Nasty Gal Founder Sophia Amoruso Inspires With #Girlboss Radio: BUST Interview

by Madelyn Sundquist

Sophia Amoruso, founder of the online boutique Nasty Gal and all-around entrepreneurial superstar, is a busy woman. After her first book, #Girlboss, became an instant bestseller, Amoruso set to work on a second book, Nasty Galaxy, a Netflix show based on her first publication, and a podcast aptly called #Girlboss Radio. The show interviews other fabulous women who are forging their own paths in business, which Sophia crafts into funny, sincere, and compelling conversations.

Business-oriented women and fashion junkies alike have flocked to Amoruso for inspiration and encouragement, as the ex-CEO built her empire from scratch, all from her first eBay store. BUST got a chance to chat with Sophia as she dished on “bossy,” branding, and broadcasting women’s stories from the entrepreneurial front. 


Q: As a #Girlboss, what’s your take on “bossy”? Sheryl Sandberg has gotten a lot of attention for her “Ban Bossy” campaign, but it seems like your business is taking a different approach.

A: No one has ever called me bossy and I’m a strong woman so I personally don’t relate to that. GirlBoss is not a descriptive term, it’s not about being the boss of other people. When people talk about the word “bossy” it’s always about the workplace and assertive is good but a level of nuance is something we can all cultivate. I don’t relate to this word, and bossy people, I think bossy means “unnecessarily assertive” there’s a way to get things done without telling people what to do without any context or backing.

Q: In your first book, #Girlboss, you gave us your take on being in business as a woman. What is your upcoming book, Nasty Galaxy, doing differently?

A: It’s totally different — it’s really a departure. There’s still anecdotes, interviews, etc, but it’s a lot more eclectic than #Girlboss and lot more visual. It’s very much more like a beautiful coffee table with tons of content — illustrations and images. A trip through my brain, I guess.


Q: You may just be the queen of social media, from building a brand online to blogging and podcasting with other amazing ladies. When did the idea to start a Netflix endeavor come up and what is the show trying to accomplish?

A: I think some things are logical and some things are too good to be true. With Netflix, a series of people were interested in doing more with the book. Charlize Theron read it and wanted to produce it and we got in touch with Kay Cannon — it was just kind of a really natural grouping of women. It’s a comedy and there’s nothing more funny than watching people makes jokes about things that happened in tour life. I’m happy to be the butt of any joke. The book is a piece of media but I never really thought of it that way, but I’m just kind of easing my way into this and thinking, “Wow I came to Hollywood but I didn’t expect to you know be a part of it it’s just really cool to see how this all works.”


Q: How did #Girlboss Radio grow from your existing online brand?

A: What I learned from writing a book and meeting so many girls on this book tour is that it’s really important to tell our stories. My story is just one and to think that my story is just so special to not tell the stories of other women doing such interesting things isn’t okay. I was really screwing off months before I started my first eBay store. So many women who have achieved great things who also didn’t start with the perfect education and all that and it’s important to hear that. I think that telling our stories makes human experience less lonely and its normal to struggle in your 20s and to change directions and hear other things women have gone through is really powerful.

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Q: In one of these episodes, you talk to businesswoman Sallie Krawcheck, who described her initial experiences in her field as a  “professional wasteland” complete with daily xeroxes of penises left on her desk. This seems like a different era of business for women but I’m wondering what kind of conflicts you’ve endured still that have been gendered?

A: I would say there haven’t been a ton and I am fortunate to have started a company where I work with mostly women. There are some off-color comments and it’s usually from like my friend’s husband or something – he’s just trying to be funny but coming from a man it’s just really embarrassing. Not everyone completely gets it, but beyond that early on I guess investors were asking about if I had like a “spending problem” but if I did then the company wouldn’t be full of cash. As the company has endured, I’ve gotten more flack than like a male founder would, because I’m more unique and not a lot of women have accomplished what I’ve accomplished. There’s definitely a magnifying glass which is unique and important but I want to make myself less special about doing what I’ve done.

Q: What should first listeners know about your podcast?

A: I’m trying to bring to the surface things these women may not have talked about in other interviews — I want to find women who are both known and unknown to talk to them about these things. Talk to them about our lives and what we’ve learned along our paths and try to infuse everything with a sense of humor — so it’s not just a stale interview show. It’s a very casual conversation about the biggest things we do in our lives.

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Q: Lastly, can we get a rundown of some of your favorite fashion icons?

A: I think Diane von Furstenberg, for sure. It doesn’t matter what she’s wearing — she just has a presence and I think that’s amazing. Bianca Jagger has had incredible style and she played with femininity and masculinity and wore suits and didn’t smile a whole lot in pictures — she looks pretty cool.

Check out the new podcast here — you don’t want to miss it!

Images via Twitter, Nasty Gal, iTunes.

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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