“Miss O & Friends was inspired by drawings that I did when I was 10.” says Juliette Brindak. “I started drawing these girls that I called ‘Cool Girls.’ My mom is a graphic designer so she took my drawings and transferred them onto the computer. My younger sister, Olivia (who is the real ‘Miss O’) also got involved for a while, and made her own little cartoon of herself.”
Although it might have only begun as a hobby, Juliette’s cartoons eventually resulted in a social networking website called Miss O and Friends, evaluated at $15 million by Procter & Gamble. The site, as well as the true story of Juliette’s rise as a teenager in the business world, is the very plot of YouTube Red/Disney’s newest series Hyperlinked , and has Metiza so hyped for all things girl power.
The True Story:
“I started the Miss O and Friends site because of my younger sister Olivia’s 8th birthday party.” Juliette says. “ As a middle schooler chaperoning this party, I started seeing Olivia’s friends clique-off, talking about their crushes, their bodies. It made me sad because they were already dealing with drama, and they were only eight years old!” Deciding she wanted a change, Juliette began talking with her parents about creating a social network where girls could safely talk with other girls about middle school dilemmas.
“I went to both my parents and they thought it was a good idea, so they invested some of their own money, and I made the decision to use my college funds.” Juliette says. Learning all about the World Wide Web and the language of Code, Juliette pitched her website to business associates of her parents, and successfully garnered investors who put money into Miss O and Friends.
The launch of the Miss O and Friends website in 2005 resulted in a major explosion of publicity for a teenage Juliette, her face appearing in every media source from Time for Kids to Ted Talks. Business however, wasn’t exactly as smooth sailing as it appeared, and came with a myriad of difficulties.
“When you look at a company, a lot of times on paper, it looks like everything happens overnight… but it’s never true.” Juliette says. Referring to the years over which Miss O and Friends couldn’t make a profit, she is honest about the difficulties she faced. “In business, the highs are super high, and the lows are super low. There have definitely been some low periods.”
Since 2005, Juliette has ranked as one of the most inspiring entrepreneurs in the world.
Although many might have considered leaving, Juliette refused. “I couldn’t go out. I couldn’t give up on it. So, I just started babysitting, doing other jobs I didn’t want to be doing but had to so I could pay the bills.” Luckily, Juliette stayed strong, and within a couple of years, the Miss O and Friends profits started going way up, allowing Juliette to receive a salary.
Presently, driven by its fun quizzes, games, and advice column, Miss O and Friends has truly become a staple for safe social networking among a young demographic. Since 2005, Juliette has ranked as one of the most inspiring entrepreneurs in the world, and has since been given the opportunity to be interviewed on shows like The Steve Harvey Show, and in publications like Business Insider.
So, with all of this girl-power inspiration that is Juliette Brindak, how could a media network not be interested in making her story a series?
Set for release on May 31st, Hyperlinked is looking to be big. Rather than picking a single girl to depict her story, the script was adapted to feature five girls who all work together. They navigate the struggles of growing up in a world filled with social media and never-ending social awkwardness, all while coding a site that mirrors Miss O and Friends, utilizing their outgoing personalities, book/street smarts, and epic networking skills to change the world for the better.
Selected as the leading ladies of Hyperlinked are the five members of L2M; a sensational girl-band composed of five young teenagers who are now signed by Warner Brothers Records. Having received millions of views on YouTube, tens of thousands of Instagram followers, and God-only-knows how many extremely obsessed fans, L2M is already on its way to becoming a household name, but will certainly be helped along by starring in Hyperlinked .
Brimming with excitement about the show, all of the girls were quick to share what they hoped would be the response from girls. “What I want girls to learn after watching Hyperlinked is to always be yourself because you shouldn’t care what other people think about you.” says Jenna, the strawberry blonde who rocks musical skills on the voice and piano and is always bursting with liveliness.
“Love yourself!” Tati adds. Tati, the drop-dead-gorgeous Alessia Cara look-alike who has more swag than a Britney Spears backup dancer, already has over 600,000 accumulated followers on her individual Instagram and Music.aly accounts, and is never afraid to start busting a move or rapping out lyrics faster than Jay Z.
“Yeah,” says Lexi, a beautiful beach-blonde known for her musical and artistic talents, “Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams and to have fun!” This teen adorns trendy outfits that she herself has ripped and rhinestoned in all the right places, and will soon be releasing major news about her fashion design career.
All maintaining different musical influences and varying personalities, (adding to their Spice Girl-like niche of having audience members pick and choose their favorite members), each L2M girl brings her own uniqueness to the group. Mariangeli for example, (or Mari as her friends call her), is the vocal powerhouse of the group, and isn’t afraid to share her differences. “I love anyone musical theater related!” says the brown-haired teen with pretty freckles on her face. Having accumulated millions of hits on her YouTube channel alone, Mariangeli has a mature tone to her voice, which definitely catches my ear.
“But Beyonce” says McKenize Mack, as she has in numerous interviews. A singer, dancer, and songwriter who originally hails from Ohio, McKenzie has a ton of personality, adorning black skin and darling black bangs, all of which stand out a mile away.
Fans of the camera, the girls of L2M were more than excited to get on the set of Hyperlinked, and aren’t nervous about lighting up the screen. “We were working with amazing people that were kind and talented. It made the whole 2 months go by so fast because we were having so much fun,” says Jenna. Lexi adds, “And getting to work with all the crew members everyday is so amazing!” She laughs, “My fave scene from the season was when Jenna got to crack eggs on our heads!”
Set for release May 31st, Metiza is super-duper excited to see exactly what Hyperlinked has in store. Seriously, we’re counting down the days until its release. Since the first episode is free without a subscription to YouTube Red, Metiza girls have no excuse not to check out the show, and we can’t wait to support both Juliette and the girls of L2M in all their go-get em, gritty glam, girl power glory.
Images via MissOandFriends.com and L2M