Monday, September 12, 2011

14year old self made millionaire, Ashley Qualls - 17-year-old is the CEO of a million-dollar business,

Ashley Qualls has made
a destination for millions of teenage girls



Ashley Qualls (born June 4, 1990) is an American entrepreneur from Lincoln Park, Michigan. Originally as a hobby, in 2004 at age 14, and now just 21, started a website called , designed to provide free steady supply of designs layouts and HTML tutorials for MySpace for people in her age.

In 2007 with seven million monthly visitors, has a larger audience than the circulation of Seventeen, TeenGirl, and CosmoGirl combined. In July, Quantcast ranked a staggering No. 349 out of more than 20 million sites. She's million sites --  ahead of,, and even

Ashley's parents were divorced.  She and her little sister, Shelby, were all crammed into her mother's one-bedroom apartment. But with her computer and savvy business sense she made a better life for all. In September 2006 she paid cash for a $250,000 home in a fenced-off subdivision in the community of Southgate. 

Ashley is different from the recent crop of high-profile teen entrepreneurs. She may not have an MBA, a high-school diploma, or even a driver's license then, but Ashley Qualls already had an influential and lucrative Web site.

MySpace co-founder Brad Greenspan once approached Ashley with a bid valued at more than $1.5 million. She passed. Later, Greenspan came back with a second offer: $700,000, the car of her choice (up to $100,000), and her own Internet show with a marketing budget of $2 million. Again, no thanks. "I want to see how far I can take it," she says. 


Whateverlife started as a hobby. Ashley figured out how to design MySpace layouts and posted them online for friends. She's a teenager, just like her audience. That gives Whateverlife an almost effortless authenticity. When word spread in the MySpace universe, the audience exploded. attracts more than 7 million visitors a month -- mostly teen girls, a valuable but typically elusive niche audience.

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 "It's all about giving girls what they want," Ashley says.

Whateverlife began pulling in more teenage girls than a Justin Timberlake concert - about a million a day. To pay for the servers needed to handle her traffic, she signed up for Google AdSense. With big audience, the site attracted advertisers. Ashley's first check was for $2,700. The next was $5,000, the third for $10,000 reaching as much as $70,000 a month.  

The checks kept coming and the business kept growing to the point Ashley also hired her mother, Linda LaBrecque, to help manage the company. In just two years it has generated more than $1 million in ad revenue and helped break new artists such as Lily Allen and the Jonas Brothers.


 She made a choice to quit school. “I guess when presented with an opportunity, you have to take it, and something have to give”. A smart person always pay attention to education, so perhaps she will continue education as she goes along, perhaps not through formal education (school, university), but through classes at community colleges, and through reading. In 2006, she resumed her studies and is now with Henry Ford Community College for a degree majoring in Graphic Design.

Linda LaBrecque is proud of Ashley. Prior to starting the business, she says, her daughter was too shy to even order a pizza by phone. Unlike many adults, Ashley has not succumbed to the temptations that new wealth can bring. She pays herself a modest salary of $3,000 a month. Aside from the house, she hasn't made any other major purchases.

Ashley has maintained a remarkably low profile in the offline world. Well, other than her site getting plugged on Carson Daily's radio show. Her scheduled appearance on the "Totally Wired Teen Superstar" panel at YPulse Mashup, a teen marketing conference, was her first public-speaking appearance -- and first business trip.

At the age of 18, she obtained legal emancipation, giving her the same legal status as an adult.


  1. hi katrina, wow ! a whopping 1m visits a day!
    she is of the right age group- i guess that's a plus in the virtual world.
    it's no surprise when we consider the time youngsters spent on the net daily... their world immersed in cyber..

  2. That is really amazing, how could she handle such a huge traffic? Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your comment, hope to see you often...

  3. Wow, I'm so proud of these young women who manage to do well in life on their own. We see so many bad role models in our society about women using their appearance to find some rich old guy who would take care of them. This story is like a breath of fresh air. A great article :D

  4. Hi CV, Treat and Trick and Andreea,

    At 14 and already so creative, my kids are all inspired by her achievements.

    Besides her many many more esp Farrah Gray, and in Malaysia, Child genius Adi Putra Abdul Ghani at such tender ages, already charting their journey towards success!


  5. This makes me want to kill myself when I see people less than half my age, in a flash of luck, succeeding. Bitterness? Jealousy? You bet!

    I had quite the head start on Ashley when it came to graphics design and website building (self taught just like her), yet I have not made any money from it, much less millions. I have put ALOT of work into what I did, but it has not translated into dollars no matter how hard I tried and worked. I cant stand success stories like these. Honestly, I WISH I could pump my fist in the air, and say something like “Yeah! Good for you Ashley!”, but I cant. If my life was any good, if I was content, if I had a decent amount of money in the bank, if I had a good roof over my head, if I had a good satisfying life, I could. But I cant.

    When you’re a failure in life, when no matter how long and hard you work, how hard you try, you’re still living in poverty, you’re still living a lousy life, when you’re a COMPLETE AND TOTAL LOSER, its hard, very hard, to read success stories like Ashley’s and not have thoughts of putting a gun in my mouth and pulling the trigger.

    Damn it, I had quite a few years head start ahead of Ashley (more than half her young lifetime), and out of the blue she starts her own website, and just a scant few months later begins collecting checks worth thousands of dollars month after month. As I understand it, she now earns more money in one month than I have in the past ten years (and probably will in the next ten).

    Where was I a few years back when Ashley got started at 14? I was working in an office building as a janitor, scrubbing toilets and urinals (among other equally disgusting and degrading janitorial duties), for not much above minimum wage. Where am I now? I lost that job, and am on food stamps. All the while, I tried (God knows I’ve TRIED!) to make just a few bucks at the very least over the internet, but it all came to nothing.

    When I think of all the hours, all the months, all the years, of hard, back breaking, sweaty, dirty, disgusting labor I’ve done over the years just to keep my head above water financially while at the same exact time some little teenaged girl somewhere in this country is earning more money in one week than I will see in two years (and buying herself a 4 bedroom HOUSE too), just by sitting in the comfort of her own home while working on her computer at her leisure, well it just makes me want to bang my head up against a wall and cry.

    DONT get me wrong. I dont think that Ashley shouldnt have her success. Its just that I wish that kind of success would come to ME just once in my life. Just ONCE.

  6. Hi Anon Sept 20 2:48AM

    JK Rowling had a hard life too, sheer determination and luck put her where she is today.

    I love to read and follow these stories as it helps remind me that success may come in any direction - and that we have to just keep on trying, who knows one day, god willing.

    Of 'cos it will trigger all kinds of frustrations in us, (don't we all?)but I think that is a healthy start - a motivating feeling of wanting to be as successful as them?


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