Girl Power

17yr old girl makes up to $70,000 a month!

No rich relatives? No professional mentors? No problem. Ashley Qualls, 17, has built a
million-dollar web site. She’s LOL all the way to the bank. :)

From:
Issue 118
|
September 2007
| Page 104
| By: Chuck Salter
| Photographs By: Martynka Wawrzyniak

Late
last year, Ian Moray stumbled across a cotton-candy-pink Web site
called Whateverlife.com. As manager of media development at the online
marketing company ValueClick Media (NASDAQ:VCLK), he was searching for
under-the-radar destinations for notoriously fickle teenagers. Beyond
MySpace and Facebook, countless sites come and go in the teen universe,
like soon forgotten pop songs. But Whateverlife stood out. It was more
authentic somehow. It featured a steady supply of designs for MySpace
pages and attracted a few hundred-thousand girls a day. "Clever design,
a growing base–that’s a no-brainer for us," Moray says.

From her basement office, Ashley Qualls has made Whateverlife.com a destination for millions of teenage girls.

This summer, Ashley’s pals–from left, Shayna Bone, Bre Newby, and Jen Carey–will also be her employees.

He approached Ashley Qualls, Whateverlife’s founder, about
incorporating ads from ValueClick’s 450 or so clients and sharing the
revenue. At first, she declined. Then a few weeks later she changed her
mind. He was in Los Angeles and she was in Detroit, so they arranged
everything by phone and email. They still have yet to meet in person.

When did Moray, who’s 40, learn that his new business partner was 17 years old?

Pause.

"When our director of marketing told me why Fast Company
was calling," says Moray, now ValueClick’s director of media
development. "I assumed she was a seasoned Internet professional. She
knows so much about what her site does, more than people three times
her age."

It’s like that famous New Yorker cartoon. A dog typing away at a computer tells his canine buddy, "On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog."

At 17 going on 37 (at least), Ashley is very much an Internet
professional. In the less than two years since Whateverlife took off,
she has dropped out of high school, bought a house, helped launch
artists such as Lily Allen, and rejected offers to buy her young
company. Although Ashley was flattered to be offered $1.5 million and a
car of her choice–as long as the price tag wasn’t more than
$100,000–she responded, in effect, Whatever. :) "I don’t even have my
license yet," she says.

Ashley is evidence of the meritocracy on the Internet that allows
even companies run by neophyte entrepreneurs to compete, regardless of
funding, location, size, or experience–and she’s a reminder that
ingenuity is ageless. She has taken in more than $1 million, thanks to
a now-familiar Web-friendly business model. Her MySpace page layouts
are available for the bargain price of…nothing. They’re free for the
taking. Her only significant source of revenue so far is advertising.

According to Google Analytics, Whateverlife attracts more than 7
million individuals and 60 million page views a month. That’s a larger
audience than the circulations of Seventeen, Teen Vogue, and CosmoGirl!
magazines combined. Although Web-site rankings vary with the
methodology, Quantcast, a popular source among advertisers, ranked
Whateverlife.com a staggering No. 349 in mid-July out of more than 20
million sites. Among the sites in its rearview mirror: Britannica.com,
AmericanIdol.com, FDA .gov, and CBS.com.

And one more, which Ashley can’t quite believe herself: "I’m ahead
of Oprah!" (Oprah.com: No. 469.) Sure, Ashley is a long way from having
Oprah’s clout, but she is establishing a platform of her own. "I have
this audience of so many people, I can say anything I want to," she
says. "I can say, "Check out this movie or this artist.’ It’s, like, a
rush. I never thought I’d be an influencer." (Attention pollsters:
1,500 girls have added the Join Team Hillary ’08 desktop button to
their MySpace pages since Ashley offered it in March.)

She has come along with the right idea at the right time. Eager to
customize their MySpace profiles, girls cut and paste the HTML code for
Whateverlife layouts featuring hearts, flowers, celebrities, and so on
onto their personal page and–presto–a new look. Think of it as
MySpace clothes; some kids change their layouts nearly as frequently.
"It’s all about giving girls what they want," Ashley says.

These days, she and her young company are experiencing growing
pains. She’s learning how to be the boss–of her mother, her friends,
developers-for-hire in India. And Whateverlife, one of the first sites
offering MySpace layouts specifically for girls, needs to mature as
well. "MySpace layouts" was among the top 30 search terms on Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG) in June. Ashley knows that she needs new content–not
just more layouts, but more features, to distinguish Whateverlife from
the thousands of sites in the expanding MySpace ecosystem. Earlier this
year, she created an online magazine. Cell-phone wallpaper, a new
source of revenue at 99 cents to $1.99 a download, is in the works.

