Juliette Brindak: Who Is This $15 Million Kid?

Jeanne Sager

miss o

Juliette Brindak designed Miss O and Friends at 10.

Juliette Brindak can thank Proctor and Gamble for turning her Miss O and Friends website into a $15 million venture. But the 21-year-old only has the child version of herself to thank for the idea.

Brindak was only 10 years old when she thought up an idea that's now the sixth most popular site for girls on the web. Yes, 10. When you were still picking boogers and wiping them under the desk in science class.

She was creating a "for girls, by girls" website that today is getting her buzz for being a young genius. But while everyone is focusing on the mega number today, how about a look back at the timeline?

Age 10 -- Came up with the Miss O and Friends cast of characters while riding a ferry to Martha's Vineyard. Miss O, Juliette, Harlie, Isabella, and Justine were at the time just "hip girls who liked to do what Juliette and her friends liked to do." That meant writing stories, creating "funky" art, comparing experiences, talking about movies and music. There were no plans to run with it at the time -- it was fun for Juliette, and she made it a family experience with Miss O representing little sister Olivia and her mom, Hermine, lending a hand by illustrating the characters.

Five Years Later (around age 15/16) -- Miss O & Friends officially launched as a lifestyle property.

The interactive website went live on April 1, 2004, with the artwork licensed on consumer products and the site aimed at girls 8 to 12 of all ethnic groups. In 2008, Proctor and Gamble stepped in as an investor, and the company was estimated to be worth $15 million. In 2010, the site is being pulled up regularly in more than 15,000 elementary school classrooms. 

Age 16 -- The Miss O books begin to come out. They're now a hot property on the Scholastic book fair lists and available on Amazon.

Age 21 -- A college student at St. Louis' Washington University, she's majoring in anthropology and still a vital part of a company that now employs 20 people including her dad, Paul. The site is the sixth most popular girls' site and promises to give parents a place where they can send their daughters to find "a hip, yet wholesome alternative, which allows girls to still be girls."

How can it promise to be about real girls? Maybe because it was created by one.


Image via Miss O and Friends

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