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Meet Juliette!

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Teen CEO

When she was 10 years old, Juliette created a drawing that inspired her family to start a business! Meet Juliette, now 17, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Miss O & Friends, a website for girls.

A lot of websites, including Girls Inc. Online, feature content that is created by users; why did you feel that it was important to include this in your site, especially since it is geared towards younger girls?

Everything on our website is by girls for girls and we’re trying to keep it like that. We have contests and [feature ideas from our users] so that they know they are involved and being heard.

Describe how you started your business, from initial concept to finished product.

The company started from drawings that I did when I was 10 years old. I doodled these girls that I called “cool girls” and I gave them to my mom. My sister Olivia used to draw herself a lot—like what the Miss O character looks like today.

For Olivia’s eighth birthday party my mom, who’s an artist, created Miss O-like characters for all of Olivia’s friends and they loved them! We realized that maybe they weren’t just drawings, maybe they could be something else. Then we started to create products [based on] Miss O and in April 2005 we launched our website for girls. The site features the drawings my sister and I did as well as writing submitted by girls, games, and advice.

What was it like to start a business at such a young age?

I’ve been able to do a lot of things that most people don’t get to do and I’m grateful for that. I’ve gone to many business meetings at really big companies and I’ve learned so much. I’m the person who does the presentations, so I’ve learned about business and how to present myself in front of an audience, but it can be nerve racking!

You used your college savings to start your business. How did you decide to take that risk?

When we saw how much people really responded to our idea my family decided to take the risk. We also thought it was something that would help girls and could make a difference.

What are your plans for college and the future? What would your dream job be?

In the fall, I’m going to Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and I’m still undecided on my major. My dream job would be a photojournalist in a third world country. I love to travel.

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Staying true to the original idea behind the site and continuing to give your users what they ask for is very important to you. How do you ensure that you don't stray away from what you originally went after?                             

We always ask our members [for feedback] about anything we do on the website. Right now we’re working on a pajama line, so we put a question up on our site asking our users for advice. We received almost 1,500 responses, and they gave us all different types of ideas for our pajama line.

We do this with everything, like books and other content. Girls write in all the time with comments and questions. We really do listen to them and pay attention to what they’re saying.

A lot of girls deal with self-confidence issues; do you think the anonymity of the internet is an asset to your users?

We do not collect any information about [our users] except their name, age, and state, so it’s very private. Our Kids’ Counselor section offers girls advice from a school psychologist and me. Our users’ questions have started getting more personal, which shows us that the girls really trust us as a website and they trust us as a source. Being able to respond to the questions from the girls and getting the sense that I’m helping them is a really good feeling. I like knowing that these girls are struggling with something and I’m helping them through it. That’s really amazing.

What advice do you have for girls who want to start their own business?

I think the most important thing is having a team behind you and having the right people to support and believe in you. I know that this company wouldn’t be anywhere without all of the people who have devoted so much time and are passionate about what we are doing.

What do you do for fun?

I like to hang out with my friends, go to the beach after school, go to the movies, go out to dinner, or go shopping. Just normal teenage stuff.

What's Next?

  • Meet more inspiring girls and women.

  • Check out these key online safety tips!

  • Why are web communities for girls so important? Share on the Girls Inc. message boards!