The average rags to riches story doesn’t often literally involve rags and riches. But then, most CEOs probably don’t start their careers dumpster diving and spending afternoons haggling at thrift stores. That’s how Sophia Amoruso built Nasty Gal, an online women’s clothing retailer with $100 million in revenue.
Amoruso details her company’s rapid growth in her new book, #GIRLBOSS.
“I was always looking for my way, and often bumping into things,” says Amoruso on her early years as a "freegan" and sometimes shoplifter. She was usually employed but often bouncing from one job to another.
“I thought I was destined to smash capitalism,” she says. “It didn’t work. And I’m glad it didn’t.”
Instead, in 2006, Amoruso turned an interest in fashion into an eBay business at the age of 22. She used the auction website to sell vintage clothing under the name, “Nasty Gal” vintage. She thrived at using budding social media like MySpace to direct people to her eBay store and eventually launched her own website to sell directly to her customers.
NastyGal now has customers around the world and has expanded far beyond vintage. And about her earlier life philosophy? Amoruso says “the joke was on me.”