Being a young woman in business has shown me how important the power of diversity is across all platforms. Showing the youth of today’s generation that women can be icons, great writers, film makers, directors, and business moguls helps make dreaming big into achieving big dreams. It’s important in today’s culture that the “best person for the job” gets it and not follow stereotypical expectations of the past on what a studio director should look like.
As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Isabella Barrett.
Reality TV star, entrepreneur, actress and author. Many will remember Isabella Barrett on the TLC Reality series Toddlers & Tiaras. Now a teenager, she manages her own fashion empire “House of Barretti”. She is currently writing a How To book called TEEN GUIDE TO BUSINESS, and she will be featured on a show called “Next Big Thing” coming to Amazon Direct this April, 2020.
Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up with two very different lifestyles — kinda like Hannah Montana. LOL
On the weekends we lived in New York where we have an apartment in a high rise. I managed my brands and different successful businesses which I continue to do today. I spent time with my modeling friends, took taxies and shopped on 5th Avenue, traveled and attended a lot of events — all which I still do.
During the weekdays we lived in our house in Rhode Island where I attended school, I was the cheer captain for the basketball team. My recreational activities were jet skiing and 4-wheeling. I also attended family parties and worked on coming up with new brand ideas.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I was little, I participated in pageants which led me to becoming a Reality TV personality and opened the door to modeling, acting and singing.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
There are so many interesting things that have happened to me in my career, but something interesting is how each opportunity somehow lead me to the next one and even my failures seemed to have happened at the perfect time. For instance, had I booked the brand deal with Guess Jeans, I wouldn’t have been available for the Walmart national commercial- I would have been under contract. If I had not done the Walmart commercial, I wouldn’t have been noticed by my new Team Manager. So I think that it is so interesting to navigate the process, sometimes uncharted, and hear about other celebrities stories that say the same thing about being at the right place at the right time.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
A super funny story and mistake I made was when I was younger involves one of my favorite movies — it was called “Billy Madison. I used to watch it on replay over and over, and I could even repeat the words- word for word. Coincidentally, I got a chance to go to the MTV movie awards and actually met “him”- I was beyond excited. Thinking I knew it all at 8 years old, the second I spotted him back stage I walked right up to him and introduced myself and said “Hi Billy Madison, my name is Isabella Barrett” I am a big fan!!! There was only one problem, his name is Adam Sandler… His character name was Billy Madison…. Suddenly all the adults around me were laughing, and I turned to my mother to notice her mortified look on her face.
The lesson I learned is to know people’s names before you talk to them ESPECIALLY CELEBRITIES!!! LOL
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Some amazing projects that I am currently working on right now are:
- My book TEENS GUIDE TO BUSINESS.
- My new Reality TV show coming out on Amazon Direct called “Next Big Thing”. To know more about the show follow it on Instagram @nextbigthingnyc
- I also have a haircare line called House of Barretti that we are expanding into skin care…IT’S FIRE!
- I have another network TV show which I am hoping will air this summer. Follow me on Instagram @isabellabarrett123
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
Being a young woman in business has shown me how important the power of diversity is across all platforms. Showing the youth of today’s generation that women can be icons, great writers, film makers, directors, and business moguls helps make dreaming big into achieving big dreams. It’s important in today’s culture that the “best person for the job” gets it and not follow stereotypical expectations of the past on what a studio director should look like. Lastly, diversity and the #metoomovement have such an important role in our society, it’s important for everyone to educate themselves as to why and how we can become advocates…
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Choose your friends wisely and never mix business and friendship
- I have had friends that I thought were real but were just around for the “lifestyle”
- Listen to your gut feeling
- I have learned that my first choice is usually always right in clothes, boys, friends, and business
- Everyone gets their time to shine, be patient
- I have friends who can’t seem to be happy for each other. Everyone will have their time to shine and when it’s not yours, you should be happy for them
- Fame doesn’t always equal success, only hard work equals success
- Just because your photo is on a billboard or in a magazine that doesn’t mean you are a successful model or brand. What makes success is preparation, consistency, good work ethics, meaningful jobs, and clients.
- A photo lives forever on the internet
- I sometimes see old photos of me and I am like… Why did I wear that? Look at my hair! LOL
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Stay focused on your goals; don’t try and take on too much- thinking the more I do the more I will succeed. Answer these questions before you do something: Will this help my career? Does it make sense for me to do this type of job or interview? Do I already have too much going on?
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I really just want to inspire teens to start their own business and brands. Being an entrepreneur is one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me. It gives me so much focus on where to put my creative energy! I feel like if teens have a passion project to work on when they are bored, need a break from life, just need a creative outlet, business can do that for you.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mom is really my “everything”. She has been so amazing at both being there for me but still letting me make my own choices and sometimes mistakes… I honestly couldn’t do this without my mom.
When you are a kid, you always dream big, saying things like I would love to design a clothing line for teens and having a mom with the business knowledge to make it happen is something I, now as a teen, appreciate so much. She has impacted the way I see my life and future making me feel nothing is out of reach with hard work. All my experiences through pageants, music, TV, and business have been supported by my mom, including other activities that I would consider non-accomplishments like gymnastics, track, and the spelling bee. Although these didn’t work out with positive outcomes, they really were because my mom let me be me.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life? “Don’t put off work for tomorrow if you can do it today”. I have 100% learned from school work, to meet-ups, to looking for a birthday gift, that waiting until the last minute never pays off.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. I would love to meet with Kris Jenner. Surprised? Out of all the Jenner/Kardashians she is one of the smartest women I know, as she has made all of her daughters’ massive empires all while being a great mom, mentor and role model. She’s #1 in my eyes because without her there would be no Dynasty.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
YouTube Isabella Barrett