Kingdom Voices Magazine was excited to sit down with 13 year old Gabrielle Williams. She is truly a wonderful young lady with an awesome gift. She is an entrepreneur, owner of her own jewelry company, speaker, and author. Gabrielle inspires all of us to push forward to not only pursue but achieve our dreams. We also had a chance to chat with Gabrielle’s mom Marcella Mollon-Williams who is also an entrepreneur. We wanted to hear first hand how it is raising a young entrepreneur and tips on how parents can begin cultivating the gifts that their children possess. We hope you are blessed by this interview and inspired to teach your children that anything is possible. Enjoy!
KV: Kingdom Voices GW: Gabrielle Williams MW: Marcella Mollon-Williams
KV: Gabrielle, tell us a little about yourself such as who you are, your age and what you enjoy doing?
GW: I am thirteen years old and I started my business at the age of nine. I am a student at Benjamin Tasker Middle. I really enjoy hanging out with my family and watching shows like The Cosby Show and Shark Tank and I enjoy watching jewelry videos and learning different designs and making jewelry. I am also a speaker so I enjoy speaking to different groups and inspiring young children to adults. I also like writing. I just enjoy the process so I want to continue.
KV: So to be 13 years old and an entrepreneur, author, and speaker is pretty awesome. Tell us what you do and how you got started? What inspired you?
GW: I watched YouTube videos before I had my business. I would watch videos on jewelry designs and how to make them. Then I started wearing pieces that I made to school and my friends would just buy it right off of me. So I felt this would be pretty cool. But then what really pushed me to do the business was when my parents asked me if I wanted to start my own jewelry business because I am a sixth generation entrepreneur. There have been a lot of entrepreneurs in my life so it just like ran in my blood.
KV: Wow. So just watching those videos on jewelry design sparked those ideas that were already in you. So when your parents asked you if you wanted to start a business what did you think? Were you for it or did you just want to be a little girl?
GW: I thought straight away that I wanted to have a business because I saw my parents have their own businesses and my grandparents. I thought it was something fun to own your own business and I’ve always said that I never liked being told what to do so when I get to have my own business and be my own boss I won’t have to worry about being fired.
KV: Tell us about your jewelry business.
GW: My jewelry business is elegant jewelry for women and girls. I focus on Mommy and Me and I use natural stones semi-precious stones with Swarovski elements and glass and I don’t use any plastic. My jewelry is usually sold online or at different shows but because you don’t know what shows I’m going to I decided to do a newsletter to let people know where I’m going and what’s happening with me so they can come out and buy my jewelry
KV: Let’s talk about your book. Tell us the name of your book and what inspired you to write it.
GW: My book is called the Making of a Young Entrepreneur: The Kids Guide to Developing the Mindset to Success. The book is basically about what the title is the making of a young entrepreneur. But although I said it’s a kid’s guide it is not just for children but it’s for people who are getting started and how they grow in their own business. It is a lot of key points. I’m the type of person that likes to keep it straight and not go all over the place so I just want to keep it simple. It’s really simple and allows you to know the basics and at the end of each chapter there are summary points and questions and activities as well such as writing your business plan and making your dream board and those types of things.
KV: Wow… so a how-to-guide with a summary and some homework questions. Wonderful. How can people purchase your book?
GW: The book is on Amazon, Kindle and at different shows that I attend.
KV: Gabrielle, I know you have a very busy schedule, how do you manage it all and continue to enjoy being a teenager?
GW: Well I know that school work is first but sometimes I do it in the morning before I go to school. My mom is a really big help as she does a lot to help with the business when I’m at school and she is always working on her business and on mine. It is important that I don’t overload myself because I’m a kid and that I do what I can do working on speeches and jewelry and making sure I put my best effort towards it. Even though I get lazy sometimes I have to make sure I’m staying focused on my business. My mom and my family are really a big help with balancing everything.
KV: Yes family support is definitely important. Have you experienced any difficulties with being an entrepreneur and being a teenager? Have your friends been supportive? Have you experienced dream killers and if so how do you handle it?
GW: I have experienced dream killers but first my friends that I hang out with are really supportive and when I tell them things I’m doing they are like OMG that is so cool. They are really supportive. But then there are some people that pretend to be my friend. Like this one girl always asked me for money and I’m just like no and so I just don’t listen to those kinds of people. And then there are some who say behind my back “oh she is nothing” “you get your jewelry from the dollar store.” It’s really funny to me because I know they are just jealous but that is the way they handle it because they could just tell me. I am someone who wants to help others start their business and achieve their dreams so they don’t have to be jealous of me. It’s funny; I don’t take any consideration for those kinds of people because I know they just don’t know.
