Since Sophia Rossi launched the website HelloGiggles last spring with her friends, 2 Broke Girls writer Molly McAleer and perennial "It Girl" and New Girl star Zooey Deschanel, the site has created a female comedy movement. "We started it out of a mutual frustration with not seeing the kind of content that we wanted," Rossi says. "Our intention was to create a girl version of Funny or Die or College Humor. But then we discovered that our audience isn't really into sketch. They like it, but they like back story, too. We appeal to the twenty-something girl, but also to teens who want to feel like they're older, and to women in their thirties who want to feel like they're in their twenties."
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Rossi worked as a producer for The Hills and The City before co-creating HelloGiggles. She befriended McAleer after becoming obsessed with her podcast, and she and Deschanel bonded in an exercise class. The trio creates a youthful and positive vibe on HelloGiggles partly because the content is provided for free by legions of contributors who are enthusiastic to have their voices heard. Rossi plays the site's ringleader, corralling Hollywood's cool kids to support HelloGiggles (her Twitter feed -- @sofifii -- reads like a chat room where Lena Dunham, Samantha Ronson and Mindy Kaling occasionally stop by to talk about spin class).
Along with McAleer and Deschanel, Rossi helps define the tone of the site, which features articles ranging from Judy Blume tributes to breakup haircut tips. Rossi also hosts BFF, an intimate livestream talk show on the site, which allows readers to ask for advice (on bad roommates, bad boyfriends, etc.) from Rossi and a different friend each week. "I wake up pretty early, around 6:30," Rossi says. "Then I'll go for a hike, and afterwards I'll have a lunch meeting. It's kind of annoying about L.A., but most meetings take place at lunch. Then I go back home to work. I basically have my day scheduled like a mom."
As the site's readership numbers explode, Rossi and the HelloGiggles gang have begun hosting a series of popular live shows at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre's outposts in L.A. and New York. When asked about the future of HelloGiggles, and potential "dream contributors" Rossi immediately lists off Fran Drescher and Roseanne Barr. "We all love The Nanny, and Roseanne is just our favorite -- for all of us."
Stay tuned for from more from our Dirty Dozen feature, including 11 other movers-and-shakers taking Los Angeles by storm.