“What in the world are you doing?” Kim asked me the other day. We were in line at the grocery store, and I had just placed a magazine in our pile of stuff. “Are you buying a fashion magazine?”
“It's not a fashion mag,” I said. “Look! It's awesome! It's a magazine targeted at teaching teen girls how to become entrepreneurs.”
And that's how I discovered the wonderful world of Teen Boss.
Last summer in an interview with the blog Fashionista, Teen Boss editor Brittany Galla said that the magazine aims to fill a glaring market gap: “With the influence of Shark Tank and social media, we're seeing a huge increase of tweens and teens who are looking to create their own business or dream about running their own business one day.”
While the critics are right that the content in Teen Boss skews shallow and superficial, I think they're wrong to dismiss the magazine entirely. I believe that, on the whole, Teen Boss is exactly the sort of thing we should be encouraging our kids to read. It's positive. It's inspirational. It encourages self-reliance.
There's no doubt that much of the magazine's content is focused on fashion and social media (which is why some adults have a problem with it). I'm okay with that. Lots of adult entrepreneur publications are focused on social media nowadays too.
My issue of Teen Boss profiles dozens of teen entrepreneurs, including:
- Allan Maman and Cooper Weiss, who founded a company called Fidget360 that uses 3D printers to produce fidget spinners. (Forbes ran an article on them too.)
- Amira and Kayla, two 11-year-old twin sisters from Brooklyn, New York who make money as DJs. (Here's an article about them at Uproxx.)
- Zandra, a teen from Buffalo, New York, who sells a line of natural skin-care products that she created. (Here's an article about Zandra from a regional magazine.)
- Brandon and Jordan, who created their own clothing brand called Young Moguls.
The issue of Teen Boss I purchased also includes business advice from adult CEOs, a collection of business lessons from fictional characters, a huge section on creating a vision board, and examples of business ideas that did not work out.
Despite its flaws, I think Teen Boss is awesome. I'm sad that adults have been so quick to dismiss what looks like a positive, inspirational publication. Would they rather have our kids reading Seventeen and People?