Ever lost an earring because the back fell off? When she was a senior in high school, Gabrielle Shapiro, now a sophomore at the University of Miami, developed Oh Snap Earring Backs to solve this problem.
After watching an episode of Shark Tank, Shapiro was in an “entrepreneurial mindset” and started brainstorming business ideas of her own. As she took out her earrings, she had flashbacks to every pair that she lost and wondered if there was a solution.
“That’s when I envisioned this contraption of two colorful cubes that would connect, to keep my earrings together,” she said. “They would replace all earring backs.”
Two days later, she received an email from her high school about an invention program. Fueled by her vision for this product, she submitted sketches and notes of Oh Snap to the program.
After joining the program, Shapiro developed a silicone and hypoallergenic earring back. She was assigned a mentor who helped her get a patent for Oh Snap. She began to realize that other people were seeing her vision.
“That’s when it hit me. This is going to be a fully-operating business run by me, an 18-year-old entrepreneur,” she said. “And I couldn’t be more excited, excited to share with everyone that I have found a simple solution.”
Shapiro knew that the backs had to be a shape that wouldn’t roll around on flat surfaces. She chose to design cube-shaped backs to ensure they wouldn’t roll.
“The most important part, the magnets, would keep the earring pair connected when taken off, so earrings and their backs don’t lose each other – they store together and stay together,” she said.
She adds that her new earring backs had to be colorful so that if the earring fell on the floor, it could be easily spotted by the colorful back.
As an advertising and marketing student, she incorporated her business into her classes with the help of her professors.
“I’m taking a graphic design class currently, where I’ve been tweaking my logo, creating brochures, and infographics I could potentially use for Oh Snap…And if I don’t use my classwork, it actually gives me the opportunity to better understand the creative expression of my brand,” Shapiro said.
Shapiro says the most challenging part of owning a business is balancing college and being a CEO. When at school, she manages the website, social media, content creation, fulfillment, packaging and shipping. She is also the leader of public relations, brand collaborations, personal selling and competitions.
“At times I burn out, but for the most part, I love to keep busy and at the end of the day, it’s worth it,” she said. “Luckily, as I said earlier, I’m incorporating my business into some of my classes to manage time.”
Shapiro is inspired by her mother, a CPA and the current CFO of Oh Snap, and her father who is involved in sales and advertising.
Since Oh Snap’s inception this summer, Shapiro is excited to watch her company grow and gain traction.
“Besides being able to work with my family, the most rewarding part of being a business owner is when customers are excited about Oh Snap,” Shapiro said. “Their life is made a little easier as they feel more put together and organized.”
Regarding the future of Oh Snap, Shapiro might take her idea full circle and look into a Shark Tank audition. Don’t be surprised if you see this product on your screens at home!
For more information on Oh Snap or to make a purchase, visit www.ohsnapearringbacks.com or follow them on Instagram @ohsnapearringbacks.
Disclaimer: This product was gifted, but all opinions are the writer’s own.
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