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Sophia Amoruso

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Sophia Amoruso
Amoruso in 2014
Sophia Christina Amoruso

(1984-04-20) April 20, 1984 (age 40)
Joel DeGraff
(m. 2015; div. 2017)

Sophia Christina Amoruso (born April 20, 1984)[1] is an American businesswoman. 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.[2] In 2016, she was named one of the richest self-made women in the world by Forbes.[3] However, Nasty Gal filed for bankruptcy.[4] In 2017, Amoruso founded Girlboss Media,[5][6] a company that creates content for women in the millennial generation to progress as people in their personal and professional life.

Her 2014 autobiography #GIRLBOSS was adapted into a television series of the same name for Netflix.

Early life[edit]

Amoruso was born In 1984 in San Diego, California at Sharp Memorial Hospital.[7] She was an only child. She grew up in the suburbs and wanted to get out of her home because her parents didn't get along.[7] She is of Greek, Italian, and Portuguese descent.[8] She was raised in the Greek Orthodox church.[8] After being diagnosed with depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in her adolescence, she dropped out of school and began homeschooling to help cope with these issues. Her first job as a teenager was at a Subway restaurant,[9] followed by various odd jobs, including working in a bookstore and a record shop.[10] After high school, her parents divorced and she moved to Sacramento, California[11] to live a more free lifestyle.

As a young adult, Amoruso lived a nomadic lifestyle, hitchhiking on the West Coast, dumpster diving, and stealing.[12] In 2003, while living in Portland, Oregon, she stopped stealing after being caught shoplifting.[12] She left Portland and relocated to San Francisco, shortly after she discovered she had a hernia in her groin. To get the health insurance for surgery, she worked in the Academy of Art University lobby checking student IDs.[11][13]


eBay store[edit]

At age 22 while working as a security guard at San Francisco's Academy of Art University,[14] 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.[11][15] The store consisted of used vintage clothing and other items. The first item she sold was a book she had stolen as a teenager.[12] She styled, photographed, captioned, and shipped the products herself using what she was taught in a photography class.[15]

Amoruso began her business working out of her bedroom.[16] In 2006, her eBay store Nasty Gal Vintage grew considerably, turning into a 1 million dollar yearly revenue business after 6 years and continuing to grow.[17] Amoruso claims to have been banned from eBay in 2008 for posting hyperlinks in feedback to customers. Following this, she launched Nasty Gal as its own retail website,[18] continuing to grow the business as a stand-alone online store. She has previously stated that she left voluntarily because of the rules preventing sellers from leaving negative feedback for customers.[19] Amoruso was also accused of artificially inflating bids, which she has denied.[20]

Nasty Gal[edit]

Nasty Gal developed an 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.[2] At the peak of Nasty Gal, it was pulling in 100 million in annual sales, with over 200 employees.[21] The New York Times has called her "a Cinderella of tech".[15] In 2013, Inc. Magazine named her to its 30 under 30 list.[22] Also, in 2013, Business Insider named Sophia Amoruso one of the sexiest CEOs alive.[23]

In 2014, Amoruso's autobiography #GIRLBOSS was published by Portfolio, a Penguin imprint that specializes in books about business.[24][25] In 2016, it was announced that Netflix would be adapting her autobiography into a television series called Girlboss.[26] Amoruso confirms most of the show was accurate to her life. It was cancelled after one season, as it got a sour response from viewers, saying it was a call to millennial narcissists.[27][28]

In an interview with Dan Schawbel of Forbes, Amoruso admitted that she was unprepared for the demands of being a CEO, having had no previous leadership experience, and advised that people seeking to launch a business first gain managerial experience at established companies.[29]

On January 12, 2015, Amoruso announced she was stepping down as CEO of Nasty Gal, knowing the company could not continue under the current leadership.[30] In November 2016, the company was reported to be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with Amoruso resigning as executive chairwoman.[31] The reason for this bankruptcy can be pointed to leadership changes, a "toxic work culture", and poor communication, among other faults.[32] 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.[33]

Girlboss Media[edit]

In December 2017, Amoruso founded Girlboss Media(#girlboss), a company that creates editorial content, videos, and podcasts aimed at a female audience.[34] Since 2017, Amoruso has held Girlboss Rallies, which are weekend-long instructional events for young entrepreneurs for around $500-$1400.[35]


Television and film roles
Year Title Role Notes
2012 House of Style Herself 2 episodes
2015 Project Runway All Stars Herself / Guest Judge Episode: "Some Like It Hot Dog"
2015 Pop Culture Underground Herself Episode: "Style"
Other credits
Year Title Role Notes
2017 Girlboss Executive producer and writer 13 episodes; Based upon the book #Girlboss


  • Amoruso, Sophia (2014). Girlboss. Penguin. ISBN 9780241217931.
  • Amoruso, Sophia (2016). Nasty Galaxy. Penguin. ISBN 9780241290507.

