Sophia Amoruso is one of the richest women in America, a distinction she earned by actually earning it. The founder of Nasty Gal, now in her early 30s, is worth an estimated $280 million.
The eCommerce site she founded, which got its start offering Amoruso's unique curatorial touch across a series of products that were young, hip, edgy and able to attract a very West Coast, fashion-forward and fanatically loyal fanbase, is still going. Last year, Nasty Gal passed the $300 million in revenue mark, with sales tripling in three years. The compound annual growth rate of the last five year has been 92.4 percent.
Amoruso is the second youngest women on Forbes' list of the richest self-made ladies, coming second to only 26-year-old Taylor Swift. And at $280 million, Amoruso is impressively rich, richer in fact than the Queen herself, Beyonce.
And younger. Beyonce is 34.
“It’s crazy to think that after a decade of building the business, we’re finding our footing,” she said.”We’re putting our big girl shoes on," Amoruso noted.
And those big girl shoes have meant cuts of late to adopt to a changing and tightening market. A round of layoffs went through Nasty Gal in 2014 and again earlier this year.
However, that great team is no longer directly under Amoruso. As of last year she had officially handed the top job over to Lululemon veteran Sheree Waterson.
“I didn’t love having eight people reporting to me and asking me over and over if we’re hitting targets,” said Amoruso.
“I’m a creative. I’m a brand-builder. I’m a rainmaker. I’m a pretty good marketer, but that’s not something I want to do every day.”
“I’m executive chair and own most of the company,” Amoruso also noted. “Everyone knows Nasty Gal requires me.”
So what's next?
Physical retail locations, financed with $65 million in venture capital. The Melrose outpost is performing incredibly well, generating around $1,800 sales per square foot, to use a popular industry metric, beating out better known brands like Kate Spade. But the competition is growing ever fiercer.
“We’re no longer the only one selling fashion to the kind of girl we’re selling fashion to,” Amoruso said.
As for an IPO, Amoruso isn’t ruling it out, though the original Nasty Gal admits she’s had nightmares about being at the market’s whim.
“You build the greatest business you can, then you have options,” she said. “It still feels very early, which is exciting.”