These are the first few lines of Sophia Amoruso’s new biography/book of advice to all people entering the fashion and merchandising business. At age 30, she has flipped her life around from high-school rebel to current CEO of Nasty Gal and published author of #GIRLBOSS. Amoruso is your picture-esque form of a bad-a*s chick with a no-bullsh*t work ethic.
At a college or university where your work ethic and resume are keys to standing out among a sea of eager students, reading Amoruso’s story might seem contrary to the belief that “you’ll only get a good job if you go to school.” Now, I’m not saying that you don’t need a higher education nor am I telling you that Amoruso is an anti-education advocate; but sometimes it’s worth learning about someone who made it big from basically having nothing.
So, where did Amoruso start before now-seven-year-old Nasty Gal came to life? Try hitchhiking, dumpster-diving and some petty shoplifting. But this less than ideal lifestyle drove Amoruso to something more. After getting fired from her retail job at a shoe store, Amoruso landed a boring desk job where she'd spend hours on social media, observing the invites she received from eBay sellers to buy their products online. This is where the light bulb lit up above Amoruso’s head; and it was bright enough to inspire her to buy a copy of Starting an eBay Business for Dummies and start her own online vintage shop.
The name of her new online shop was Nasty Gal — after the record of 70’s sex icon and funk diva, Betty Davis. The vintage product in question? Special finds from rag houses in California to plants on the East Coast, each with completely different senses of style and trends. Her visual merchandising? Well, at the time eBay only allowed an 80-by-80 pixel image per product, and Amoruso was smart enough to pick up on the fact that browsers like live visuals that wear the products for sale.
Models were hired off of MySpace - yes, MySpace (you know you had one too). And after slowly gaining popularity and sales, she decided it was time for something even more. In 2008, Nasty Gal’s independent website that we know, love, and drop tons of money on today was born. Everything shown on her website sold out that same opening day. Vintage clothing can be impossible to keep in stock, which I think goes without saying if it is a vintage product in high demand. It was this aspect of her business that caused her to have an even bigger vision for her brand. Amoruso soon decided that maybe new clothes would sell just like the vintage ones if they reflected that same vision of bad-girl attitude. And well, she was absolutely right.
Today, Amoruso's success is obvious. Like, $100-million-in-annual-sales, selling-to-customers-in-150-countries, huge-office-in-Downtown-LA obvious. And her work ethic is undeniable; so much so that she wrote #GIRLBOSS on her memoirs of a before Nasty Gal and current life. In her book, she provides a more detailed and witty version of her life after dropping out of high school as well as insight for people just entering the world that is fashion. She is a prime example of a Boss who follows their intuition to achieve there goals and she is most definitely one worth recognizing and learning about in this generation.
You can find out for yourself and purchase one of this year's best selling books from the Nasty Gal store.