Teen's Designs Top the Bottle Cap Craze

Maddie Bradshaw seems like a typical eighth grader. The Texas teen is a member of her middle school swim team; she plays lacrosse and tennis; she loves English and History; she’s read all the books in the Twilight saga and declares herself “Team Jacob”; and she can’t wait to celebrate her 14th birthday with family and friends. Yet Maddie is anything but ordinary. Her entrepreneurial spirit has catapulted her into the national limelight, and she’s the president of a multi-million dollar company.

It all began when Maddie started fifth grade: She simply wanted cool magnets to hang inside her locker. When she couldn’t find what she wanted, Maddie took matters into her own hands. “I used bottle caps from my uncle’s old-fashioned Coke machine, added a magnet to the back, and decorated them with hip sayings and graphics for myself and my friends,” Maddie says.

They were such a hit that she took 50 to a local Learning Express store that offered to give her a chance at selling the bottle cap magnets for a profit. “I got a call from the store less than two hours later saying that they’d all sold out,” Maddie exclaims.

When Maddie saw kids wearing bottle caps as accessories, she realized her magnetic caps could be the feature attraction on an inexpensive choker. “My necklaces are unique because kids can change out their bottle caps based on how they’re feeling each day,” she says.

Three’s Family at m3: Sisters Maggie and Margot, Plus Mom

Using $300 of her own savings, Maddie started up m3 Girl Designs, LLC in 2006, with the creation of what she dubbed SNAP CAPS®. Maddie serves as founder, president and head designer of the company, which employs 35 people in Dallas, including her sister, Margot, 9, who is vice president and assistant designer, and her mother, Diane, who serves as CEO. m3 stands for Maddie, Margot and Mom.

When SNAP CAPS® first launched, Maddie would create all the designs and she and Margot would hand paint each cap with graphics and trendy phrases like “Love,” “Dream Big” and “BFF” in the kitchen of the Bradshaw’s home. Today, Maddie still comes up with the original designs for each cap, but her growing team of artists reproduce her ideas. “My very first design was a birthday girl cap for Margot,” Maddie remembers, “because her birthday was coming up.” The company sells about 50,000 necklaces and caps each month.

Inspired by her artist mother and her architect father, Maddie remains grounded and centered, despite all the fame and fortune that’s come her way. In just under three years, m3Girl Designs has expanded from a simple hobby to a million-dollar national business. Her favorite part: “Getting to work together with my mom and sister,” she says.

With more than 400 standard designs, SNAP CAPS® are all the rage in more than 1,500 stores throughout the USA. The necklaces are a known commodity internationally as well, and are featured in stores throughout Canada, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas and The Virgin Islands.

Trendy Designs for Tweens and Teens

Colorful, chic designs are what make SNAP CAPS® special, because they come right from the heart. “Who knows better what tweens and teens are feeling than tweens and teens themselves?” Maddie says. “Margot and I are living that life each and every day, so we use our experiences for our inspiring designs.”

The SNAP CAPS® collection includes animals and animal prints; butterfly; camp; candy, sweet treats and sugar rush; cross and grace; dance; diva, , fairy tale; friends; groovy girl and retro; I love …; me, me, ME; peace, love …; recycle; rock star; school; sports; summertime; western; initials, happy daze; all in the family; let’s chat; who’s hot now; read, read, read; boys, boys, boys; and celebrity buzz. SNAP CAPS® “Twilight”-inspired collection demonstrates how current Maddie stays with her trends. She designed both “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” caps. “Kids like to express their feelings about anything and everything,” she says. “SNAP CAPS® let’s you do this in an affordable and fashionable way.”

Maddie recently shared her jeweled initials and iconic retro symbols SNAP CAPS® designs at the Teen Choice Awards gifting lounge in August 2009. “It was an amazing and exciting experience to meet so many stars and have them walk away with one of my designs,” Maddie says. Pop star Britney Spears, “Twilight’s” Nikki Reed, “Dancing with the Stars” winner and Olympic athlete Shawn Johnson, and music group Black Eyed Peas were just a few of the celebrities who browsed her jewelry.

A Cap that Gives Back
A design that’s close to Maddie’s heart is a bejeweled rainbow for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. “I chose a rainbow because it is bright and colorful,” Maddie says. “It makes me think of the hope, strength and joy that it gives to kids whose lives are changed after receiving their wish.” A portion of the proceeds of this specially designed cap will help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

SNAP CAPS® Make a Statement

The SNAP CAPS® chokers are not the only products available through M3Girl Designs. Other accessories include SNAP CAPS® Huggers, scrunchie-like ribbons worn in the hair or draped around boots adorned with a SNAP CAPS® bottle cap; SNAP CAPS® Keepers, whimsically decorated magnetic boards for bottle cap storage; SNAP CAPS® notebooks and journals for school; the latest hair accessory, Bottle Bobbies, a bobby pin with a permanently attached SNAP CAPS® bottle cap; SNAP CAPS® bracelets and key chains; Holiday SNAP CAPS®; and School Spirit custom order SNAP CAPS®. The m3 Girl Design team is currently working with a licensing company to expand into totes, backpacks and other fashion items.

“This has all been a dream come true,” says Maddie, who is also drafting a book about her experience. “I want other kids to know that they can make their great ideas come to life. I’ve been so lucky and I want to share what I’ve learned.”

m3 Girl Designs has been featured on “Inside Edition,” in Time Magazine for Kids, on CNN 650 AM Radio and is listed on INC Magazine’s 30 under 30 list.

To learn more about m3 Girl Designs and all the SNAP CAPS® products, visit www.m3girldesigns.com.

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