It’s amazing how one person can inspire so many. What’s even more amazing is when this is achieved by someone in their teens. This post is dedicated to Juliette Brindak, founder and CEO of Miss O and Friends.
Her story is remarkable, not only because of her success in business, but more because of the values behind her success. It’s a story of family and sisterly love that has positively influenced the lives of tween girls for over two decades. Juliet hails from Greenwich, New York. Together with her parents she formed Miss O and Friends back in 2005. The idea was to create an online platform to help young girls deal with the life changes they face in their early teens.
At age ten, Juliette Brindak was a regular girl with a love for sketching. No one would have known that her collection of sketches of what she called “cool girls” would go on to inspire great things. Her mother, a graphic designer, encouraged her to continue the series of drawings and kept them on her computer. Five years later her sister Olivia (the original Miss O) turned eight. It was at Olivia’s eighth birthday party, when their mother used these sketches as party decorations, that the idea for Miss O and Friends was born. The reaction from Olivia’s friends to Juliette’s sketches was so positive that Juliette, aged fifteen decided to share them on a website.
The idea was to create a website for girls between the ages of eight and fourteen. She says she wanted to create a forum “for girls by girls”. She felt that this was a critical age for girls – experiencing both physical and social changes. Miss O and Friends was created to help girls build their self esteem and create a better sense of self. In helping girls face the challenges of growing up, they would be less inclined to be affected by negative influences. They would have a better sense of community and be more likely to perform better at school.
With the help of her father, who was in marketing, she teamed up with web developers to bring her idea to life. Her mother created the unique graphics for the site. Together with her sister and cousin she worked on content to help and inspire young girls. The site offers girls an outlet to express themselves and grow through their own writing, games, quizzes, music and articles. In order to keep their members safe the site is 100% COPPA compliant. From strength to strength Miss O and Friends was not only popular with tween girls, but was a hit with both teachers and moms. So much so, that they started a second site called Miss O Moms – for mothers of tween girls.
In 2008 Proctor & Gamble valued Miss O and Friends at over $15 million and became a major investor. They soon reached the 1 million unique visitor mark. Today they have over 5 million unique monthly visitors. In 2010 Juliette was invited to the Youth International Economic Forum in St Petersburg, Russia and attended Astia’s “Doing it Right Program” in New York. In 2013 she was a finalist in the Kauffman Foundation’s Global Student Entrepreneurs Awards. Juliette has gone on to becoming a reporter on “Tween Trends” for TDMonthly Magazine and contributing writer to the Miss O and Friends book series. Juliette Bridank and Miss O and Friends have featured in numerous TV shows and publications: The Steve Harvey Show; The Telegraph; Business.com; Mixergy and Upstart to name just a few. Now in her late twenties, Juliette continues to encourage and inspire tween girls. She has become a role model to millions through her achievements and the values she’s instilled in others.