By Jules Lavallee
Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 06/06/2020 – Isabella Barrett, one of the youngest self-made millionaires, started her career as TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras star. Isabella Barrett, became one of the youngest self-made millionaires in the USA by the time she was 6 years old. Now a teenager who owns 5 brands and dresses many of today’s top teen celebrities.
From your breakout role in the hit show, “Toddlers & Tiaras” to NBC’s Bravo “Game of Crowns” to your own series in Germany, “Beauty Queens.” Share a few of the lessons that you have learned.
The first thing I learned and what everyone asks me, “Is Reality TV real?” The answer is “Yes But ” there are different variations of what’s REAL on Reality TV and while it’s certainly filmed unscripted there are numbers of convocations and situations that you would normally never put yourself in. This is what aids in all of the most memorable moments you see on TV. On the flip side, you always go into the day saying I am going to be on my best behavior but then after 7 hours of being asked the same question or being pumped up with information on gossip you normally “would never know” you just have to say something ..lol this applies more to seeing my older friends on the shows but its so interesting how a show is made.
Another great tip is to use your time on tv as a way to promote the things you love and care about. This means maybe a business you want to start or charities you want to highlight but whatever it is don’t let all that free advertising go to waste. #makeitcount
As one of the youngest self-made millionaires in the USA, what has been your greatest challenge as an entrepreneur?
I think one of the greatest challenges is staying successful or launching new brands that live up to the first big success. I also think sharing your story and being relatable is so important. I Am just finishing writing a book called “Teens Guide to Business” and I share all my wins, failures, things I found helpful, and things I found to be a big waste of my time. When you’re a teen in business you want logical but easy to understand information and that’s what my book will offer.
Who inspires you?
I Am inspired by other kids and teens who are also doing even bigger things than me. I love attending Young Entrepreneur Conventions and events that support young creators because there is nothing better than being around like-minded people.
You own 5 brands and dress many of today’s top teen celebrities. What are some of the trends that you see?
A few trends that have become a staple in teens shopping experience is that they want to know the core message behind the brand there buying. This could be as complex as a movement or vegan/cruelty free message or it could be a message like ours which is more simple in our promise to make comfortable couture. House of Barretti represents clothing that fits well, is made well, that is made in the USA, and is lined and gives a more customized look and feel than a brand producing millions of the same blazer.
Another trend that teens like myself really care about is when buying specialty pieces like a House of Barretti Suits they don’t want 5 other friends to own the same thing. For us, that’s a simple quest because we never make more than 100 of the same exact suit and this is something that keeps us in high demand with boutiques.
What is the misconception of young people with money?
I can only speak for myself, for me, I don’t have 1 million dollars cash just sitting around waiting for me to cash it like a lottery ticket at 18. When you build brands and companies you usually own shares of the business and you can either pull a paycheck from the company and put it in escarole or sell your shares and put that money in a Money Market account or you can reinvest some money in another business idea. While some of my money is a liquid asset (this means cash in the bank) a lot is shares and or reinvestments in other brands I am trying to make big. Being young means you have a lot more options on trying to take your money and make more money with it. As you get older and car, house, school, and eventually family bills come up you can’t take as much of a risk. Dream big while you’re young but always think 10 years ahead.
Tell us about your new book, “Teen’s Guide to Business.” Why is this important to you?
Writing a book about business became very important to me when I really couldn’t find good quality business information targeted just for Kids & Teens. A lot of business advice was for adults 18 and over and a lot of the information was written in complicated terms that really could have been simplified, so that’s what I did. Business should not be scary, it should be exciting but you have to follow a basic formula to success. Right now is a great time for teens to start a brand. We all have free advertising tools at our fingertips. Facebook and Instagram were built for branding yourself and your business and it’s easier than ever to open a website and get your brand out there.
You are on the new Amazon show, “Next Big Thing NYC.” What excites you about this project?
I am very excited to be a part of NBT because it allows me to be around other like-minded teens all trying to make it big in their individual fields. The support of the cast is so important in a world where a lot of times kids will actually down you for doing something different. I really think the world is going to love NBT because it’s not just a bunch of rich kids running around with drama but it shows the grind, the ups and downs, and real pressures of trying to make it big in a sea of other teens wanting the same thing.
Can you offer a few tips/ideas on creating a business during quarantine?
I truly believe now is a great time to start a business and with so much change in the world it’s creating space for new brands and ideas. The best thing to do once you know what you want to sell, decide who your target market is and how you’re going to reach them. I love doing a “test market Instagram blast” which is where you ask your Instagram viewers on Instagram Story to give you feedback. 1. Would you buy this product? How much would you pay? Do you think there is a need? Don’t be afraid to ask people what they think! The days of having to keep your projects quiet are over, be bold and out there this lessens the risk factor and helps you gauge if your idea will work. 2. Don’t be afraid to fail! If you get a chance to watch my Business Tips series on IGTV which covers tips on how to be successful but I also talk about brands I started that failed and not to give up. 3. Be relatable, don’t always paint the picture that you just had success all the time, talk about the struggles, and just be honest. When your relatable people will share more honest feedback with you, treat fans like friends.
YouTube: Isabella Barrett
Photo Credit: Heidi Drexler Photography