MS. REBECCA SHEIR
But before we get to that, we all remember our first gig, right? Maybe it was an early morning paper route or a weekend babysitting shift. In my case, it was a summer serving up waffle cones and smoothies at a frozen yogurt chain, the first time froyo was considered cool. But for an 11-year-old girl in Prince George's County, Md., her first job, well, it's a little bit different.
MS. GABRIELLE JORDAN WILLIAMS
I'm Gabrielle Jordan Williams and I'm the founder and CEO of Jewelz of Jordan and author of the book "The Making of A Young Entrepreneur."
The subtitle of the book, published just last month, is "A Kids Guide to Developing the Mindset for Success," which is pretty much what Gabby has done with her handmade jewelry business. So this is where all the magic happens?
We're at Gabby's home in Upper Marlboro, in what's known as The Jewelry Room.
Your room is so cool. I like the different colored walls. In the corner, Gabby has boxes and boxes of jewelry making materials, you know, different stones and beads.
These are just kind of shells. Stuff -- the gold stuff. These are the silver. They're organized in a specific way. So...
Gabby founded Jewelz of Jordan, and that's Jewelz with a Z, as she's careful to point out, two years ago when she began selling jewelry at various events around Baltimore. Last year, she got her business license and this year she launched her website, JewelzofJordan.com, where you can browse and purchase three lines of accessories, ladies, young ladies and a matching mother-daughter series called Mommy and Me.
Right now, I'm working on the daughter half of the mother-daughter necklace which is this triple strand pearl necklace with the small flowers.
Ooh, Gabby's father, Ron Williams, says she's been drawn to bright shiny things ever since she was little.
MR. RON WILLIAMS
You know, I think her first thing was seeing the moon and looking at it and going, moon, moon. And she thought it was like a big gem in the sky.
But he noticed his daughter's entrepreneurial spirit even before that.
From the womb, she knew two things. She knew that, one, she was going to be a Redskins fan. The other thing was she knew that she was never going to work for anybody else.
And, indeed, as founder and CEO, these days Gabby's pretty much calling the shots. In fact, she has a dedicated team working for her right in-house. She has her mom, Marcella.
MS. MARCELLA WILLIAMS
I am her supporter, fan club President, marketing director.
Her 13-year-old brother, Daniel.
MR. DANIEL WILLIAMS
In sales, I'm her PR, with her book, I'm her editor. When she's tired, I'm her brother. I mostly make her laugh and stuff.
And, of course, she has Ron.
I'm a filmmaker so what I've been able to contribute is a lot of the graphics and images and videos for her page.
But it isn't like it's all work and no play in the Williams' house. I mean, sure, Gabby runs this business where she's tossing around terms like income and profit and markup and giving keynote speeches at entrepreneurial and youth events. But there's something Ron and Marcella never want her or themselves to forget.
She's just a child. She's just a child. We constantly ask her, how are you feeling today? Is this too much? Have I been putting too much pressure on you? Sometimes, yes, sometimes no. So -- and then I know, okay, I need to back off a bit. So communication is the key to it all.
Another key, says Gabby, is good old fashioned laughter.
I am still a child, well, beyond entrepreneur because someone is always cracking a joke in the middle of when I'm just about to fall out. I just -- someone just seems to crack a joke or be funny, period.
And more often than not, that someone is Daniel, who, by the way, is a bit of an entrepreneur himself.
I review movies and books. Yeah, I don’t really like it when people waste their money on movies that aren't good.
In fact, Gabby says entrepreneurship pretty much runs in the family blood.
My ancestors were all entrepreneurs and so it built a foundation of becoming an entrepreneur.
Now, she's hoping to inspire other young people to do the same with her new book, which started as a writing project for school.
It's talking about that kind of things, not be afraid, to follow your dreams, to watch out for dream killers.
What's a dream killer?
Someone that hates on you because maybe they're jealous or saying that you're a phony.
You want to stay away from that.
Though she's aiming the book at children, Gabby closes it with a message to parents.
"Always encourage and support your children's business and dreams. My parents support and encourage me and that helps me work harder and dream bigger and it builds my self esteem. They see the bigger picture for me and that helps me believe that I can do anything I set my mind to."
And one of those things is one day heading to New York to attend the Gemological Institute of America. But no matter where this aspiring entrepreneur winds up, it's a pretty safe bet she's in store for one bright, shiny future.
Gabrielle Jordan Williams will be selling and signing copies of her book "The Making of A Young Entrepreneur: A Kids Guide to Developing the Mindset for Success" in Landover, Md. on September 24th. We have more information, plus a like to Gabby's jewelry collections, on our website metroconnection.org. We also have a link to the U.S. Youth Chamber of Commerce, dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship among young people, ages 13 to 25. So you can check that one out too.
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