Nancy Juvonens life reads like a fairy tale, but that's her business. The successful film producer joined forces, thirteen years ago, with Drew Barrymore, and together they established Flower Films, the production company behind box office hits Never Been Kissed, 50 First Dates, Fever Pitch, and the Charlies Angels films. Her journey wasnt typical, but neither is Hollywood. Here, Juvonen shares with Savvy Miss what it takes to be successful in the film industry, being a female in a male-dominated workforce and the moment she knew that she had really made it.

SM: What inspired you to be a producer?
Juvonen: I think it was Drew. She said, I dare you to move down to L.A. and start a production company. I dont know what Im doing and you dont know what youre doing, but why dont we give it a shot? I dont think it was something I was going after, as much as I was in my 20s and looking for the thing that I was going to do with my life. I worked on a dude ranch in Wyoming. I worked at a mortgage brokerage in Washington D.C. I was a private flight attendant on jets. I was across the board.

SM: What was it like starting a business with your friend?
Juvonen: We decided not to do the friends route. We said, Lets keep this business. We buckled down and merged our experiences. Drew financed the company and worked out of her house. Then we became like sisters. When you look at life in circles, part of our circles collide in sync. Well say the same thing and have a lot of the same reactions. Yet, were different on a whole other part of the circle.

SM: What skills are needed, starting out, in order to become a successful producer?
Juvonen:
Producing is a nice, high way of saying manager. There arent rules necessarily on how to produce. Being able to adapt to people, being able to have your own opinion, being able to state a case and listen to others [is important]. Love of [a] story is one of the biggest things that keeps this job exciting to me.