Letter from Juliette Brindak, Co-Founder of Miss O & Friends
I know that the Internet can be a scary place to let your daughter explore. With all of the cyberbullying, inappropriate content and impostors I can understand any hesitation with allowing your daughter to socialize online. With so many forms of social media proving as breeding grounds for bullying, negative role models and age inappropriate content, we have made Miss O & Friends the opposite. As parents, I want you to know that there is a safe place for your daughter to go online. Instead of being bullied and made fun of, told she needs to act a certain way to get a boy to like her or that her hobby is uncool, the Miss O community provides support where girls can talk about their issues, ask questions and get help from girls all over the world.
Although we do have a free-typing option, our strict moderation allows for a no-bullying, identifiable information or inappropriate content environment. Anything that is posted to the site by a member, goes into our Admin dashboard, where it is then looked at by an actual member of the Miss O Staff (not a software program) and is approved or disapproved based on the content. Because of our thorough process , there is no bullying on Miss O, there are no online predators and girls help and support each other when they write in questions asking for all sorts of advice. We are 100% COPPA Compliant and are CARU Certified. Your daughters safety is, and will always be, our #1 priority.
Miss O & Friends is a life-style socialization brand for tween and young teen girls (ages 8-16), which aims to help young girls build self-esteem. The tween years are a crucial age for girls because a lot of what happens during this time sets the stage for the rest of a girls’ life. Girls go through A LOT during these years; boys start come into the picture, their bodies are changing, cliques begin to form, bullying increases, school becomes more serious, and girls struggle with self-esteem and the pressure to fit in. With Miss O & Friends, we want to create a safe environment where girls can just be themselves. By providing 100% COPPA compliant safe socialization, the Miss O users have built a community of girls who offer advice and support to one another while also having fun and talking about everything in the “girl world.
We don’t overtly promote self-esteem, but instead we create programs that allow girls to express themselves in a variety of different outlets. Whether it’s getting her original stories published and sold in Barnes & Noble and Amazon, entering into a fashion design contest, giving advice and expertise to other girls, celebrating her for helping out in her community or contributing content as a Miss O intern, we get girls involved as much as possible. The site also includes games, quizzes, celebrity scoop, music and contests. Most of the content on Miss O & Friends is user generated, which creates an authentic and genuine space “by girls, for girls.”
The idea for Miss O & Friends evolved very naturally over many years. When I was 10, I was with my family coming back from vacation when I started drawing these girls that I called ‘Cool Girls.’ My mom, Hermine, 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 and it became a hobby for my mom, sister and I having the characters we created just do activities that Olivia and I liked to do. When Olivia turned 8, my parents had a birthday party for her where my mom made ‘Miss O-like’ characters for my sisters’ friends. She blew them up really big and mounted them so when the girls walked into our house, they saw characters that looked like them. Her friends went crazy for them and kept talking about how much they loved them. I was 13 at the time and still in middle school, while Olivia was 8 and was going to be entering middle school in a few years.
Middle school is a really difficult time for young girls with so many new things going on; their bodies changing, cliques, boys, bullying, school work, parents, etc., and I wanted to create something for my sister and her friends to help them through these difficult years since there wasn’t anything like Miss O that existed. With the help of my parents, my mom being a graphic designer and my dad, Paul, having a background in business, I was able to officially launch the company in April 2005.
Thank you for talking the time to check out Miss O & Friends. I hope you that you find it an acceptable place for your daughter and if you ever have any questions, comments or concerns please email me so we can know how you’d like us to improve. Also check out our site for Moms that has interesting articles and content for moms with girls!
Thanks so much for the support!
P.S. Check out Juliette Brindak’s Ted Talk about middle school drama here!
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