KV: Wow that is very mature of you to handle the criticism that way. So where do you see yourself in five years?
GW: I want to put my jewelry in boutiques. So I’m working on manufacturing so my pieces can be in high-end boutiques such as the National Harbor and places like that. I probably want to write two more books as I am working on another one now. I want to be on the global basis with speaking.
KV: Mom, you are an entrepreneur yourself, tell us about your business ventures.
MW: I grew up in my family business working doing bookkeeping and administration since high school. About six years ago I formed LBG financial services with my brother which is a financial services firm specializing in asset management, life insurance, retirement planning. Basically the passion is about legacy building and finances are one of the elements of a legacy. Money is the answer to everything whether we like it or not. It doesn’t control everything but it is the answer to things. So that was a driving force and I had to make sure that I had a clear understanding on how to preserve finances to have a legacy, working to build what is really important.
KV: What motivated you to begin molding Gabrielle in business? What were the signs?
MW: There were definite signs. I feel like she was born saying diamonds. We just started noticing. Everywhere she went she would find pieces of things broken such as broken earrings and she would always bring things home and start forming and making things out of it. And then she started spending time on YouTube on how to do things on her own so eventually after monitoring this over a year, we realized that she was real about it; that this is real. And of course when your child is 10 years old for Christmas it’s like okay first of all we are going to start you off with cubic zirconia. So then we started putting some money towards buying some tools and getting things going but there were some clear signs.
KV: How have you managed and balanced it all as a mom and an entrepreneur?
MW: There were hard times but I know that this is what I was called to do and what she was called to do. When those times get tough I remember that first of all I can do it all. I need to rely on God for the strength and the people who can help me and there is a purpose for this and it is not just me or just her but it is long term and it will all pay off in the end.
KV: When she started her business did it just jump off right way or was it a period of grinding?
MW: With every business there was a period of grinding and there is still grinding. People see all the stuff she is doing upfront. In the beginning of her business yes it was because you are putting out first before you are seeing anything. Started off with the jewelry and then the book came, it’s a lot that goes into it. There is more to being an author. People don’t even realize how much goes into marketing and getting it out there. So yea there a lot of grinding that occurred and to help a young girl to get through that did take a lot of balance and checking in to make sure she is okay.
KV: What advice can you offer other parents who are interested in cultivating their children in business or to operate in their unique giftings and callings?
MW: The first thing they can do is start with building their confidence. It starts with confidence. Speak into their lives every day letting them know how special they are. Let them know they are leaders and not followers. Letting them know that they make a difference and they can change the world. They have that power and ability too. As children develop in confidence that is such the key to getting them to go into any direction cause the barriers and the blocks that will come when people try to tell them they can’t it will knock that out. When obstacles come they can handle it because they know they are strong enough to make it through. And then identifying the different elements of what they may like. It may not be as obvious as Gabrielle. My son is still trying to find his way and we try different things. As a parent, keep your eyes open to the different things that they like and don’t tear them down as far as oh you don’t really want to do that or that’s stupid. Stay positive with them and allow them to experiment and expose them to different things. Even if it is something that you weren’t exposed to or something that doesn’t seem right to you; not in a bad way of course. But something you are not used to. Allow them to experience it and broaden their world.
KV: Gabrielle, what would you say to young girls your age that have an idea and want to move forward with it? Maybe they don’t have the money or support.
GW: If they don’t know how to get started I would say to build connections with those who can take you far. Even if you don’t have support of your parents, when you go to school maybe teachers can help. You never know who people know and who they can get you connected with. It’s really helpful when you are my age and when you are really young and adults are really attracted to young people who are in business because it sparks hope. You know this one kid could change the world completely. So make connections and try and build as much support as you can and I like to say Work your Cuteness because adults really like that.
KV: So do you really believe this is something that you were born to do? That God gave you this gift?
GW: Oh definitely. I have always loved jewelry from a young age. I would always make pieces and play around with designs. You know picking things up off the ground and make necklaces out of them. I have seen the impacts that I have had on adults and children. I have gotten emails from parents who say their child has started a business. And there are emails from adults who say they felt like they were going to fail and now they feel like they can do it because a 13 year old is doing. So I really feel like my message to help people at any age, I was born to do that.
KV: How can we stay connected to you?
GW: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram @Jewelzofjordan and website gabriellejwilliams.com