|Born||Sophia Christina Amoruso
(1984-04-20) April 20, 1984
San Diego, California, U.S.
|Known for||Founder & owner of Nasty Gal|
|Net worth||$280 million |
(m. 2015; div. 2017)
Sophia Christina Amoruso (born April 20, 1984) is an American businesswoman. At age 22, she started an online eBay store selling vintage clothing and other items, which she named “Nasty Gal Vintage”.
Based on the success of her online store, Amoruso founded Nasty Gal, a women’s fashion retailer, which went on to be named one of “the fastest growing companies” by Inc. Magazine in 2012. In 2016, she was named one of the richest self-made women in the world by Forbes. Soon, however, Nasty Gal filed for bankruptcy, decimating her fortune.
Amoruso was born in San Diego, California, in 1984. She is of Greek, Italian, and Portuguese descent. She was raised in the Greek Orthodox church. After being diagnosed with depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in her adolescence, she dropped out of school and began homeschooling. Her first job as a teenager was at a Subway restaurant, followed by various odd jobs, including working in a bookstore and a record shop. After high school, her parents divorced and she moved to Sacramento, California.
As a young adult, Amoruso lived a nomadic lifestyle, hitchhiking on the west coast, dumpster diving, and stealing. In 2003, while living in Portland, Oregon, she was caught stealing; the loss-prevention department of the store fined her and the experience led her to stop stealing. She left Portland and relocated to San Francisco, shortly after which she discovered she had a hernia in her groin, which necessitated her purchasing health insurance for required medical treatments. While attending community college, she worked in the Academy of Art University lobby checking student IDs.
At age 22 while working as a security guard at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University, Amoruso opened an online eBay store, which she called Nasty Gal Vintage, named after the 1975 album by funk singer and style icon Betty Davis. The store consisted of used vintage clothing and other items. The first item she sold was a book she had stolen as a teenager. She styled, photographed, captioned, and shipped the products herself using what she was taught in a photography class.
Amoruso claims to have been banned from eBay in 2008 for posting hyperlinks in feedback to customers and launched Nasty Gal as its own retail website. She has previously said that she left voluntarily because of the rules preventing sellers from leaving negative feedback for customers. Amoruso was also accused of artificially inflating bids, which she has denied.
Nasty Gal developed a devoted online following of young women on social media. It quickly grew with revenues increasing from $223,000 in 2008 to almost $23 million in 2011. The New York Times has called her “a Cinderella of tech”. In 2013, Inc. Magazine named her to its 30 under 30 list. Also in 2013, Business Insider named Sophia Amoruso one of the sexiest CEOs alive.
In 2014, Amoruso’s autobiography #GIRLBOSS was published by Portfolio, a Penguin imprint that specializes in books about business. In 2016, it was announced that Netflix would be adapting her autobiography into a television series called Girlboss. It was cancelled after one season.
In an interview with Dan Schawbel of Forbes, Amoruso admitted that she felt incompatible with the demands of being a CEO, and advised that people seeking positions as CEOs continue to seek managerial positions. Although she had no managerial positions before becoming the manager of Nasty Gal Vintage, she had many previous jobs before that.
On January 12, 2015, Amoruso announced she was stepping down as CEO of Nasty Gal. In November 2016, the company was reported to be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with Amoruso resigning as executive chairwoman. In February 2017, Boohoo Group purchased Nasty Gal for $20 million, with Nasty Gal remaining in Los Angeles and continuing to produce apparel, shoes, and accessories under its own brand.
In 2017, Amoruso founded Girlboss Media.[27