Real Life Princesses – an Interview with the Author

Hey GirlMoguls – we recently told you about the treasury of Real Life Princesses – a new book series about real life queens and princesses.  We got to ask a few questions about the series with the author Shirin Yin:

1.       What do you think girls can learn about leadership from this series

Well, in a way these princesses leave us without excuses. Some of them came from times and cultures where the barriers against women being able to lead were enormous compared to those we still face today. When Artemisia was a child, girls were supposed to stay inside the house. Nur Jahan came from a culture where she was never supposed to even show her face. Even in Ancient Egypt, where women had many rights compared to other parts of the ancient world, and where there had been many powerful queens, Hatshepsut was the first queen to say “I’m doing the work, I should get the recognition” and declare herself Pharaoh.

2.       These princesses were important because of who they, but they never would have gotten a chance to “shine” if they hadn’t been born to or married the “right” person – what can the modern girl take away from this?

Well, I’m not sure that’s quite true. It would be unfair to think that these girls had it easy—that their paths were greased just because they were princesses. No doubt there were many advantages to being a princess, not least their proximity to power, but, you also have to remember, for example, that of all the Ancient Greek princesses over hundreds if not thousands of years, Artemisia is the only one that we know of who found a way to learn how to sail a ship! She is the only one we know of who led a navy. And then, as the sole woman surrounded by a cohort of men, she outshone them, not only with her prowess, but with her courage and honesty. In fact, in Ancient Greece, as in many cultures, the higher your birth, the more secluded you often were.


So I think the point here is that each one of these princesses did what even other princesses had failed to do. The modern message is that whatever the limitations you face, however much or little is expected of you, however hard or easy your particular position in society makes it, you can do more than that. You can do what nobody might expect of you—and everything that you want and expect for yourself.

3.       Do you have a favorite princess? If so, why

I think Qutlugh is my favorite princess because she betters the traditional fairy-tale. Here’s a princess who was beautiful—so beautiful that wars were fought over her. But better than that, she was wise—so wise that the people overturned tradition and asked her to stay on as their ruler. How fabulous then that what she is remembered for is neither her beauty nor her wisdom. Instead, she is remembered for her compassion, for proving time and again that there was room for mercy. I love that! In my opinion, beauty’s not a bad thing to have, wisdom’s even better, but the best thing, surely, is to be kind.

4.       Do you think there are things girls can do – even when they’re “young” to get themselves ready for success, or greatness?

I’d say, pay attention. Look around you and think about you see. What is good? What is fair? Why are people doing the things they’re doing? And look inside you. What do you like? What interests you? It’s easiest to be successful when you are following a passion. And to be great, I think you need to know what you stand for.

5.       Anything else you would like share or highlight?

For those of your readers who might not have heard of us before, I’d like to invite them to check us out at For those of your readers who are already fans, I’m happy to share the news that we are launching a new series, The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Dastardly Dames, this October!


Interview with Bindi Irwin – Real Life Animal rescurer

Hey GirlMoguls – we had the chance to talk to Bindi Irwin, who’s a tween but has quite the reputation as a wildlife animal expert and rescurer.  She gets to travel the world helping animals, plus she lives at the zoo (for real!) and has a new series of books based on her adventures – we got her to give us the dish on what’s it’s like to be a real life adventure-ess: (And You Can Buy Her Books Here:


The books are based on your real life adventures – can you tell us how you find your adventures – or do they find you?

Both!  The idea behind the books was to write stories that were enjoyable to all kids and that were fictional, based on our family’s real life adventures.

It was a lot of fun helping with the books because I was a co-creator. I got to proofread the final copy of all of the books to make sure that the facts were correct and that the story line was how I wanted it to be. I also got to pick the animals and the storylines that the books were based on.

The first book, Trouble at the Zoo, is about my birthday at Australia Zoo and how it almost got ruined by a 10 year old boy trying to sneak one of our beautiful water dragons out of the zoo. It is fantastic!

The second book, Rescue, is about a trip to South Africa. My friend Hannah and I discover a nature preserve for the giant stable antelope that is being used for illegal hunting at night.  It’s an exciting story!


You seem to have so much going on – books, TV, school – how do you balance it all?  Can you give other tween girls tips on how they can achieve their dreams and stay focused on their goals?

My advice is a good education and willingness to volunteer and demonstrate passion. My dad always taught me that one man can make a difference, and I believe that one kid can make a difference too.


What’s been your favorite adventure?

When I was filming Free Willy I got to work with some incredible African wildlife.  I also got to work with a little penguin called Englebert and he was quite the character.  They used to get him to walk to the camera by putting some of his penguin friends behind the camera and he would waddle towards them.  It was really very interesting working with trained animals as opposed to the wildlife I film with in documentaries.


Where so you see yourself in five and ten years?

When I get older, I would like to tackle bigger issues. I would like to tackle even greater issues that are troubling our planet. We have a lot of problems. The single greatest challenge we face today is an ever exploding population. There are serious issues with wildlife farming, for example, which also need to be considered.

I want to carry on my dad’s legacy. I think of myself as a teacher and I know my dad was a teacher too. I’m lucky that I’m not only talking to adults, but also to children. I think it’s so important to empower kids because we are the next voters. We are the next decision makers, and we are the next generation making a difference on our planet.

I will be continuing to fight to save the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve from the threat of being strip mined and carrying on in my dad’s footsteps. If you would like to help me Save Steve’s Place please go to and sign the petition.

