Sophia Amoruso is the founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, a business she launched in 2006 at the age of 22, in the basement of her aunt’s home. In only seven years, Amoruso has grown Nasty Gal from a simple eBay store reselling vintage finds into an online retail empire selling sexy, retro-inspired looks at reasonable prices.
From 2008 to 2011, sales rocketed 10,160 percent, making Nasty Gal one of the fastest-growing retail companies ever. In 2012, the company reported revenues of over $100 million, raised $49 million from venture capital firm Index Ventures — an early investor in Asos and Net-a-Porter — and leased a 500,000-square-foot fulfillment center.
Amoruso’s rapid rise is often attibuted to the powerful social media connection she has built with her customer base of “bad-ass girls” on platforms like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. "What led us to Nasty Gal was the fact that Sophia had created something extremely special in terms of a connection between what she was doing and her customer base," Danny Rimer, a partner at Index Ventures, told The Wall Street Journal.
Alongside vintage finds and curated pieces from other brands, Nasty Gal (named after the song by funk musician Betty Davis, the second wife of Miles Davis) now sells its own in-house designs. "Designing was the natural next step for us. It's going on seven years for me that I've been selling clothing to the same awesome girl. And we've understood the kind of silhouettes and cuts that she likes over time," said Amoruso.