Running a growing company without an MBA, not to mention a
high-school diploma, is hard enough, but Ashley confronts another
extraordinary complication. Business associates may forget that she is
17, but Detroit’s Wayne County Probate Court has not. She’s a minor
with considerable assets–"business affairs that may be jeopardized,"
the law reads–that need protection in light of the rift her sudden
success has caused in an already fractious family. In January, a
probate judge ruled that neither Ashley nor her parents could
adequately manage her finances. Until she turns 18, next June, a
court-appointed conservator is controlling Whateverlife’s assets;
Ashley must request funds for any expense outside the agreed-upon
monthly budget.

The arrangement, she says, affects her ability to react in a
volatile industry. "It’s not like I’m selling lemonade," she says.
Besides, it’s her company. If she wants to contract developers or
employ her mother, Ashley says, why shouldn’t she be able to do it
without the conservator’s approval?

So the teenager has hired a lawyer. She wants to emancipate herself
and be declared an adult. Now. At 17. Why not just sit tight until
June? The girl trying to grow up fast can’t wait that long.

Ashley is different from the recent crop
of high-profile teen entrepreneurs. True, her eighth-grade class did
vote her "most likely to succeed," but it’s safe to say they were
predicting 20 or 30 years out, not three years removed from middle
school. She created her company almost by accident and without the
resources that typically give young novices a leg up. Catherine Cook,
17, started myYearbook.com by teaming up with her older brother, a
Harvard grad and Internet entrepreneur. Ben Casnocha, the 19-year-old
founder of software company Comcate and author of the new memoir My Start-Up Life, is the son of a San Francisco lawyer and has tapped Silicon Valley brains and bank accounts.

But Ashley had no connections. No business professionals in the
family. No rich aunt or uncle. In the working-class community of
downriver Detroit, south of downtown and the sprawling Ford plant in
Dearborn, Michigan, she bounced back and forth between her divorced
parents, neither of whom attended college. Her father is a machinist,
her mother, until recently, a retail data collector for ACNielsen. "My
mom still doesn’t understand how I do it," Ashley says. To be fair, she
did go to her mother for the initial investment: $8 to register the
domain name. Ashley still hasn’t spent a dime on advertising.

It all started as a hobby. She began dabbling in Web-site design
eight years ago, when she was 9, hogging the family’s Gateway computer
in the kitchen all day. When she wasn’t playing games, she was teaching
herself the basics of Web design. To which her mother, Linda LaBrecque,
responded, "Get off that computer. Now!" For Ashley’s 12th birthday, her mother splurged on an above-ground swimming pool–"just so she’d go outside," LaBrecque says.

Whateverlife just sort of happened, another accidental Web business.
Originally, Ashley created the site in late 2004 when she was 14 as a
way to show off her design work. "I was the dorky girl who was into
HTML," she says. It attracted zero interest beyond her circle of
friends until she figured out how to customize MySpace pages. So many
classmates asked her to design theirs that she began posting layouts on
her site daily, several at first, then dozens.

By 2005, her traffic had exploded; she needed her own dedicated
server. Ashley, who had bartered site designs for free Web hosting,
couldn’t afford the monthly rental, not on her babysitting income. Her
Web host suggested Google AdSense, a service that supplies ads to a
site and shares the revenue. The greater the traffic, the more money
she’d earn.

"She would look up how much she had made," says Jen Carey, 17, one
of her closest friends. "It was $50. She thought that was the coolest."

I’m doing what everyone says they want to do, "live like there’s no tomorrow." –Ashley in her blog, "The Daily Life of a Simple Kind of Gal," July 1, 2006; 2:43 a.m.

The first check, her first paycheck of any kind, was even cooler: $2,790.

"It was more than I made in a month," her mother says.

"It made me want to do even more designs," Ashley says. But first,
she went on a shopping spree at a nearby mall with Bre Newby, her best
friend since third grade. Ashley walked out with eight pairs of jeans
from J.C. Penney and an armful of other clothes. Without a credit card
or a bank account, the 15-year-old paid $600 in cash–the most she’d
ever spent.

"Before, I would ask my mom, "Can I have $10?’ and she’d say, "No, you have to wait a few weeks,’" Ashley recalls.

She hasn’t asked since.

