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Entrepreneurship: Ashley Qualls Takes Manhattan

Set your Tivo. Ashley Qualls, the 17-year-old wunderkind and founder of Whateverlife.com, is scheduled to appear on The View on Friday (after Diane Sawyer). Since our story on Ashley appeared in the September issue, her already extraordinary life has become even more of a whirlwind.

Let’s see, she was legally emancipated from her parents, giving her control of Whateverlife’s assets. She signed with a talent agency in Hollywood. She’s considering writing a book about how she built her business. She turned down another offer for the site, this time for $2.5 million. Now she’s all over the Detroit media. Crain’s Detroit. The Free Press. FM 97.1. CNN even ran WXYZ’s story. Yes, just your average run-of-the-mill month in the life of this teenager.

On Monday she arrived in New York for the first time, with her mother and Robb Lippitt, her consultant, in tow. Ashley is meeting this week with potential advertisers and attending Ypulse Tween Mashup, a marketing conference on Friday. When she dropped by Fast Company’s offices after taping The View, Lippitt was fielding more emails for interviews and speaking engagements even as we were catching up.

I love this detail. She told me did her homework and learned that Barbara Walters’ birthday was Tuesday. When Ashley showed up at the studio, she gave Walters a present – a Whateverlife t-shirt. Smart girl. As I keep telling everyone who asks me about her, she’s a born entrepreneur.

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