KYLA BRENNAN, 28

HelloSociety, an online

marketing company specializing in Pinterest, Santa Monica

Employees: 22

Financials: Profitable.

What led you to start your own company?

I wanted to find better ways to engage with the Pinterest community and help create an organic bridge for marketers using the platform.

Where did you get the startup money?

Fortunately, the company has always been under the Science Inc. umbrella, which generously supported our launch.

What was the biggest challenge?

One of the first and biggest challenges we faced was convincing top-tier brands to start using a relatively new social media platform when many of them were just starting to get familiar with Facebook and Twitter. The primary obstacle was the lack of measurement tools available at the time, so we listened to what our clients needed in terms of measurement data and built the tools necessary to deliver those figures. Now we’ve worked with more than 350 brands and have played a role in more than 700 successful Pinterest campaigns for leading companies such as Buick, HauteLook, Madewell and BeachMint, to name just a few.

What was the most important lesson you learned?

The most important lesson I’ve learned is that creating a happy and productive company culture is paramount. Passionate, talented people make a company great and when everyone comes together to drive an innovative idea forward, incredible things happen.

How many hours a day do you put in?

I average at least 10 hours each day and, although I find myself thinking about work all the time, I do try to balance work life with a personal life.

Does your youth ever lead to awkward situations, such as when you supervise older workers or meet with clients and investors?

Sometimes, yes, but I’ve found that it really comes to down to how you conduct yourself. Once you’ve demonstrated knowledge in your field and the ability to lead, age differences don’t play a very big role.

Will you start another company?

At some point I probably will, but I still think there’s a lot I can do with HelloSociety and I’m committed to helping this company reach its full potential.

Could you ever work for someone else?

Yes, of course! I know I’m still young and I think there will always be things I can learn from the right mentors in the right situations.

What do you do to relax?

I do a lot of reading to give my eyes a break from the screen, and I try to catch up with friends as often as possible. I also like to hike and try to take spinning and Pilates classes as often as possible.