By Elizabeth Campbell
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) It’s always so exciting to hear about young entrepreneurs coming up with creative products, especially when those students come up with solutions to problems. Siblings Daniel and Maria Ghaly came up with the idea to create magnetic jewelry after a windy day at band practice. The pieces in the jewelry collection are designed to keep a dress or skirt from blowing in the wind or to hold a jacket together or complement a scarf. How great is it to see brother and sister celebrating business ownership together!
When Daniel and Maria Ghaly went to a band concert, they noticed students were having trouble keeping their clothing from blowing in the wind because they were holding their instruments and other equipment.
Maria, a ninth-grader at Hurst Junior High, and her younger brother Daniel, who is in seventh grade, came up with a practical idea to create magnetic jewelry that is also fashionable with their Dress to Impress business.
The Ghalys won this year’s “Shark Tank” competition, which is part of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. They are heading to Rochester, N.Y., in early May to compete in the semifinals and hope to advance to the national competition this summer in Washington, D.C.
The pieces are designed to keep a dress or skirt from blowing in the wind or to hold a jacket together or complement a scarf.
The Hurst-Euless-Bedford Chamber of Commerce and the H-E-B school district run the project, which trains students who want to go into business.
“It was very exciting for us, especially since we had to change our ideas several times in the beginning,” Maria said.
Maria, 15, and Daniel, 12, said they started making the broaches, belt clips and other pieces in January and quickly learned that certain magnets stained clothing and that a specialized glue was needed to attach their creations to the magnets.
The pieces are various weights and sizes and are designed to keep a dress or skirt from blowing in the wind or to hold a jacket together or complement a scarf.
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy gives students opportunities to work with business leaders in the community who mentor them and help them to create business plans and to hone their presentations for judges who decide whether to fund their ideas.
Kimberly Ball, chairman of the H-E-B chamber and one of the panelists, said the Dress to Impress presentation was “exceptionally strong.”
“Their idea is marketable, cost-efficient and fun, and the accessories look great, too,” she said.
Daniel said that winning the local competition opened doors such as getting special recognition from the school district and showing their jewelry at various events.
This summer Maria and Daniel want to show their jewelry at area festivals such as Grapefest. They are launching a website soon called dresstoimpress.us, and they are working on their social media presence.
They also plan to expand their jewelry line to include bracelets, necklaces and holders for identification cards.
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Their mother, Shereen Gandy, said that the pair are “total opposites” but that working on the project helped them form a stronger bond.
“I am really proud of them. They are good kids,” she said.