating our two designs. We have the little lady bow, shaped like a lady bug and the sweat pea bow, shaped like a sweet pea flower."
After placing the first bulk order with a supplier in China, the final step was figuring out how to have the finished product shipped to the U.S. but international import shipping proved to be a huge challenge.
"I was so overwhelmed with the process," expressed Rozalynn. "I needed to find a partner that could help."
In search of a solution, Rozalynn shared the story of GaBBY Bows with Mark Tolley, The UPS Store franchisee in their local community of Columbia, S.C.
"Mark knew exactly what to do," said Rozalynn. "He took the lead on securing our large shipment in the most cost effective and timely way."
And Mark was very excited to be part of making Gabby's barrette business dreams come true. He jumped right in to secure their first international shipment, navigating the complexities that come with bulk shipments and customs. He handled all of the logistics and communications with the supplier.
"Once the shipment arrived at our store, the final step was delivering it straight to her home," shared Mark. "It was amazing to see how happy and excited Gabby was to have the final product in hand." Gabby and her mother continue to work with The UPS Store as local demand rises for GaBBY Bows.
Along with securing their bulk shipments, Mark also provides marketing collateral, packing materials and envelopes for shipping the bows to local retailers. The marketing collateral includes instructions for retailers to follow when setting up the product display in their store. Mark and his team worked with Rozalynn on the design and content for the sheets, printing them at The UPS Store as well. GaBBY Bows can be found in approximately 100 retail stores, including Walgreens, BI-LO and Once Upon A Child, across South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina. In addition to retail, customers in more than 36 states and five countries have placed orders online, totaling more than 6,000 packs of GaBBY Bows sold.
"As a full-time employee, wife, mom and now a small business owner, there is no way we could have done this without The UPS Store," noted Rozalynn. "Mark's expertise and experience helps us meet the demands of our retailers and customers, making our business trustworthy and reliable."
Gabby and her mom continue to create new designs for GaBBY Bows and hope to expand their product line. Gabby loves to share her story with her peers, encouraging them to pursue their creative ideas.
"I just want everyone to know that if you persevere and never give up, you can do anything that you dream of," shared Gabby. "When I think about our journey and I see someone wearing my bows, it makes me feel so happy. I hope one day we can get my bows into all 50 states."
Do you have an entrepreneurial idea that you want to pursue? Find your local The UPS Store and let us help you find solutions to turn your small business dream into a successful reality.
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