3 SUCCESSFUL WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS WHO’VE BEEN ROCKING THE BIZ WORLD SINCE THEY WERE TEENS
They turned their teenage passion projects into BIG businesses!
Every successful entrepreneur starts somewhere. And behind every success, there’s a story worth sharing. These three inspiring women entrepreneurs started their businesses as teenagers and have continued to grow them into adulthood. They’re business-savvy entrepreneurs who your girls can admire and look up to; they’re role models who remind us that girls can become entrepreneurs at any age.
14 Years & Counting
Juliette Brindak-Blake became a tech entrepreneur in 2005 when she was only 16 years old. She was motivated to start a website business when she overheard the friends of her younger sister fret about their weight. Juliette’s sis, Olivia, who goes by the moniker ‘Miss O,’ and the friends were only 8 years old at the time!
Juliette launched Miss O & Friends, a bully-free social network where tweens and teens can be their authentic selves and uplift one another with positive messages while having fun with online games and prizes. Within three years of its launch, Miss O & Friends landed an investment from The Procter & Gamble Company. Today, Miss O & Friends is still going strong with a recent website makeover and daily uploads of fresh e-zine content on style, DIY activities, and even coding for girls! To keep up with the digital economy, Juliette also developed a mobile app called Girl2Girl Wall, where Miss O & Friends’ subscribers can continue their conversations on their mobile phones.
Teen Vogue asked Juliette to share some advice for girls and women who want to pursue a career in entrepreneurship: “Starting your own company isn’t easy, but if it’s something you believe in and are passionate about, it’s truly worth the journey. Think about why you’re creating it, why it’s important, what niche does it fill, and what you need to make this dream a reality. Once you start figuring out the base, you can work to build your plan of what you need and how you’re going to do it.”
BFFs and Business Partners
When LA-based best buddies Emily Matson and Julianne Goldmark were 14 years old, they both wanted to splurge on chic hair accessories, but these were beyond their means. Resourceful and creative, they asked their moms to bring them to the fabric store so they could create their own chic yet highly affordable hair products. What started out as a hobby soon blossomed into a legitimate enterprise called Emi Jay.
Now both 24 years old, Emily and Julianne are entrepreneurs who can count on industry expert Chris McMillan for mentoring advice and avid fans Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Aniston for creating buzz around the Emi Jay products. They’re job creators too–they have 25 full-time employees at the Emi Jay HQ. In 2015, Emi Jay expanded its product line-up with apparel pieces, which have been featured on the pages of The Oprah Magazine. Today, Emi Jay continues to sell its sought-after accessories and clothes in retail stores across the country as well as online.
Their advice for young entrepreneurs who are just starting out? “As cheesy as it sounds, believe in your product or your idea and stick with it! Stay positive and look around you to see who could be of great help. You never know, some neighbor down the street could help you start a business! Be passionate. No matter what it is you want to do, know your product and do all you can to excel in that field. Whether that means reaching out to professionals, reading magazines, or doing research on that specific topic, it all pays off. Love it and follow it with all your heart!”
Dynamic Sister Duo
Sisters Taylor and Ally Frankel created a cult-favorite makeup brand before the age of 18. Taylor, 17 at the time, and Ally, then 14, searched high and low for an effortless, natural, and easy-to-use makeup brand reflective of their relaxed approach to makeup. The sisters brainstormed and came up with NUDESTIX, a unique brand of makeup crayons that pull double duty (or multiple!) for streamlined applications on the face, lips, and eyes. Taylor and Ally’s mom, Jenny, a chemical engineer with over 20 years of experience in the beauty industry, formulated the crayons’ special formula. Today, she continues to help her daughters launch new NUDESTIX products. She can also be seen engaging NUDESTIX’s 400K+ followers on Instagram, along with Ally and Taylor.
22-year-old Taylor had some wise words for girl entrepreneurs whose businesses are still in startup mode: “Before starting a business, be sure of your vision and product. It is so important to have both a rational and emotive reason to exist. Once you have a strong point of differentiation from both a brand story and product perspective, then start to build your community. It is easy to be discouraged when you look at your long term goal — try and set short term goals for yourself, because once you accomplish all your little goals, the larger picture won’t seem so far away. Also, it can be intimidating starting a business if you are not an expert in all parts of business (most of us are not), so surround yourself with an amazing team who can complement your skill sets and bring your vision to life.”
Interested to learn more about other successful women entrepreneurs and how it all began for them? Our blog has features on 23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki, children’s book author Katherine Applegate, Medallia’s Amy Pressman, children’s book illustrator LeUyen Pham, and BUILD.org’s Suzanne McKechnie Klahr that may inspire and encourage your daughter to tap into her entrepreneurial spirit. And while you’re at it, you and your daughter could also get to know The Startup Squad’s humble beginnings here.