In January 2006, a few months after that first payday and six months
before her 16th birthday, she withdrew from school. Instead of taking
AP English, French, and algebra II, instead of being a straight-A
sophomore at Lincoln Park High School, Ashley stayed home to nurture
her budding business and take classes through an online high school.
"Everybody was shocked," she says. "They asked, "Are you sure you know
what you’re doing?’ But I had this crazy opportunity to do something
different."

That "something different" was Whateverlife. The name came to Ashley
in a moment of frustration. After losing a video game to Bre, she
dropped the controller and blurted out, "Whatever, life." She liked it
instantly. She thought it would be a great name for a Web site, for
"whatever life you lead."

Now her life is centered around working in the basement of the
two-story, four-bedroom house that she bought last September for
$250,000. It’s located in a fenced-off subdivision in the community of
Southgate, a couple of blocks removed from Dix Highway, a thoroughfare
dotted with body shops and convenience stores. She lives with her
mother; her 8-year-old sister, Shelby; three cats; two turtles; a
rottweiler; a hamster; and a fish.

Ashley’s home office is the physical embodiment of her Web site. The
business brings in as much as $70,000 a month, but there’s not a whiff
of corporate convention. It’s fun, whimsical, and unabashedly pink.
Pink walls. Pink rug. Pink chairs, pillows, and lamp. Even the blue,
green, and silver stick-on robots dancing on the wall have tiny pink
hearts. It’s a teenager’s version of the workplace, which earned raves
when she posted pictures on MySpace:

"SOO FLIPPING CUTE!"

"OMG I want that office."

"Geez. That’s just incredible. I’m what …almost ten years your senior and I am inspired by you."

The space reflects Ashley’s personality, like everything else about
her business. Therein lies one of the main reasons for Whateverlife’s
success, says Robb Lippitt, whom Ashley considers the only good thing
to come out of her legal issues. When her lawyer realized she was
running her company alone, he arranged a meeting with Lippitt, the
former COO of ePrize, an online promotions outfit that is one of
Detroit’s fastest-growing companies. Having helped build ePrize to $30
million in annual revenue and 325 employees, he now helps other local
entrepreneurs scale the mountain. In April, he became her $200-an-hour
consultant and first business mentor.

Since Ashley, his youngest client ever, had never taken a class in
accounting or read a business book, she needed a crash course on the
basics, such as maintaining two accounts, business and personal. "She
was running her business like a piggy bank," says Lippitt, 38.

But he found her to be a quick study and, in many ways, a natural
entrepreneur. "She lacks experience, but I was blown away by her
instincts," he says. How she makes her layouts compatible with
social-networking sites other than MySpace, so her company isn’t tied
to one site. How she decided to offer her designs as cell-phone
wallpaper, creating a new service and revenue stream based on existing
inventory. Ashley, he realized, has a vision for Whateverlife that goes
beyond a MySpace tools site. It could be a multifaceted community for
girls.

Convinced that her fans need help building Web sites, she hired
developers in India to create an easy-to-use application and wrote
one-teen-to-another tutorials. After the site builder launched in May,
though, she told Lippitt she was disappointed by delays and early bugs.
Hiccups were common, he assured her; he expected modest results, maybe
a few hundred users. But 28,000 signed up in the first week. "There are
CEOs across the country who would be dancing in their offices if they
got that reaction," he says.

Ashley is the demographic she’s serving, which gives her a powerful
advantage over far more experienced adults trying to channel their
inner teen or glean clues from focus groups. Her site looks and sounds
like something made by a teenager, not something manufactured to look
that way.

The risk, of course, is that she could lose touch with her audience
as she outgrows it. But Lippitt says she already grasps the importance
of understanding her customers, not simply assuming they share her
taste. She conducts polls about their favorite stores, celebrities, and
American Idol contestants. She solicits feedback on new features. And
she’s thinking of the next step: "I may have to hire people younger
than me."

Some days I miss school. I miss the laughter,
the lunch lines, the jackass of the class, the evil ass teacher,
sometimes I even miss the drama. –August 4, 2006; 1:30 a.m.

On a Wednesday in early June, the gang’s
all here after school. Well, everyone except Bre. Shayna Bone, 17, and
Jen–outfitted in matching Whateverlife T-shirts, featuring row after
row of multicolored hearts–sit at a table reviewing their W-4 forms.
It’s official: The staff is doubling for the summer.

Mike Troutt, 16, who’s stretched across a white L-shaped couch,
won’t be joining them. A past contributor to the Whateverlife magazine,
he’s working as an apprentice at a local tattoo shop for the summer.
He’s contemplating where he’ll get his first tattoo, he announces.
Tomorrow’s the big day.

