Alana Andrews was just 7 years old when Oprah Winfrey aired her last episode, but if Ms. Winfrey’s motivational hour was still on the air today, it’s a pretty good hunch that Alana would have been a shoe-in to sit on her couch.
A rising sophomore, Alana is a motivational speaker who has already authored two books, runs a mentorship program for fifth graders and is readying a winter product launch—an all-natural sports drink aimed at kids—all under the umbrella of her company, So Positive.
“So Positive develops products to help teens create the self-confidence they need in order to achieve greatness while pursuing their goals in life,” says Alana, of her company’s mission. “I’ve always grown up in a really positive household. My parents have always taught me the importance of self-confidence and positivity, but I noticed at a young age that a lot of my peers did not have a high level of self-confidence like I did. I realized what that can lead to … and the negative results that can lead to. I wanted to create a company that can help my peers.”
Her talent for public speaking has led to a number of high-profile local speaking engagements. Last year, for example, she spoke at the Northern Virginia Women’s Business Conference, the state’s largest women’s business conference, and she’s on the lineup again for this December. This winter, she’ll also serve as an ambassador for the B.O.L.D. Conference (formerly the Young Women Business Leadership Conference) at Harvard University.
As part of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she developed her business plan for Swey, an all-natural sports drink she plans to take to market this winter. The idea for the drink, she says, was born when she was looking for a healthy way to replenish herself after exercising. But, says Alana, all the sports drinks were targeted to adults and had too many artificial ingredients in them.
Alana still has three more years of high school ahead of her, but she’s already got plans well into adulthood. She wants to attend Stanford University for both her bachelor’s and master’s in international business before heading to Oxford University for her Ph.D.
As for So Positive, “I want to continue what I’m doing right now, which is owning my own company,” she says. “I really do see So Positive becoming a household brand name. I really do see it becoming a huge company and that is what I’m working on developing now.”
She’s already got her third book in the works (a collection of interviews with “strong, independent women”) and has her eye on launching a line of professional clothing for Generation Z.
Forget that missed opportunity on Oprah. It seems like the premiere of The Alana Andrews Show is only a matter of time.