Amoruso also has a chapter giving advice in Tim Ferriss' book Tools of Titans.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Sophia Christina Amoruso". California Birth Index. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Fenn, Donna. "Unselfconsciously Sexy Style". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  3. ^ O'Connor, Clare (June 1, 2016). "Nasty Gal's Sophia Amoruso Hits Richest Self-Made Women List With $280 Million Fortune". Forbes. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  4. ^ O'Connor, Clare. "As Nasty Gal Files Bankruptcy, Founder Sophia Amoruso's Fortune Decimated". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  5. ^ Johnson, Eric (2018-03-02). "What did Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso learn from failure?". Vox. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  6. ^ Segran, Elizabeth (2019-12-17). "Exclusive: Sophia Amoruso is selling Girlboss to a holding startup that wants to fix media". Fast Company. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  7. ^ a b NastyGal Founder: I Was A Stripper! A Shoplifter! Then Built A $400m Business! Sophia Amoruso | E239, retrieved 2023-07-21
  8. ^ a b Pappas, Gregory (May 7, 2014). "The Greek in Nasty Gal's Sophia Amoruso Deconstructed". Pappas Post. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  9. ^ Barret, Victoria (June 29, 2012). "Styling Tips With Nasty Gal's Sophia Amoruso". Forbes. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  10. ^ "Sophia Amoruso Discusses Her Book, "Nasty Galaxy"". America Online. BUILD. October 15, 2016. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  11. ^ a b c Morning Joe Staff (May 28, 2014). "Sophia Amoruso is taking your questions". MSBC. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  12. ^ a b c Amoruso, Sophia (2014). #GIRLBOSS. New York: the Penguin Group. pp. 3. ISBN 978-0-399-16927-4.
  13. ^ Duffty, Keanan. "The #GIRLBOSS of Nasty Gal". Fashion School Daily. Academy of Art University. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  14. ^ Duffty, Keanan. "Cool Boutiques". SOMA Magazine. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  15. ^ a b c Perlroth, Nicole (25 March 2013). "Naughty in Name Only". The New York Times. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  16. ^ "A Conversation With Sophia Amoruso, the 'Girlboss' Founder of Nasty Gal". Observer. 2018-10-02. Retrieved 2024-02-02.
  17. ^ "Sophia Amoruso, L.A.'s millennial 'Girlboss,' is busy with her second act". Los Angeles Times. 2019-07-03. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  18. ^ Barrett, Victoria (June 28, 2012). "Nasty Gal's Sophia Amoruso: Fashion's New Phenom". Forbes. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  19. ^ Steiner, Ina. "Nasty Gal Vintage Leaves eBay and Thrives". www.ecommercebytes.com. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  20. ^ Barret, Victoria. "Nasty Gal's Sophia Amoruso: Fashion's New Phenom". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  21. ^ "A Conversation With Sophia Amoruso, the 'Girlboss' Founder of Nasty Gal". Observer. 2018-10-02. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  22. ^ "Meet the 30 Under 30, Class of 2013". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  23. ^ "Meet The Sexiest CEOs Alive! - Business Insider (archived version)". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  24. ^ Amoruso, Sophia (6 May 2014). #GIRLBOSS. Portfolio Hardcover. ISBN 978-0-399-16927-4.
  25. ^ Jacobs, Alexandra (January 11, 2015). "Who Will Be America's Next Top Mentor?". New York Times.
  26. ^ Kroll, Justin (2016-02-05). "Netflix Orders Sophia Amoruso's '#Girlboss' to Series (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2017-02-08.
  27. ^ "As CEO of Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso Failed Spectacularly. Now She's Turning Failure Into A Movement". Money. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  28. ^ "'Girlboss' Canceled After One Season at Netflix".
  29. ^ "Work For A Company Then Become An Entrepreneur". Forbes. September 29, 2015.
  30. ^ Del Rey, Jason; Swisher, Kara (January 12, 2015). "Nasty Gal Founder Sophia Amoruso Steps Down As CEO". Re/code. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  31. ^ Swisher, Kara (November 9, 2016). "Nasty Gal is expected to file for bankruptcy". Re/code. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  32. ^ Chaney, Sarah (24 February 2017). "How Nasty Gal Went From an $85 Million Company to Bankruptcy". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  33. ^ Marfil, Lorelei (2017-02-28). "Nasty Gal to Remain in Los Angeles, According to New Owners Boohoo Group". WWD. Retrieved 2017-06-28.
  34. ^ Hamanaka, Kari (5 March 2017). "Sophia Amoruso Gears up for Take Two with Girlboss Media". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  35. ^ Bahler, Kristen (March 2019). "The #GirlBoss REvolution". Money magazine.

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