“Nasty Gals do it better”, this is the slogan of the successful fashion web shop Nastygal.com which is founded by Sophia Amoruso. In her first book “#GIRLBOSS” she tells her story about where it all began. How she created the successful fashion empire which is currently worth over $100 million US dollars.
Nastygal.com is a fashion web shop and as described on the About us page of the website its “a global online destination for fashion-forward, free-thinking girls”. Founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso started in 2006 an eBay store where she sold vintage. Her eBay shop was called Nasty Gal Vintage.
In her book Sophia Amoruso explains that the name Nasty Gal is inspired on her favorite album by ‘legendary funk singer and wild woman’ Betty Davis. She was the ultimate #GIRLBOSS performing in lingerie and fishnet stockings standing on platforms. Amoruso says she thought in the beginning she just picked a name for an eBay store, but it turned out that she was actually infusing the entire brand with not only her own spirit, but also the spirit of Betty Davis.
2. Sophia Amoruso
Sophia Amoruso is the founder and CEO of Nastygal.com. When Amoruso started with the business she was 22 years old, living in San Francisco and jobless. Due to a hernia she was forced to find a job in order to get health insurance. She started working at an art school where she checked IDs in the lobby. During the recovering of her hernia she had plenty of time to kill and opened an eBay shop called Nasty Gal Vintage. When she became successful at eBay she opened her own fashion web shop. Now, eight years after she started, Amoruso is the CEO of an online fashion empire Nastygal.com; a $100-million-plus business.
The book does not only tell the story of Sophia Amoruso. It is filled with wake-up calls, frank observations and behind-the-scenes stories from Nasty Gal’s meteoric rise.
#GIRLBOSS proves that with success it is not always about how popular you were in high school or where you went to college. Success is about trusting your instincts and following your gut, knowing which rules to follow and which to break.
Marketing lessons from Sophia Amoruso
There are some interesting marketing lessons in the book to be found which Amoruso applied to her business. Though Amoruso never graduated from any marketing study, or any study at all, she initially got some important things right about marketing your brand. Something I found very inspiring about this book and her story. I selected four marketing lessons she gave in her book which I found very interesting to read.
1. Social media
Sophia writes: “When I wasn’t out sourcing new merchandise, I was at home, adding friends on MySpace”. She searched for girls on MySpace between certain ages in certain cities and added them. People had to know about her shop. And it worked. Soon she had tens of thousands of friends on MySpace which she used to drive people to her eBay store. She writes she did a bulletin and blog post for every single auction that went up on Nasty Gal Vintage. She was a workaholic with a lot of belief in her business.
Sophia writes: “My product titles on eBay all started with “VTG”, for vintage, and then the rest was a word-salad of search terms and actual descriptions.” Amoruso knew exactly which search terms were really big at that time. She ate, slept, drank, and dreamt search terms. As I have learned in my e-Marketing class are key words for your advertisements and search terms immensely important for your audience to find your products and business. Sophia was aware of this fact and took her search terms serious for her “nasty gals” to find her eBay shop.
4. Create a great experience for your buyers
Sophia immediately hired a good photographer when she started to make a little money, the styling of the photographs she did herself as she herself knew best what the image of her brand was and all her spare time she invested in responding to every possible new customer. She really engaged with her target audience. She writes: “I took every item I sold seriously, obsessing to ensure my customer had a great experience.”
5. Don’t be afraid to fail
Sophia writes that you shouldn’t get too attached to the results and to dive into things. Don’t be afraid to fail. “It is she who listens to the rest of the world who fails.”
4. Book review
As I have plans to start my own company soon, I enjoyed reading the story of Sophia Amoruso very much. She is very inspiring and it seems by her way of writing she is very down to earth. Besides the marketing lessons she gives while telling her story, there are also many quotes included in the book. I myself collect quotes all the time. I’m a sucker for inspiring quotes. I write them down in my agenda, on my phone, on a sticky note or whatever I can write on the moment I read something inspiring. I recommend the book to everyone who is planning to start his or her own business soon, anyone who is directionless at this moment or anyone else who is interested in a pretty inspiring story from a girl who used to be a nobody and who became an entrepreneur and role model by doing what she loves.