Content Creator: Sophia Rossi, HelloGiggles

This article is part of our Create & Cultivate 100 List created in collaboration with KEDS, you can view the full Content Creator List Here.   

Played nice on the Internet and won. 

Sophia is wearing Keds' Champion Originals.

Sophia Rossi wants to run her own farm. For now she’s CEO of the HelloGiggles fam. 

Despite the community she's fostered, Sophia didn’t get her start in "feel good" entertainment. “I started my career,” she says, “as a producer for The Hills, The City, and then Glee.”(One of those things, not quite like the others.) She began as an Associate Producer on the pilot of The Hills, and over the course of five years the content guru grew into the role of Executive Producer.   

“I think working in entertainment,” the LA native shares, “showed me how negative the climate could be for women on a large scale. So when I met Zooey [Deschanel and Sophia’s HelloGiggles co-founder] and we both wanted to create a positive space for women, I think we were both coming from the same place.”

It’s a place that prepared her for her new role. “As a producer,” Sophia explains, “you have to just make things happen. And when you start your own company, it’s that same energy of, OK, let’s figure it out.” 

Which they did. The company's first digs were Sophia's home, three blocks away from her parents in Beverly Hills. An empowerment den filled with positive vibes. In 2015, HelloGiggles was purchased by Time for a reported 20 million dollars. Sophia has stayed on; her role in creating safe spaces for women on the internet is invaluable. 

“The internet can get pretty dark," she says. "I think 2016 showed us just how bad things can get, so it’s important to me that we have a place where women can share their voice and connect with each other on the issues that matter the most to them. Our community is always growing, and I love knowing there will always be a place for women to come and share their empowerment and be entertained, too.”

"It’s important to me that we have a place where women can share their voice."

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Sophia is wearing Keds' Champion Originals.

"When you’re running a startup," Sophia says about the early days, "there’s a new challenge every day. It’s literally 24/7 of putting out fires and there’s that sort of high you get from from moving from one panic to the next. The biggest challenge is to not let that be the culture of your company." She knows things don’t always work out, but has learned “it’s never the catastrophe you thought it would be.” 

“When you’re building something, you don’t always know what it’s going to look like when it’s finished. But then you realize it's never quite finished. So staying authentic to myself and my original goals helps me make sure my career stays on track." 

For Sophia the challenge and opportunity is "more than just inspiring other women with words." The job of HelloGiggles is to give the community "tools to really make big changes in their lives. And hopefully that inspires them to go out and do the same for other women, too." 

When times turn tough, Sophia will turn to friends she counts as mentors, like fellow media boss Katherine Power (and fellow C&C 100 honoree), and friend Joyce Azria who one told Sophia, “'Always have clean hair.'" Advice that made a lot of sense to her

And she’s not joking about the farm part. 

I’m working closely with chef Roy Choi (of Kogi Truck and Locol) and we’re seeing what we can build together," she reports. "He’s such a leader and a motivator and I’m so honored to learn from him and benefit from his positive energy. But in five years, my hope is that I’m finally drinking enough water and that I own a farm." She would like said farm to have chickens. 

“My favorite thing to do," Sophia says, "is create a space for humans to thrive.” From career goals to squad goals to squawk goals, it looks like success will come home to roost for this woman no matter what.