Escaping The Bubble
Hi I’m Gabby Shapiro – I’m 19 years old from Philadelphia, and I guess I can now call myself an entrepreneur.
If my 12 year old self knew I would invent something, I wouldn’t believe it. I specifically remember watching entrepreneurs pitch their inventions on Shark Tank and thinking, “I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up, but I could never be an entrepreneur.” My 12 year old self had a daily routine – I went to school, played sports, did homework, and went to bed. Although happy, I was living in a bubble.
My 14 year old self, entering high school, still had this daily routine, and it felt repetitive – something was missing. I was going into sophomore year and wanted a hobby different than sports. An option that kept popping up was modeling. I thought why not? and submitted an application online.2012 - December 2014
15 Years Old
When I was younger, like any other kid, I loved to ‘create.’ I especially loved Apple computers. Hours I would spend putting together movies in iMovie with my friends and making songs in GarageBand.
Modeling would put me on the other side of the screen. And modeling was an amazing experience – I explored new places, met cool people, and saw how the fashion industry worked. But I didn’t really get to create; instead, people were creating me. I wanted to be on the other side of the camera; I was fascinated by the chaos behind the scenes that went into the final product. My agent suggested I do cyber school and pursue modeling. As a junior in high school approaching ACT test season, the idea of no school sounded appealing – but I had a gut feeling that it wasn’t for me.
Senior year of high school, I acted in the school play and musical, joined the school chorus, and took a guitar class. Through acting, singing, and guitar (my favorite), I was able to – ‘create.’
I feel like for everything I listed there’s a beginning template. For acting, it’s a character. For singing, it’s your voice. And for guitar, it’s a song with notes – you add your tempo. These are beginning templates that are meant to be changed. All it takes is someone to change it; to make it their own.
*dramatic transition alert*
I saw the earring back as it is, and decided to change it.January 2015 - September 2017
An Idea Is Born
I thought of Oh Snap on a random night in my senior year of high school. I was literally just laying in bed unable to fall asleep, delusional staring at my earrings on my nightstand. I had flashbacks to every pair I’d lost, and realized the issue must be bigger than the earring.
That’s when I envisioned these two colorful cubes that would keep my earrings connected; I’d get a good night’s sleep, knowing my earrings were snugged together on my nightstand. I would call this invention: Oh Snap! and went to town on my Notes app. Hours later I had a script and blueprint ready and I was practicing my pitch to Shark Tank at 3am.
Then it hit me: someone has GOT to be doing this already. I googled ‘earring backs’ and went through pages and pages of the same cheap, oddly shaped, individual separate pieces. Nothing.January 2017 - July 2017
The Email That Brought Oh Snap To Life
Before college, I was having a mid-life crisis. I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I made it a mission my senior year to say yes to everything. Oddly enough, a couple days later, I got an email from my high school about this invention program, and immediately submitted my notes and sketches of Oh Snap.
Before I knew it, I was developing my product in a small environment of entrepreneurs, and used the high school’s 3D printer to get a prototype made. That summer, I received a patent application pro bono. I was eager to help write, draw, and edit the application.
Oh Snap officially launched October 2018. I created the website, first initial rounds of packaging and logos, product photos and videos; I’m doing competitions, going to local gift shows…I am thriving.March 2017
Me. An Entrepreneur.
Of everything I thought I’d be, an entrepreneur was something I always eliminated. I thought entrepreneurship was unstable, risky, and difficult. But Oh Snap is something I’m so passionate about, it’s all worth it. And there are perks to entrepreneurship: freedom to express your creativity and ideas; sharing, connecting, and building with others; solving issues, big or small, to benefit society, or simply make people’s lives a little bit easier…
If my 12 year old self knew I would invent something, I wouldn’t believe it. But my whole life I spent wanting to try things that granted me the ability to create, which lead me to Oh Snap: The New Earring Back.October 2018 -