On the way home from a family vacation, 10 years old Juliette Brindak drew characters for a set of five friends she called ‘Cool Girls’. All characters were inspired by real life girls with the main cool girl, Miss O, representing her sister Olivia. Few years later “Cool Girls’’ became ‘’Miss O and Friends’’.
Juliette’s mother, who is a graphic designer, was the first one who brought her daughter’s drawings to life. She took the girls drawn by Juliette and put them on the computer making Juliette and “Miss O” characters. The two sisters used to play only them with the characters until Olivia’s 8th party when their mother decided to made Miss O-like girls for all Olivia’s friends. All the girls went crazy for the doodles, and Juliette knew others would enjoy too.
At that moment Juliette was 13 and was already leaving the awkwardness of middle school behind, but her sister and her friend were just entering their tween years. Juliette knew that middle school is a rough time for girls and decided to help them by creating a special space for girls their age.
In 2005, at the age of 16, Juliette launched www.missoandfriends.com , a social networking for tween girls, primarily ages 8-14. Juliette’s dad, who has been in business his whole life, got involved from the beginning and helped to get the company going.
Today the site generates 10 million monthly visits being a real heaven for tween girls. Through it girls have the possibility to interact with other girls their age, ask for advice, play games, take quizzes, participate in various contests, read celebrity gossip and feature articles. In order to maintain a safe and positive environment, administrators at the company screen every comment on the site before it’s posted.
In 2008 missoandfriends.com was valued at $15 million by Procter & Gamble, one of its investors, while in 2011 was ranked the third largest girls only Web site, according to Inc. Magazine.
Currently, Juliette Brindak is the CEO, spokesperson and editor of the site. Her parents are also part of the company’s team.
Sources and photo: magazine.wustl.edu
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