TDmonthly Magazine!
May 2009 | Vol. VIII - No. 5


13-Year-Old Shares Secrets of Snap Caps Success

Maddie's Creations Give M3 Girl Designs Magnetic Appeal

M3 Girl Designs hit New York City for its first Toy Fair ever in February 2009, showing off Snap Caps, the interchangeable, magnetic bottle cap necklaces that have taken off in well over 400 stores nationwide since their introduction in 2006. President and Designer Maddie Bradshaw, now 13, shared with TDmonthly Magazine how the $1 million business got off the ground and where it's headed.

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Watch the interview below:

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Hi, I’m here with Maddie Bradshaw, president of M3 Girl Designs, at Toy Fair. And her company makes magnetic, interchangeable bottle cap necklaces. As you can see, she’s wearing one right here. So, obviously, Maddie is a young inventor. Maddie, when did you come up with the idea for Snap Caps?

I came up with the idea about two years ago.

TDmonthly: OK. And what inspired the creation of these designs?

Maddie: Well, in 2nd grade, we had a stationery sale at school, and ever since then, I’ve always wanted to start a business. So, after my 2nd grade year, I had checked out books from the library on how to start a business, and when I was going to middle school, I wanted magnets for my locker. So I took some bottle caps from my uncle’s Coke machine, and I turned them into magnets. I gave some of them to my friends and they kind of grew crazy, and so I decided I should take it to a whole new level and take it into stores. So I took it into a local toy store, and two hours later they had sold out of everything. And it’s just grown from there.

TDmonthly: That’s really exciting. So I understand you draw the designs for the bottle caps. How much time do you spend on this business, you know, every week or every month?

Maddie: Well, I used to hand-make all the bottle caps. I’d sit down at the kitchen counter with my mom and my sister, and we’d all make all the bottle caps. But now we have 17 employees who make all of them for us. But what I do is I draw the original design, and we have employees who reproduce them.

TDmonthly: OK. And what have you learned from your parents in this whole venture, and how have they helped you with the business?

Maddie: Well, my mom, from an early age, she’s always taught me how to, instead of drawing on paper, to draw on canvas. And my dad, he’s an architect, so he always taught me to build things. And so, I think I kind of got both different aspects of it, which helped me along the way.

TDmonthly: That’s great, and I imagine you get this question a lot, but how have your friends and peers reacted to your success in this business? You know, are they jealous, are they inspired by your creation? How do they act?

Maddie: Well, actually, I haven’t told many people about it. I mean, my few close friends know, but all my other friends, they know I have a business, but they don’t know to what magnitude it’s at. But my close friends are really happy for me.

TDmonthly: Where do you see yourself going with this business and in future endeavors?

Maddie: Well, I want to definitely continue it for a while. And my sister, I think, eventually when I go to college, my sister will probably take over. And I am hoping it will last for a long time.

TDmonthly: Good deal. Well, it sounds like a wonderful family business that you’ve really gotten off the ground. And, so that’s amazing. It’s nice to see the designs, and thanks so much for meeting with us.

Maddie: Thank you.

See various Snap Cap designs below:

Snap Caps® are the original, interchangeable, magnetic bottle cap necklace.  This collection of Snap Caps offer designs for the girl rock star, from images of zebra stripes to hot pink iPods.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22701      (added 3/4/2009)

These interchangeable bottlecap necklaces were designed by a tween girl, Maddie Bradshaw, who continues to provide the artwork for the bottlecaps as the line grows. The bottlecaps have a magnet on the back so they can be easily switched out on the stretchy choker necklaces that are available. Snap Caps® have received the following awards: 2009 Best Toy Award - Most Innovative New Toy - Learning Express Toys; 2009 Best Toy Award - Best Toy Girls 5+ - Learning Express Toys; Creative Child 2009 Seal Of Excellence Award; and 2009 PTPA Winner.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22527      (added 2/18/2009)

Snap Caps® are the original, interchangeable, magnetic bottle cap necklace.  This collection of Snap Caps include letters of the alphabet with a swirl theme.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22698      (added 3/4/2009)

Videography and editing by Alison Marek.

Julie L. JonesWriter's Bio: Julie L. Jones has written articles for both newspapers and magazines. Before joining the staff of TDmonthly Magazine, she worked as a communications writer and provided editorial support for a market research company. Read more articles by this author


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