With the success ‘Birthday Girl,’ Starshell has turned a hit single into a website where teens can discuss mental health problems. Now, she’s got funding for it.
So, what do you when your song becomes a hit? You turn it into a business, and help solve a problem in the world.
That’s exactly what Starshell did with the popularity her hit single, ‘Birthday Girl.’ Once a protégé Mary J. Blinge, the singer, born LaNeah Menzies, turned the song into a website.
Dubbed Birthday Girl World, the website received 208,740 total visits in January. Since its launch three years ago, Menzies’ website has reached over 250 million unique impressions. Birthday Girl World has become so popular that the singer has managed to raise $1 million in financing.
According to TechCrunch, Value Investment Group made the significant investment. Menzies will use the investment to hire new staff and supplement her ‘Birthday Girl’ company.
The singer isn’t only trying to make a prit from ‘Birthday Girl.’ With the success the song and her website, Menzies hopes to raise awareness about mental health issues teens face. Following the abrupt loss her teenage sister, the singer wants to help other young girls celebrate their identities as women.
“For me, I happened to lose my sister to teenage suicide. I decided to build a platform about suicide and mental health, and I created a song to back into the idea loving yourself. I created the song so I could back into the conversation.”
The song actually didn’t top the charts. Yet, it made enough an impact with the right demographic to take her uplifting message online. Admitting the limits ‘Birthday Girl,’ Menzies told TechCrunch,
Menzies added that the website first started as a Kickstarter campaign. The singer originally wanted to sell ‘Birthday Girl’ merchandise. Soon, however, the campaign evolved into a platform where teenage girls could discuss mental health problems.
With a possible partnership with the Jed Foundation, Menzies hopes to further the message.
The Jed Foundation, a nonprit company, works with high schools and colleges to strengthen teens’ mental health.
Speaking on the impact the song and her website had on her fans, she further stated,
“I started with a t-shirt and they wanted more. They wanted content, I gave them that and they wanted more so we gave them a community.”
You can read more about the investment round here.
Featured image by StarshellVEVO (YouTube screengrab)