As usual, Ashley is working away at her computer, a new desktop with
a touch-screen monitor, one of three computers in her basement. Often,
she’s up at 7 or working into the wee hours on a "designfest" with Bre,
fueled with music and Monster energy drinks.

In just 15 minutes, she creates a layout. Blue and pink streaks on a
black background with blocks of pink rap lyrics. Her fingers race
across the keyboard as she tries different fonts, sizes, compositions,
switching out HTML coding as she talks. "Don’t worry," she tells a wary
Shayna, "I’ll teach you."

Ashley the CEO, who has no fewer than 14 hearts on her business
card, is both utterly familiar and a complete mystery to her friends.
In some ways, she’s the same old "Ash"–or "AshBo," a nickname they
coined because she didn’t have her own room at one point (Ashley + hobo
= AshBo). She still plays The Sims, still giggles when Jen
laughs like Eddie Murphy, and is still up for silliness, like standing
by the road holding a sign that says, HONK IF YOU BELIEVE IN THE LOCH NESS MONSTER, or taking breaks on the swing set down the street.

"One minute, she’s joking around with us," says a friend, "and then it’s, ‘Oh, guys, hold on. I gotta take this call.’"

AshBo looks even younger than 17. She has straight brown hair with
light streaks down to the middle of her back. She has a French
pedicure, like Jen and her mother. Her clothes are nothing fancy. "I
don’t need $2,000 shirts," Ashley says. "I’m fine with Target." Or a
University of Michigan sweatshirt over a summer dress.

In other ways, she’s an alien among normal teens. She can go on
about hiring freelance developers, studying site-traffic trends,
calculating ad rates, maintaining low overhead (her main operating
expense is seven servers). "Sometimes when I talk about the site, my
friends just stare at me," she says. She carries a BlackBerry and a
Coach bag (a recent birthday present to herself). Her friends tease her
about her last ring tone, which consisted of The Donald, someone they
couldn’t care less about, barking, "This is Donald Trump telling you to
have an ego!"

Whateverlife has definitely brought out a bolder side. "One minute,
she’s joking around with us, and then, "Oh, guys, hold on, I gotta take
this call,’" says Mike. "She turns it on like a light switch." She’s no
longer the shy 15-year-old who would ask her mother or father to make a
difficult phone call. Who didn’t know how to respond to advertisers’
cold calls. Who didn’t know how to negotiate. Now, it’s "Is that the
best you can do for me?"

"Something clicked," says her mother, who can be direct herself. "She’s not letting people walk over her."

At one point, Ashley takes a call upstairs in the kitchen, where a
fax machine sits on the countertop. The company that’s building the
application for her cell-phone wallpaper is on the line. The developer
walks her through the latest mock-up, answering Ashley’s questions.
She’s one of those teens who has mastered the art of talking to adults
as a peer, of making eye contact rather than looking down or away at a
moment’s blush.

Her mother, whom Ashley hired recently to keep the books, listens
in, hand on hip, a cigarette cocked. Afterward, she asks, "What was he
talking about?"

Ashley translates. She’ll ask her mother for advice, but she doesn’t
necessarily take it. "I’m stubborn, like her," she says. Ashley has
more leverage than the typical teen. She’s the breadwinner. And yet for
all her newfound independence, she still needs to be driven everywhere.
She hasn’t taken driver’s ed because she wants to take the class with a
friend, not alone.

Occasionally, she feels the tug of her old life, traditions like
Lincoln Park’s Spirit Week, when she’d paint her cheeks orange and
blue, the school colors. More than once, she has returned, just for the
day, hanging out in her French teacher’s classroom. Ashley wonders if
she’ll be allowed to participate in graduation. By then, she may have
already earned an associate’s degree in design, at Henry Ford Community
College.

She’s determined to bring her friends along for this strange and
wonderful ride. They rode in the limo to her over-the-top sweet-16
party at the local Masonic Temple, where guests wore pink Whateverlife
rubber bracelets and the door prize was an Xbox. She took Bre on a
family vacation to Hawaii, Ashley’s first flight. And when the friends
go out–tonight it’s to Chili’s–she picks up the tab.

"This teenage girl … got more views for our video than Youtube."

