When seeing a new product or service for the first time how often have we said to ourselves, “What a great idea; I wish I had thought of that”! Haven’t we all marveled at the utter simplicity of some of these things that hit the market and become instant successes?
I saw a segment on a television show recently about a young entrepreneur named Maddie Bradshaw. She is the creator of a product all elementary and middle school girl’s love called “Snap Caps”. Snap Caps are simply hand painted bottle caps that have a small magnet on the back. These interchangeable caps snap onto a necklace or a bracelet and are worn by girls all over the US.
Maddie is 15 now, but she was 10 when she started her multi million dollar company M3 Girls Designs. M3 stands for Maddie, Mom and Margot. Margot is her 10 year old sister who is the vice president of the company. When asked how she came up with the idea, she said that she was going into middle school, and she wanted some magnets to decorate her locker. She just couldn’t find any that she liked. Since she loved art, she decided to hand paint some bottle caps, put a magnet on the back and put them in her school locker.
After she showed her project to some of her friends, they all wanted their own Snap Caps, so she began making them for her friends. The magnets evolved into bottle cap necklaces, bracelets etc. which she began to sell to schoolmates and their friends. Finally she took the bold step of having her mom (now the CEO of the company) take her around to some specialty stores to see if she could sell them. The stores loved them and the rest is history. Maddie still creates the designs, but she has a staff that actually does the painting for her. After all, she’s still in high school.
I have to tell you, when my granddaughter Jordan first asked for one of the necklaces, I couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about. First of all, they were made from something we have always thrown away; bottle caps. Secondly, these little pieces of jewelry were not inexpensive. Her necklace and one bottle cap were in the $15.00 range. Then there is the whole “up sell” thing about Snap Caps jewelry. You can’t just have one bottle cap now can you? Brilliant! Maybe each of us has just “one million dollar idea” inside of us that has yet to appear.
Maddie has written a book called “You Can Start a Business Too”. It sells for $12.95 and you can find it on the web site listed below. She is also setting up a fund for young entrepreneurs that don’t have the capital to start their own business, where she will “gift” them start up money.
Check it out for yourself. Take a look at Maddie’s web site and her Youtube video where she talks about her company and how she got started. Better yet, show these to your kids and grandkids. You can’t be too young to start a business.