Review: #Girlboss

by Leonie

Sophia Amoruso, the woman who built her own brand and turned her success story and the struggles she faced along the way into a book called #Girlboss, has become one of my biggest inspirations. I understand how this might sound strange since her business is now bankrupt and her reputation has taken a substantial hit along with it. But the way I see it, success – at least in the financial sense – is literally a numbers game. So being an inspiration does not necessarily have much to do with financial success but rather with attitude and work ethic.


Amoruso addresses her female readership with “#GIRLBOSS” throughout her memoir – having written a memoir when you’re barely into your 30s, now that’s inspirational. She hands out some free advice (well, if you don’t count the seven bucks this little paperback cost me on amazon) on how to handle yourself when you’re on the hunt for a job, dealing with customers/clients or, and that’s the unfortunate reality of being part of the corporate world, getting fired. The gist of her message is: stay professional ALWAYS and give it your all if you want to succeed. At times she leads by example and at times she’s a cautionary tale.

A glimpse into her life is also included in this book. Amoruso has experienced life as a dumpster-diver, a Subway clerk, a lackluster saleswoman and a boss-ass bitch (in the most positive sense of the word) as the head of her own company. Jumping from job to job in her teens and tweens has taught her a lot, as she writes, about herself and about what matters when you want to find a gig. What she wasn’t so good at was keeping such jobs. But, and this I find quite commendable, in hindsight, she thinks about those many failed attempts at being a contributing member of society and the many We-have-to-let-you-gos as stepping stones on her way to finding the perfect occupation/passion/life. Though, I am sure she wasn’t quite so mature and optimistic about getting fired at the time it happened. Ya live and ya learn.


Another instance in which she shows her go-getter spirit and can-do attitude is how she has managed to build a fashion empire (and yes I will call it that) without having much in the way of savings and a shit credit score. One of the most interesting chapters in #Girlboss is the one in which she describes the beginnings of her company Nasty Gal and how her resilience, understanding her demographic and a sprinkle of luck turned out to be qualities you simply can’t afford to lack if you want to make something of yourself.

Compared to the Netflix show, which we here at Scapegrace Heroine have reviewed and found to be just okay, the book luckily does not include a recount of failed relationships, detailed or general, and for that I am very grateful. Romance had nothing to do with Amoruso’s business. And while I understand the reasons for which they included such a less than necessary story arch in the show, it would have been so much better without it. Instead they should have fleshed out the success story more, or Sophia’s friendships or her past or literally any other aspect of this massively interesting woman that I got to know through the book. Maybe then Netflix would have given it a second season. The book gets “only” a 7/10, though, because I found the “Portrait of a #Grilboss” inserts out of place (and frankly, quite boring) and the ending could – and should – have been far more excitingly written.


As I have mentioned before, Nasty Gal has had to declare bankruptcy and, according to ‘experts’, Amoruso’s own increasing fame – and thus shifting priorities – were among the reasons for her company’s downfall. I will be purchasing The Girlboss Workbook when it is published this coming October. However, I doubt that it will include this latest chapter of Amoruso’s life. I would be very interested to read about the fame, the bankruptcy, the tv-show and all the positive and negative press she has gotten in the last few years. Sort of a “My Memoir – the Sequel.” How does she deal with those aspects of owning, controlling, overseeing, working within a business? How have her relationships to friends and co-workers changed? What mistakes has she made and what advice would she like to pass on to those #GIRLBOSSes whom she wishes to influence? Hopefully, we’ll find out someday.
Until then, I will live my life by just 6 words from this book which have inspired me more than I thought they would:

Life is short. Don’t be lazy.


Amoruso, Sophia. #Girlboss. New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2015.

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