Latest posts by Deborah Reber (see all)
- Build a Financial Plan [Business Plan Basics #8] - January 13, 2018
- Overview of the Management Team [Business Plan Basics #7] - January 12, 2018
- Create Your Operations Plan [Business Plan Basics #6] - January 11, 2018
Meet 21-year-old Juliette Brindak—anthropology major, older sister, and CEO of an online company worth 15 million dollars. Maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s called Miss O & Friends and it’s a website created “by girls, for girls.” Miss O & Friends features characters based on Juliette, her younger sister Olivia, and their friends, and offers girls ages 8-12 a safe and positive place to play games, take quizzes, ask questions, and enter contests.
In a culture obsessed with growing-up-fast, Juliette Brindak offers a place where girls can be girls. No wonder then that we were so excited to catch up with Juliette to find out more about her vision and what life as a young, successful entrepreneur is really like!
LABG: We love the authentic “real girl” qualities of the Miss O characters. What inspired their creation?
Juliette: Miss O & Friends actually started out with drawings that I did when I was ten. I called these girls “cool girls.” My sister Olivia (the real Miss O) also did drawings that look a lot like the Miss O character today.
My mom, Hermine, is a graphic designer, and she took the drawings that my sister and I did and brought them to life on the computer. For a while, playing around on the computer with my mom and sister was just a hobby for us as we created what would soon become the Miss O Girls.
When my sister had her eighth birthday party (I was thirteen), my mom made Miss O-like girls for all her friends, and they went crazy for them! My sister and her friends were going into middle school soon, and I realized that there had been nothing [like Miss O & Friends] for my friends and me. I wanted to create a place where my sister and her friends could have fun and just be girls.
LABG: What a great startup story! So, why do you think tween girls respond so well to Miss O & Friends?
Juliette: Everything that we do is “By Girls, For Girls” and before we do anything we make sure that our users will like it. We are constantly asking questions, taking polls, and getting input from young girls. Girls who are a part of the Miss O community realize that their voices are being heard, and they tell their friends!
LABG: We love that you go straight to your audience for input. We also love the website design—it’s so bright and fun to explore. Who designed it?
Juliette: My sister Olivia actually came up with the website design. With help from my mom, Olivia created the building blocks of our site.
LABG: You balance school, work, friends, and family, so what does a “day-in-the-life” look like for you?
Juliette: Basically, I have learned how to really organize my time. I have this huge red notebook that I write down literally everything that I am going to do that day (and I do my best to stick to it). Every day is different, but usually it consists of class, lunch with friends, library, dinner and Miss O work. Miss O work is actually pretty spread out during the day—since it is a virtual company, I can do work whenever.
LABG: Sounds like a busy, but fun, schedule! We read that you graduated from a boot camp run by the global entrepreneur community Astia. Can you tell us a bit about your experience there?
Juliette: Astia was a great program. It was a selected group of women entrepreneurs. For a week, we had different speakers come in from many Fortune 500 companies and talk to us about topics such as financials, marketing, advertising and getting investment money. It was really all-inclusive and extremely helpful to learn the ropes from experienced professionals.
Astia’s Boot Camp was also a great networking experience. I met so many awesome women and it was empowering to be surrounded by successful women entrepreneurs.
LABG: That sounds amazing. Speaking of amazing, what do you love most about your job?
Juliette: I’m my own boss ☺.
LABG: As a young (and successful!) entrepreneur, which business leaders and companies inspire you?
Juliette: Maxine Clark, CEO and founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop.
LABG: One last question for our Like a Boss Girls—what insight would you share with teen entrepreneurs who want to start their own company?
Juliette: Have a really strong team that supports you. You need to find people who are just as passionate (which is hard) about your company as you are.
LABG: That’s great advice. Thanks Juliette!