04 Aug 2016
girlboss review

Book review: #GIRLBOSS

Book club in session

Following on from the success of our first book review for the Luminous blog, we’ve decided to do it again. Junior exec, Freya, recently read Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS and found it a really inspirational read. Freya’s eighteen, and having just finished her A Levels, #GIRLBOSS was the perfect read for a time when she’s starting to think about her future career. Here’s what she thought… 

Who is #GIRLBOSS? 

Sophia Amoruso is the founder and owner of Nasty Gal, which was named one of “the fastest growing companies” by Inc. Magazine in 2012.

Amoruso struggled with the academic side of school, and dropped out early due to mental health issues. When she was diagnosed with a hernia, Amoruso sought a job with health insurance to cover her medical bills. It was at this job, checking student’s ID at the lobby of a school, that Amoruso discovered her passion in Myspace and eBay. Using the photography and design skills she’d learnt at school, Amoruso sold her first item of clothing in her eBay shop: Nasty Gal Vintage. 

Based in LA, Nasty Gal is an American retailer that specialises in fashion for young women. The company has more than 550,000 customers in over 60 countries. Amoruso originally began selling vintage clothes from her eBay account, before launching her own website, and later her own clothing range.

Amoruso published her first book, #GIRLBOSS, in early 2014. Following its release, Amoruso launched the GIRLBOSS Foundation to inspire women to take their careers into their own hands. Each quarter, the foundation awards grants to women working on creative projects to help further their careers. 

Take charge ?? #Girlboss

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My thoughts on #GIRLBOSS

When I was given #GIRLBOSS I was entering what I describe as “adult life”: I’d just finished A-Levels and was 100% set on not attending Uni in September. This only meant one thing, I needed to start paying my way. I’d worked weekends and part-time before, but never had a full time job. #GIRLBOSS was a book that told me the do’s and don’ts of surviving this new life.

I never thought of myself as a #GIRLBOSS. I struggled through school, but after reading this book I am determined to be a success. #GIRLBOSS is inspiring, motivating and empowering. After reading this, I feel like I could start my own business from the practical and firsthand tips that Amoruso gave throughout the book.

This book doesn’t patronize young women the way many business experts do. Sophia Amoruso shows readers how to focus on their passion and hard work, while stopping distractions and their past from getting in the way. She offers straight talking advice on making your voice heard and doing meaningful work. She manages to wrap each lesson into a story, and even adds comments from people she admires, her coworkers from Nasty Gal, or her female peers who have also started their own web businesses.

If you have no idea which way you are heading in life, I urge you to read #GIRLBOSS. Amoruso writes about how she really had no idea where she was going, but by carrying out a hobby she managed to find a huge success. There are always people who tell you that sometimes your hobby wont ever lead to a career, and that it should stay a “hobby”. This book proves that if you stay focused it can lead to a huge success.

Although I loved this book and found it really inspirational and helpful, I wouldn’t categorise it as such a business book. It’s more of an autobiography of Amoruso’s early life and how that led her to where she is now. If you want a business book on “How to get rich quick” then this book isn’t the one for you. However if you are just starting out this book is full of so many helpful tips – it has advice on things like writing a good cover letter, and what to do (and not to do) in job interviews. 

Amoruso proves that being successful isn’t about where you went to college or how popular you were in high school. It’s about trusting your instincts and following your gut; knowing which rules to follow and which to break. She’s proof that you can be a huge success without having to give up your spirit of adventure or distinctive style. Amoruso says: “I have three pieces of advice I want you to remember: Don’t ever grow up. Don’t become a bore. Don’t let The Man get to you. OK? Cool. Then let’s do this.”