This summer, she’s the boss. One of Ashley’s friends had pitched in
making layouts last year, but things got a tad awkward when Ashley
thought her friend’s productivity was dipping. Now she insists they’ve
made up–BFF. But after the misunderstanding, she wrote up employee
guidelines. She wanted to spell out her expectations. Lippitt is
impressed. She’s learning from her mistakes, a challenge for any new
entrepreneur.

"I told them I need a minimum of 25 layouts a week to get paid," Ashley says. "It’s just business."

Do I keep my site? Do I sell and be set for life? God, it’s all so overwhelming. –August 4, 2006; 1:30 a.m.

Last year, Steve Greenberg, the former
president of Columbia Records and now the head of indie label S-Curve
Records, witnessed the power of Whateverlife. Greenberg discovered Joss
Stone, produced the Hanson brothers, and helped make Baha Men’s "Who
Let the Dogs Out" an unofficial sports anthem. Last year, he decided to
promote Jonas Brothers, an unknown pop trio, online instead of on
radio. He turned to Nabbr, a company that had developed a viral widget,
a small desktop application that plays videos and can be easily shared
with other sites. It’s like "a music poster on a bedroom wall," says
Mike More, Nabbr’s CEO.

The widget made its Internet debut on Whateverlife. While surfing
MySpace for leads, More had noticed how many Jonas Brothers fans used
Whateverlife layouts. In less than two months, 60,000 fans transferred
the Jonas Brothers’ three-part video from Whateverlife to their MySpace
pages, in effect becoming 60,000 new distribution points. "This teenage
girl in the Midwest got more views for our video than YouTube," says
Greenberg, 46. "It wasn’t even close." The viral campaign encouraged
fans to vote for the band on MTV’s Total Request Live, and the group’s song "Mandy" hit No. 4, unheard of without radio play.

"I created this from nothing, and I want to see how far I can take it."

Since then, Whateverlife has become one of the primary vehicles for
Nabbr’s viral campaigns for artists and movies, breaking acts such as
the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and 30 Seconds to Mars, as well as Lily
Allen. More’s staff sends Ashley signed CDs and photos to pass on to
Whateverlife fans, and artists record personal shout-outs to her and
Whateverlife that play on her site. She’s light years ahead of
traditional media such as Teen Vogue, More says. "If I were Condé Nast, I’d figure out a way to buy her," he says. "I would."

As previous suitors can attest, that wouldn’t be easy. In March
2006, an associate of MySpace cofounder Brad Greenspan approached
Ashley with a bid valued at more than $1.5 million. She passed. Three
months later, Greenspan’s people came back with a second offer:
$700,000, a car, and her own Internet show with a marketing budget of
$2 million.

Sorry, fellas. "I created this from nothing, and I want to see how
far I can take it," Ashley says. "If I wanted to do an Internet show, I
could do it on my own. I have the audience."

Until now, she has maintained a remarkably low profile in the
offline world. Her scheduled appearance on the "Totally Wired Teen
Superstars" panel at Mashup,
a teen-marketing conference in July, was to be her first
public-speaking appearance–and her first business trip. An even bigger
gig is possible: her own reality-TV show. Rick Sadlowski, a TV
production executive in Detroit who worked with Eminem when he was
still Marshall Mathers, is eager to pitch the idea to MTV. Ashley is
mulling it over.

Move over, Paris Hilton. It’s Whateverlife: The Not-So Simple Life.

Got evaluated by my therapist for emancipation–need to get a few teachers’ written letters; should be cool :) –April 7, 2007; 9:53 p.m.

In February 2006, following a falling-out
with her mother, Ashley moved in with her father and older brother.
With her business booming, she says, she began supporting
them–groceries, bills, rent, renovations. At first, she didn’t mind.
One of the benefits of Whateverlife was the ability to take care of her
family in a way she’d never imagined, certainly not when she was a
child overhearing arguments about unpaid bills. Ashley says she bought
her brother a used car and paid her grandmother’s taxes. The insurance
through Whateverlife covered her mother’s back surgery. But in August,
Ashley moved back in with her mother. She hasn’t spoken to her father
since. Or to her brother, who later filed (then withdrew) a petition to
become her conservator. "I used to trust easily," Ashley says. "I’ve
learned to be careful."

When her brother took his name off a joint bank account with her,
Lincoln Park Community Credit Union petitioned the probate court to
assign a conservator. After several months, the judge tapped attorney
Alan May. He has 40 years’ worth of experience with conservatorships,
but Ashley’s situation makes the case unique in his career. Although
May’s role is protecting Ashley’s interests, it hasn’t always felt that
way to her, not when she hasn’t had complete control over the money she
made. But she says, "I don’t want this to come across like a war."

