At 10 years old Juliette Brindak was too old for Barbie, but too young for Britney, so she compromised and came up with Miss O and Friends. The "by girls for girls" website allows 8- to 12-year olds from all walks of life to play games and shop, share advice, music, movies and more.
Today, the college senior runs her multimillion dollar company from Washington University in St. Louis where she studies anthropology.
Brindak's timeline is nothing short of remarkable. When she was just a tween herself, she came up with the idea to create a space where girls could simply be girls. By age 15, the website was on the road to success. At 16, Brindak released her first book, which sold more than 120,000 copies, and at 19, Proctor and Gamble invested in her company, earning her $1 million for the first time. Now she's 21 and Miss O is worth $15 million.
"I used to be nervous," she said in an interview with Junior Biz. "I get really intimidated when I present in front of my peers. When I do it in front of older people, it's not as intimidating. [You get] a surge of adrenaline when you present in front of big chief executives. It's like, 'Wow they're actually taking the time to listen to what I have to say.' It's a really great feeling."
Her company, which employs 20 people (including her dad), is the sixth most popular girls site out there - billions of viewers have clicked through since its 2005 launch. In an age of Mileys and Lindsays, Brindak hopes to give girls who have yet to hit puberty, the comfort of a community where they don't feel pressured to grow up too fast.Related stories:
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Photo courtesy Miss O and Friends.