The homemade newsletter that turned into a multi-million dollar company.
On New Year’s Day in 2015, Daniella Pierson founded The Newsette, a newsletter aimed to inspire women all over the world and a way for Pierson to figure out her career path after college. She recalled to the Consumer News and Business Channel subdivision web page, CNBC Make It, “I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up or when I graduated.” At the time, she was in her sophomore year at Boston University. “Everyone around me was doing internships or they were specifically looking at one role and I had no idea what that was going to be for me.”
The Newsette began with about eight subscribers comprised of loved ones, typos, and widespread content; but as Pierson kept sending out her daily newsletter, her writing, editorial style, and content became honed. The newsletter now offers a wide range of information ranging from beauty and wellness tips to stock advice and technological improvements, all under five minute reads. There is also a daily highlight interview of amazing women, ranging from Selena Gomez to Diane von Furstenberg. “Sometimes when you read a newspaper or magazine, all you get is information about crimes or inflammatory headlines. It feels as if you enter the day with a load of negativity,” Juliana Zabaleta, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School stated. “Then you check your email and see a ton of promotions, to-do lists from colleges, or assignments. The Newsette is refreshing, it has a friendly and playful style that gets you hyped up about self-care, sustainability, or starting your own business.”
The Newsette brings a revolutionary source of concise and exciting information. It caters to women’s interests in all possible categories: business, technology, politics, health, beauty, psychology, entertainment, and sports. The newsletter works as a launching point for all topics while bringing to the spotlight local businesses, blogs, new companies, and sustainable alternatives for its readers.
Pierson, a business graduate, was a fan of magazines, yet her poor grades and lack of networking kept her from landing an internship or job at a major publication. “I was like, well, if my GPA and references aren’t going to get me to Conde Nast or Hearst then maybe if I start my own publication that will help me stand out,” she explained to CNBC Make It. “So, [Newsette] really started as a way for me to practice writing, because I was a terrible writer.”
The Newsette now reaches more than 500,000 subscribers, empowering incredible women, and it raked around six million dollars in revenue by the end of February 2021. Pierson made the Forbes “30 Under 30” list. She and her company are an encouragement for all college and high school students around the world: if you do not land your dream job, create your dream job. It is never too soon or too late to start working on something new because the only things needed are passion, discipline, and initiative.
The newsletter began in Pierson’s room during winter break of her sophomore year of college. “So, I would go into Facebook and I would find all of the people that I went to high school with who I hadn’t talked to in years,” she explained to CNBC Make It. “I would then click on their profile and see all of their new friends from their new colleges and I would message all of the girls being like, ‘Hey, I work for this really cool newsletter company. If you become an ambassador, you can put it on your resume.’”
For the first couple hundred subscribers, ambassadors acted as recruiters for The Newsette, bringing at least ten new people to the newsletter. Pierson would explain to them what language to use with their followers and how to present the brand. From there it was the readers’ propagation that made The Newsette what it is today.
“It is extraordinary to think of what she did,” Zabaleta emphasized. “Starting in her room and then becoming a multimillion-dollar company CEO for something that is completely free! It is absurd! It is the dream!”
The Newsette’s subscription is completely free which makes people question how a company with a free product earns profit. The response is found in the multiple advertisements and partnerships The Newsette has made with different businesses and brands. The subscribers receive knowledge about the “going on’s” of the world while companies receive a wide range of data about the large audience to aim their products at.“Our mission is to make women feel like they can kick ass every single day,” Pierson stated for Boston University’s blog “My Big Idea” section.
“High school is a time where everyone is trying to decide who they are, who they want to become, and what they’ll do for the rest of their lives. Even if it is not necessary, parents or society’s pressure makes it feel like it,” Zabaleta remarked. “So, learning that you can turn your passion into something completely different, new, or unexpected and still make it work is the best gift we could all receive: the knowledge that it’ll work itself out.”