How Sophia Amoruso Built an Empire of #Girlbosses (and You Can Too)
In honour of Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power’s new book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($23), we’re running an interview series featuring 17 questions (in honour of the book’s 17 chapters) about the work lives of the most inspirational female leaders in the fashion industry. So far, we’ve tapped Rebecca Minkoff, Sally Singer, Rachel Zoe, and more. Up next? Sophia Amoruso.
There’s something about an unconventional path to success that feels infinitely more rewarding than a traditional route. Overcoming unexpected hurdles or taking a less-frequented road to the top not only lays the groundwork for an entertaining anecdote but also serves as proof that anything is within reach if you want it bad enough and work hard for it.
Such is the case for Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso. In 2006, the soon-to-be millionaire began selling her vintage finds on eBay under the shop title Nasty Gal Vintage. Within a mere five years, Amoruso had launched her own website and garnered a huge fan base, and now she sees a yearly revenue of over $100 million USD. But as most of you know, she didn’t stop there. Last year, the entrepreneur released #Girlboss, a New York Times 18-week best seller that, after such success, sparked the idea for a Netflix series, which will be co-produced by Charlize Theron and Amoruso and is expected to premiere early next year.
In late 2015, Amoruso also launched a podcast, Girlboss Radio, which features interviews with inspiring female figures each episode. She also will release a second book on October 4 of this year, titled Nasty Galaxy (seriously, does this woman sleep?). Inside the nontraditional coffee book, readers will be taken on a visual journey that’s meant to serve as a “new life bible for young women.”
Suffice it to say, Amoruso knows a thing or two about making a business thrive and is an inspiring example of what a successful woman in the workplace looks like.
So without further adieu, we present our latest instalment of Career Code below!
“At this point, as the executive chairman of Nasty Gal, I’m there to make sure things orbit around my original vision, which is to be there for the girl that is fearless, irreverent, and in charge of her own life. Since I started hosting my podcast, Girlboss Radio, and have been building the Girlboss platform, my job is about shining light on other women’s stories. It’s been about making sure women and girls know that there’s really nothing they can’t do, showing them examples of this, and putting the tools out there for them.”
“This sounds like promo speak, maybe, but I really rely a lot on the girls and women I work with. Creating an environment where your employees aren’t afraid to be candid about what inspires them, about why they’re really drawn to a personality or a brand or a website—that’s invaluable. When you talk to the people you work with, too, it’s this expansive web of knowledge; someone will always show you something you’ve never seen before, even if you feel like you’re really plugged in and paying attention.”
“Someone who has a real, genuine, specific enthusiasm for the job they want can a lot of times trump someone with a more impressive résumé. I also love it when someone really owns their narrative. A well-written cover letter that’s elevated beyond ‘I’m a super hard worker’ goes a long way. It drives me crazy when someone thinks a task is beneath them, too—a lukewarm ‘sure’ should not be in your vocabulary. You also have to do your homework. It took me a little while to get to this point without feeling like a narcissist, but if you haven’t read my book—I mean, come on. It’s a couple hours of your life, and it’s basically a blueprint to the way I look at things.”
“I love Idea Books (@Idea.Ltd), who always have rare and amazing gems for sale.
“Galen Pehrson (@GalenPehrson) is an amazing artist and director friend of mine who hand draws every frame of his gorgeous animations.
“Sielian Vintage (@SeilianVintage) has amazing pieces that I wish I could own all of!
“And Tuesday Bassen (@TuesdayBassen), an amazing illustrator who contributed to Nasty Galaxy!”
“My podcast, Girlboss Radio! We’re also busy planning the first Girlboss Rally, which I’m super excited about. It’s going to be a gathering of the smartest, most inspiring women. I’m also gearing up to go out on book tour for Nasty Galaxy in October. The Girlboss TV show is coming out on Netflix next year, and it’s been incredible to get to contribute to that process.”
Who should we interview next? Let us know in the comments below!