When Shelby and Gordy Gogulski began making Your Self Expression Custom Jewelry back in 2013, little did they imagine they'd be media darlings and successful business people before completing high school. They Started the business in 2013 when Shelby was 14 and Gordy was just 9. They filmed their Shark Tank episode during the season six taping sessions and appear in season seven's episode 729.
The basic concept behind Your Self Expression is simple: give girls jewelry they can customize and change with the tides of fashion. With over 2000 items in their interchangeable accessories collection, there are virtually limitless possibilities. At the heart of the line is the snap bracelet or necklace. Different jeweled lockets, charms, or “poppers” snap into the bracelets or necklaces to create a personalized look that can change in a snap. There are pre-packaged collections of charms, but the driving force behind the business is the personalization aspect.
They also sell rings, shoes, bags, and key chains with customizable snaps. They want to get into the souvenir/licensing business by creating charms with corporate, sport teams, and destination based charms, too. Since their humble beginnings, the business has grown and boasts over 200 wholesale accounts, plus a slew of direct sales home workers (think Tupperware but with snap jewelry).
The siblings have gone a long way in just three years. Shelby appeared on The View, and now they are taking their business into the Shark Tank. They have a lot of press and people like hardworking, successful kids in business, particularly when they sell a product that's in demand. Shelby and Gordy probably want a Shark as a mentor and an investor. At their age, a solid partnership with a Shark could help them create a life-long business.
My Take on Your Self Expression
Clearly, Shelby and Gordy have tapped a hot market. Jewelry will always be with us and the ability to change looks without buying a whole new bracelet has its appeal – especially to youngsters. As a parent, I have to admire both their work ethic and success. Shelby balances home schooling, travel soccer AND the business; at age 16, that's a remarkable feat.
The product itself is something all my daughters would use. When I get a load of the jewelry the four of them have accumulated over the years, I know there's a BIG market for Shelby and Gordy's products. When I showed the jewelry to my 11 year old, she thought the stuff was “cool.” I wouldn't personally use any of their products, but I could see myself buying them as gifts for the girls and young women in my life. For that reason, I am IN.
Do Sharks Snap to it and invest?
Kids, particularly successful, driven kids, seem to do well in the Shark Tank. What Shark can resist a teen who's built a rock-solid business? Your Self Expression has sales, which the Sharks want to see, and they have a good product. The only potential objection the Sharks could have is the sheer number of products – they often get on businesses with too many SKU's. If Shelby and Gordy can handle that objection and demonstrate they have a good grasp on their numbers, they should field offers.
Mark g invested in M3 Girl Designs in season three – another jewelry business pitched by kids. That didn't turn out well as he never closed the deal. I won't look for Mark to bid on this business, either. I think Lori would be the perfect Shark for Shelby and Gordy. QVC sells a crap ton of jewelry and Lori would be a good mentor, too. Lori sells jewelry organizers, too – they'd be a nice add-on sale with all the options Your Self Expression has. I think Lori ends up bidding on this business.