Wonder Years A child's imagination can make for a bright business idea.
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A great business idea can come from anywhere--even your child's imagination. How? "Encourage [your children], empower them, inspire them and say to them, 'What a great idea!'" says Norm Goldstein, founder and CEO of By Kids For Kids, an organization that offers free guidance to help kids (and their parents) develop, patent and market inventions.
Paul and Hermine Brindak encouraged their daughter, Juliette, then 10 years old, when she conceived the idea for Miss O and Friends. Says Paul, "She created this world where tween girls can be tween girls." What started out as drawings and stories about her friends' best traits--like being great at sports or having a love for writing--turned into a website in 2005 that celebrates girlhood, missoandfriends.com. A family enterprise for Paul, 54, and Hermine, 49, along with Juliette, now 18, and her sister, Olivia, 12, Miss O and Friends has become a lifestyle brand. Today, Juliette pens an advice column and serves as spokesperson and managing editor for the website. The Old Greenwich, Connecticut, company has created books, stationery and jewelry. Its popularity among tweens has even spawned a partnership with Yahoo!, spurring seven-figure sales.
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