Interview with DragonFly Girl Gear Founder


DragonFly Girl GearHey GirlMoguls – today we have a real girl mogul for you, a mom who started her own company – and was inspired by you – real life girls who love sports.  Read on for our interview with: MaryAnne Gucciardi, President and Founder of Dragonfly girlgear™.  You can check out their gear at:

Or with your parent’s permission, check out this cool giveaway on our mom site:

  1. Why did you start THIS kind of company – why did you feel that girls needed special sports gear? I started Dragonfly girlgear™ out of personal need.  My daughter plays soccer and I was having a difficult time finding good fitting performance wear for girls.  I realized I was not alone with this need.  I was listening to another mom on the way home from a soccer tournament about how her daughter needed appropriate performance (wicking) wear and how hard it was to find something that fit well.  That’s when I had an “aha” moment – I realized I could do something about this.  That was March 2009 and a few months later the Un-Tee™ was developed and produced.


  1. What does girl power mean to you? It is freedom to do what you love -no barriers, no constraints.  As a parent, it means giving my daughter the freedom to be who she is, with encouragement and support and without judgment.

3. What’s the best part about being your own boss? The best part is seeing an idea become a reality.  When I see an order arrive, I cannot believe these beautiful products are mine and what is even more gratifying is when I see a girl  that I know wears my products, playing like a pro and knowing I helped.


The worst part? Working for yourself means a lot of hours, especially early on when you are in the start up phases.  That is why it is so important to love what you are doing so it doesn’t feel burdensome.


4. Any advice for girls who want to start their own business – either now – or in the future?

1.  Get confident with taking risks – it can be taking that shot at goal, trying for another basket or stealing a base, but it can also be writing something and sending it in to the newspaper.

2. Develop resilience.  This has to do with how you react to failure.  Brush it off and learn from it.  Don’t replay that tape in your mind.

3. Read everything – you never know where the next big idea will come from.

4. Do your math – calculating sales tax, discounts and ratios are the math foundations for a future business.

5. Which public figure(s) inspire you?

Bert Goyle, Chairwoman of Columbia

Madeleine Albright and Hillary Clinton (Secretaries of State)

Debbie Yow, Athletic Director at NC State.  (there are only three female athletic directors in the entire country)


Which private figure(s) inspire you?

My husband, son and daughter.

My favorite quote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.“

–Marianne Williamson

Interview With Ayla Kell

We got the chance to interview Ayla Kell from ABC’s Make it Or Break It – we asked her some hard hitting GirlMogul questions so we could get the down low on what it takes to be a successful – whether it’s in show biz or just life!

Q. Did you always know you wanted to be a performer/?  How/When did you know that this is what you wanted to do?

A.  Yes. When I was younger I knew I would be a performer of some kind, just didn’t know what type. I knew that I loved to entertain people, make them smile, cry, feel something. I love to make people experience something. Whether it was dancing, or acting, I wasn’t sure. But I knew that my being a performer was already in my future.

Q. You have been successful at so many things from such a young age – did you have a plan or goals to get you there?  If so do you have tips on how other girls can achieve their dreams?

A. While I didn’t have a plan at a young age, I had determination and drive to make it happen. Anything is possible. And it’s so easy to get caught up in how big your goals are, and how small and insignificant one can feel. You can’t focus on that. You have to focus on doing small things everyday to build up to achieving your dream. I never try to achieve being the best in the world, just doing my personal best, because that’s all I have to compare what I’m capable to.

Q. Singing and performing sounds like fun – not work – but it must be – can you tell us about a typical day for you – what’s your favorite parts – and your least favorite parts

A. On a typical day of work, I get up at 5:00 am, get to work by 5:30 am. Eat a breakfast burrito (one of my favorite things), and get into makeup and hair. During that time, I go over my lines for that day to make sure I’m on it and prepared. Then we will shoot. We shoot each scene from a couple different angels and sizes, but we just do the same thing over and over while the camera changes. Lunch. Then back to work till we get our page count done for that day. It averages about 12 hours, then come home. Take a run, yoga, shower, food, learn lines for the next day. And get up and do it all again. While it’s busy and hectic at times, I would never change it.

Q.Do you have any advice for girls who want to achieve something big – how to stick to their goal, how to say focused, ignore naysayers, etc?

A. For girls who want to achieve something big- Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is a person. It takes years and experience to become your fullest person. And as badly as I wanted to achieve things when I was younger, I think I wouldn’t have known what to do with the success. Letting things happen in the way they were supposed to made my life such a wonderful thing. I never stopped working hard, but I stopped stressing about being perfect. Of course every once in a while I stress myself out, but I’m human. Now I’ve found a way to focus that stress into drive, focus, and determination. You can try to tell me I can’t do it, but that just makes me wanna do it even more.

Q. If you could change something about the world, what would it be and why?

A.  I don’t generally like to entertain hypotheticals, it encourages the idea of wishing something away which will never come true. But if I had to choose something to make the world a better place, I would want to find a way that we could refocus the copious amounts of waste into a way to feed the entire world. It’s possible, science.

Q. What are your favorite movies?

A. Asking me about movies/tv is like asking a historian about history. I can talk about movies all day. Favorite movies are “Adam’s Rib” or “Night at the Opera” featuring my boys the Marx Bros. If you wanna talk tv- I’ve seen every episode of Seinfeld, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mr. Show, Arrested Development, and about a million others. I like outlandish comedies that are character driven. Books. I love getting caught up in a book. “Water for Elephants” was a great one this year. But my favorite books are “Great Gatsby”, “Galapagos”, “The World as I See It” (Albert Einstein), “Ham on Rye”, and “Catcher in the Rye”. We have to cover music in another interview, because I will write an essay on that alone.

And in her own words….

A.Oddly enough. You guys asked me 7 questions, which I’m obsessed with. The number 7 is HUGE in my life. Born October 7th, my parent’s got married on 7.7.77 at 7 o’clock, my sister was 7. It’s too much!!!