"Accidental entrepreneurs exist. They just kept their eyes open."
Imagine yourself to have become an overnight sensation. Like you wake up from that bed bugs and ticks-infested rusty bed of yours, only to find yourself on a Queen or King-sized bed inside a vast mansion. What would you say?
"Where am I?" or something on the lines of "Holy something." To each their own kind, I guess. Some might even go back to sleep and try to wake up to their habitual life.
Today, social media has succeeded in telling us about so many shattering the glass ceiling stories without others laughing it off or dismissing them as fake or rumors. In fact, social media has even played a massive part in the success of several people. For example, who doesn't know about Mark Zuckerberg or hasn't heard about his creation, Facebook. Likewise, a young lady at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in the early 2000s. No, she wasn't a student there. Instead, she worked there. She worked there as a security guard to support herself.
Now, you must be wondering, "That's okay. It's a good thing. Many others have done it too, and many others are still doing it. Where is the story about some extraordinary success here?"
Ladies and gentlemen, the story starts right here, and we proceed, let me clarify – The Story is True.
The young lady was called Sophia Amoruso, Sophia Christina Amoruso. She was born on April 20, 1984, in San Diego, California. She spent her early childhood and later moved to Sacramento, California, after finishing high school. Being part Greek, Italian, and Portuguese led her to raise in a Greek Orthodox church.
Dropping Out of School and Leading a Nomadic Lifestyle
Sophia Amoruso, in her adolescence, was diagnosed with depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder i.e., more commonly known as ADHD. It led her to drop out of school, after which she was mostly homeschooled while trying to cope with her depression and ADHD.
She started taking up various jobs in her teenage years, most notably at Subway, her first job. But it was her parent's divorce that brought a massive turn in her life. After her parents divorced, she started living a more free lifestyle. Her free lifestyle prompted her to take up the nomadic lifestyle when she started her trail through hitchhiking, dumpster diving, and even stealing sometimes. However, she stopped stealing after once getting caught for shoplifting.
Shortly, she discovered a hernia in her groin, and it was then she started to work in the Academy of Art University to get herself health insurance for surgery.
The Birth of the Nasty Gal
It was when she was working at the Academy of Art University, where she was a student ID checker, she realized that it wasn't enough to support herself for a decent life. Soon, her perseverance and zeal to do the bare minimum led Amoruso to open an online eBay store. She named it Nasty Gal Vintage after one of her funk singer and style icon Betty Davis's albums. Here she started putting up some vintage used clothes and other items, some of which were stolen. Her first item sold was a stolen book that she had stolen during her teenage years. Besides selling items, she even shipped her products to the buyers.
She did all of this right from the comfort of her bedroom when social media was booming in the early 2000s. To her astonishing surprise, her Nasty Gal Vintage blew up in a big way where it ended up delivering 100 million dollars yearly revenue in just six years of its foundation. But soon after that, she found herself getting banned for her questionable activities on the eBay site, such as posting hyperlinks in customer feedback.
After she was banned from the eBay platform, she launched her own retail website as a stand-alone online. She named it Nasty Gal.
About Nasty Gal
Nasty Gal was a continuation of Amoruso's online store on eBay. Owing to her sharp mind, Nasty Gal turned out to be a sensation amongst young women. So much so that the website gained a massive online following them. Her business continued to grow, revenues kept increasing, and Nasty Gal peaked in 2011 when the revenue of $223,000 in 2008 rose to about $23 million in 2011.
The Rise and The Fall of Nasty Gal
Nasty Gal peaked in 2011. Amoruso's Nasty Gal was estimated to raking in $100 million in annual sales at its peak. The success of the Nasty Gal brought Amoruso to the newspaper and magazine's cover pages. The New York Times called her the "Cinderella of Tech" and Inc Magazine in the 2013 edition of 30 under 30 lists. In the same year, she was even named as the sexiest CEO alive by Business Insider. However, like in every great story, the ultimate rise meets with a tragic fall.
She detailed her rise and having to step away from her Nasty Gal Brand due to unfortunate circumstances and demands of being a CEO in autobiographical memoir - #GirlBoss. In an interview with Dan Schawbel of Forbes, she talked about how she felt so underprepared for all the success that came out of nowhere in monumental proportions. She advised aspiring entrepreneurs to prepare themselves beforehand to deal with everything that comes with a growing business.
A year later, after she stepped away as the CEO of Nasty Gal – The company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. What added more to her injury was that Nasty Gal had to be sold to Boohoo Group for just $20 million, which was a mere fraction of the company used to make in its hay days.
Rising Like the #GirlBoss
With what went down with Sophia Amoruso and the Nasty Gal, people started to write her out as if there's no coming back from this fall. But no, this wasn't a typical story, and you asked for the extraordinary, so the story and witness another rise of Amoruso as she is someone who knew how to turn the tide. It came with the foundation of Girlboss Media that Amoruso launched in December 2017. The company was aimed mainly at the female audience, where it creates and shares content, videos, and even podcasts.
She raised funding for the company through the various weekend-long Girlboss Rallies. Today, the company continues to write the successful journey of describing "The Girl that is Dancing with her Destiny."
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