Snap Cap Inventor
I just read a great article about Maddie Bradshaw, who is now a sophomore at Hockaday School in Dallas, TX, and a teen millionaire.
At age 10, Maddie invented Snap Caps, which are an interchangeable, magnetic, bottle cap necklace that became an overnight sensation with tweens. Soon after, with the help of her mother Diane, and younger sister Margot, she started her own jewelry business called M3 Girl Designs, LLC which has reached more than $5 million dollars in sales since its beginning and sells about 50,000 necklaces a month.
It all began when Maddie couldn’t find any “cool” decorations for her school locker. So she decided to turn bottle caps from her uncle’s old Coke machine into fun magnets. She drew her own designs, put them inside the caps and stuck them on her locker. “When my friends saw the caps, they wanted me to make some for them,” says Maddie, who also designed magnetic necklaces so the caps could be worn. “I started thinking that maybe other kids would like them, too.”
So Bradshaw took 50 of her handmade bottle cap necklaces to a local toy store. In two hours they sold out and the store asked for more. “At that point, I knew I was onto something,” says Maddie. “I think we were successful in the beginning because I was more focused on having fun and less worried about failing.”
Maddie spent $300 of her own money, which her mother matched, to buy supplies. She also went on “Shark Tank” in February of 2012 where they pitched her business idea for a $300,000 investment ~ which she negotiated with three of the sharks to expand her business with not only the money, but also invaluable mentoring from Lori Griener, a QVC inventor of more than 350 products, to expand her business globally.
Today she has annual sales of around $1.6 million and her designs are sold in more than 6,000 U.S. retail outlets, including Nordstrom and Amazon.com.