Until recently, though, the tension was undeniable. Ashley was
unhappy having to get May’s approval for expenses such as her mother’s
nearly $500-a-week pay. May declined to discuss the case, but in papers
filed last spring with the court, he characterized LaBrecque as
uncooperative and evasive.

"They’re making me out to be the bad guy," Ashley’s mother says.
LaBrecque, 42, had little growing up herself. Her father worked on the
assembly line at General Motors until he died of a heart attack at 42,
leaving his wife to raise six kids on Social Security. "It was rough
but we survived," she says. "I feel so lucky my daughter doesn’t have
to live the life I lived."

In mid-July, seven months after being assigned a conservator, Ashley
finally sat down with everybody for the first time: her mother, her
lawyer, her consultant, her guardian ad litem, and her conservator. She
says that she feels much better about the situation.

But that doesn’t change the fact that she wants to be on her own.
The typical conservatorship case involves a minor with an inheritance
or an elderly person who has lost his faculties. "It’s unusual to be
emancipated to run your own business," says Darren Findling, Ashley’s
lawyer. "But she’s the perfect candidate–an Internet superstar who
happens to be a minor."

For now, she’s trying to block all this out and concentrate on her business.

On Thursday, while her friends are slaving through exams, Ashley
meets with Lippitt for two hours. They couldn’t appear more different.
He’s a low-key, analytical sort with a law degree. Lives on the other
side of town, in the tony Bloomfield Hills suburb. Drives a black
Lexus, a rarity on her block. As an entrepreneur, though, she relates
to him better than anyone else right now.

"I know, I’m always jumping on 10,000 things," Ashley says and then
pitches her latest brainstorm, her own social- networking application
for girls.

"Hmm," he says. "How do you think the reaction of MySpace would be?"

A teenage CEO, Lippitt is learning, is even more easily distracted
and more fearless than an adult entrepreneur. "Failure is an abstract
concept to her, and I want it to stay that way," he says. When he was a
teenager, his father lost his body shop and had to start over,
attending law school in his forties.

Lippitt urges Ashley to prioritize and think about profits as well
as design. As clever as her site-building tool is, it doesn’t allow a
way to run ads on the pages it creates. "You’re leaving revenue on the
table," he tells her.

At times, Lippitt has to remind himself that she’s only 17. "Even if
she could go a lot faster, I don’t know if that’s the best thing for
her," he says. "She’s already in the adult world doing adult things.
I’m reluctant to drive her away from living an important and fun time
in her life."

But he’s not shy about pushing her when she needs it. Today, he
tells her it’s time to consider approaching companies to advertise. So
far, she has relied largely on Google AdSense, which supplies ads in
exchange for what she says is a 40% cut. The direct model is not only
potentially more lucrative but also allows her to target brands more
suited to teens than, say, Microsoft Office 2007. "I’m not sure that’s
a good fit," he says of the software ad placed by ValueClick.

Ashley is excited about the idea. And a little nervous. She’ll need
a sales presentation, a company logo, and ad rates. Eventually, she may
want to hire a sales rep, a job she’d never heard of until Lippitt
described it. More important, she’ll need to sell herself to name-brand
companies. "If she can combine "I’m 17′ with a little more about her
business, I think she’s unstoppable," Lippitt says.

This could be the next growth spurt for Ashley and Whateverlife.
It’s scary, sure, but she’s getting used to the demands and challenges
of "this crazy opportunity." She’s learning, stretching, getting that
much-needed seasoning.

She and Lippitt brainstorm about which brands would resonate with
girls like her. This is the fun part. No petitions. No regrets. No
family feud. Just a 17-year-old and her big dreams in a pink, pink,
pink world full of promise. And if they don’t come true? Well, there’s
always college.

Whateverlife.com is among the most popular destinations for layouts for MySpace pages…

  • No. 147 Pimp-my-profile.com
  • No. 204 Hotfreelayouts.com
  • No. 349 Whateverlife.com

And ranks way above more traditional teen titles…

  • No. 349 Whateverlife.com
  • No. 3,851 Seventeen.com
  • No. 9,185 Cosmogirl.com
  • No. 23,197 Teenvogue.com

As well as many bigger brands

  • No. 349 Whateverlife.com
  • No. 356 FoxNews.com
  • No. 403 CBS.com
  • No. 469 Oprah.com
  • No. 496 Marthastewart.com
  • No. 529 VH1.com

Rankings as of July 10, 2007

 

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