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. My 12 year old self had a daily routine - I went to school, played sports, did homework, and went to bed.
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 job, but hadn't yet turned 16. One option that kept popping up was modeling. I thought why not? and submitted an application.
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.
Modeling was a great 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.
That's when I realized I didn't want to be the model. I wanted to be the photographer, the makeup artist, the stylist, the editor, the manager, the creative director, the organizer...
My agent suggested I do cyber school and pursue modeling. That's when I decided to future pursue a career in arts, communications, or business.
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 just 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.
I saw the earring back as it is, and decided to change it. It was something I wanted to do because all my life I had this tiny inconvenience: losing earrings.
*At this moment I've realized that this story is a bit dramatic, I'm literally only talking about an earring back*
I thought of Oh Snap January my senior year of high school (and I had probably just watched Shark Tank). I lay in bed unable to fall asleep, delusional staring at my earrings on my night stand. I thought: why hasn’t anyone changed the earring back?
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 it Oh Snap!
Thinking there HAD to be something like it out on the market, I googled "earring backs" and went through pages and pages of the same oddly shaped, colorless dull pieces of metal. I was shocked.
A couple days later, I got an email from my high school about this invention program. I thought why not? and submitted my notes and sketches of Oh Snap.
Before I knew it, I had mentors by my side teaching me about the business world, and used the high school's 3D printer to get a prototype made. That summer, I received a patent application pro bono. I helped write, draw, and edit the application.
In the summer of 2018, Oh Snap launched on KICKSTARTER and was funded. I then attended a gift show in Philadelphia that resulted in Oh Snap finding a home in local stores.
When I was younger I remember watching entrepreneurs pitching their inventions on Shark Tank and thinking "I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, but I could never be an entrepreneur." I thought it would be too risky, difficult, and impossible. Entrepreneurship is all these things. But it is also freedom to express your creativity, sharing, connecting, building with others, to make a change; to inspire others; to lead others, solving issues (big or small) to benefit society.
If my 12 year old self knew I would invent something, I wouldn't believe it. But my whole life I spent wanting to create new things, which lead me to Oh Snap: The New Earring Back.
By Jessica Lin, RHS Class of 2017
...What started out as two sentences and a cryptic picture ended up being a really compelling presentation that when submitted, earned [Gabby] a finalist position at the World Series of Entrepreneurship,” Mr. Howard said...
By Mary Brown - Main Line Times
...Shapiro fittingly calls her venture “Oh, SNAP!” which toggles well with the colorful tiny magnetized cubes proven to work...
Meet Gabrielle, a sophomore at the University of Miami, who created Oh Snap Earring Backs...