Young, Gifted & Black Series
By Taki S. Raton
“Everyone remembers their first job, whether it was a paper route, a babysitting shift, or a lawn-mowing gig around the neighborhood,” writes Rebecca Sheir in her September 23, 2011 account on this week’s YG &B feature.
But for this then sixth grader, “her first job came a little soon than most.” She is young, gifted and Black.
Gabrielle Jordan Williams set out to conquer the business world at the tender age of 11 in 2009 with her own jewelry-making company, Jewelz of Jordan.
Under this brand, her company designs and sells exquisite semi-precious Swarovski and pearl jewelry for both women and girls to include an elegant mother-daughter matching jewelry line called “Mommy & Me.”
Just two years later at the age of 13, Gabrielle embraced her additional talents and gifts to become author of the #1 Amazon bestselling book, “The Making of a Young Entrepreneur; a Kid’s Guide To Developing The Mind Set For Success;” a renowned international speaker, and philanthropist.
Under the sponsor name, Gabrielle J. Williams International, she has inspired thousands of audiences globally.
As revealed in her personal biography, this middle school honor student from Bowie, Maryland continues to receive invitations to speak to both adults and youth audiences on developing that engaging yet competitive mindset for success.
She also loves, as noted, to donate a portion of the profits from her book to her favorite charities – Smile Train, Children’s National Medical Center, and the Bowie Food Pantry.
Gabrielle has been featured in news and online publications and on several television stations such as NBC 4, FOX 5 News, and ABC’s Good Morning Washington.
Our talented designer has been recognized as recipient of the 2012 Outstanding CEO Award by the Prince George’s Business Roundtable, One of the Most Influential Community Leaders by Mayor Stephanie Rawling-Blake of the City of Baltimore and most recently, she became a 2013 Black Enterprise Teenpreneur of the Year National Finalist.
Gabrielle was also among the invited featured speakers at the TEDxRockCreekPark event which has become, as cited in a promotional descriptor, a social media sensation with YouTube viewing now exceeding 78 million.
“I am excited to be a part of the TEDxRockCreekPark event,” said Gabrielle of her participation in this gathering of national thought leaders.
“I hope my talk will encourage kids to not be spectators but to set their goals high and fully pursue their dreams.”
Even given her involvement in jewelry design, writing, and speaking engagements, Gabrielle in school is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America and serves as Vice President of the National Junior Honor Society.
In 2010, she applied for and received her business license for Jewelz of Jordan and in 2011, launched her website.
The youthful entrepreneur reveals in the 2012 Persona Program, “I Imagine Me Beautiful” Girls Symposium interview of the most exciting experience of her entrepreneurial journey: “I think the most exciting minute was probably when I first got the call to go to Africa.
For a long time, it has always been my dream to become an international speaker.
So when I got the call, I was so excited.” She adds that another exciting moment for her was when she became an Amazon bestseller, “the day before my birthday.”
Her motivation to enter the world of business was her family. “I came from a family of entrepreneurs. I’m the sixth generation of business owners.
You can say it runs in my blood,” as shared in the Persona interview. She describes her family as a “dedicated team.” Ron Williams, her father, is a filmmaker who has assumed responsibility for her graphics, images and videos for her website.
Her mother, Marcella Williams, oversees her daughter’s business marketing and event promotions. “I am her supporter, her fan club president and marketing director,” she says with a laugh in Sheir.
And her brother, 13-yearold Daniel, has the responsibility for additional public relations outreach agendas and editing for her book.
But with all of her success at a young age, she stays grounded and realizes that “I am still a child” while being a notable entrepreneur. She looks to her family for that needed guidance, inspiration and support system for her business while still attending to her academics in school.
As stated in Persona, “I balance everything with a lot of help from my family. Enjoying life as a teenager is very important.
But I also know that I have a responsibility to share my gifts to the world. So my parents make sure that I don’t go too far off in one direction. They are there to motivate me.”
It was in fact her mother who pointed the then elementary school author-to-be in the direction of becoming a writer:
“I originally wrote my book as part of a school project,” she says in the interview.
“I had already been in business for over a year, so I wanted to share with others what I learned about entrepreneurship and the mindset that is needed to overcome obstacles.”
She would add that once the project was over, “My mom asked me if I wanted to turn my school project into a real book and I said – ‘yes.’”
Gabrielle is committed to inspire other would-be young entrepreneurs and to let them know that, in her words, “there is no one else in the world that can do what they are doing the way that they are doing it.” This emerging teen further reveals to her peers that,
“No matter what it is they are selling, whether it is a product or a service, they have to remember that is what makes them unique, that is what makes them special, and that’s what makes their business special.”
Her career goals are to become a gemologist. She visions attending the Gemological Institute of America in New York, to write more books; to become a New York Times bestseller and continue with her philanthropic endeavors.
She advises other young people to “follow your dreams” and to “watch out for the dream killers.”
And what is a dream killer, Sheir ask?
“Someone that hates on you because maybe they’re jealous, or saying you’re a phony,” Gabrielle explains.
Her message to parents as quoted in her book:
“Always encourage and support your children’s business and dreams.
My parents support and encourage me.
They see the bigger picture for me, and that helps me believe that I can do anything I set my mind to.”
To learn more about Gabrielle and of her business Jewelz of Jordan, please visit her website at: www.gabriellejwilliams.com.