It’s been less than a year since her first high-profile business, Nasty Gal filed for bankruptcy but Sophia Amoruso has bounced back and has raised $1.2 million to grow a media brand.
It’s been some journey for Amoruso who started Nasty Gal in her early 20s selling a range of vintage fashions and other finds, growing it into a sizeable and respectable ecommerce enterprise. By January 2015, she had stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of the company in a bid to help the company reach new heights and levels of maturity, bringing in Sheree Waterson as CEO. Following this was a $16 million Series C funding round led by Ron Johnson which helped the company open its first bricks-and-mortar store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles closely followed by a store in a second location.
The brand continued to struggle overall though and the retailer failed to grow beyond its cult following and was hit by numerous issues and problems, the company eventually filing for bankruptcy in 2016. It was a fall from grace for Sophia Amoruso who was a member of Forbes’ 2016 list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women with an estimated worth of $280 million, although this was based entirely on the assumed value of her majority stake in Nasty Gal, which according to multiple sources had nearly $300 million in 2015 sales.
Amoruso’s new media brand is comprised of a website, Girlboss.com, a newsletter as well as a podcast that has been revived from her Nasty Gal days and once had 100,000 weekly downloads. Talking about her new venture, Amoruso said:
“Girlboss is emerging out of something very different than what most women’s media brands have, which is beauty and fashion. We do cover beauty and will eventually spend more time with fashion, but our core is about our reader’s life as a whole. I think it’s become trendy to have a conversation about a variety of topics like feminism and finance, but for us, it’s where Girlboss came from.”
As for how her own experiences over the past decade building the Nasty Gal empire have come to influence this venture, she adds, “My experience is very unique in that I started my own company at 22, I’m a white woman who grew up in a relatively middle class home, so that’s one view for sure. Yes, I’ve experienced a lot of things that our audience relates to, but from a representation perspective, it’s really important to us to be inclusive to every type of woman.”