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Sophia Amoruso Proves that White Men Haven’t Cornered the Market on Failing Upwards

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | August 22, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | August 22, 2017 |

We love to catalogue those in the industry who repeatedly fail and yet manage to be given opportunity after opportunity to succeed. In the world of screenwriting, Max Landis is the King of Failing Upwards followed by Akiva Goldsman. Colin Trevorrow holds that title among directors. Scott Buck is the man in the world of television showrunners.

But the category of Upwards Failures is not limited only to white men. To wit: Sophia Amoruso, the Queen of Upwards Failure in the Branding Industry.

To her credit, Amoruso did manage to take her high socioeconomic status and fritter it away by dropping out of school and turning to dumpster diving, working at a Subway, and then finally striking it rich by founding a company she created to avoid doing actual work (no knock against that; that’s the American Dream!). That company was Nasty Gal, an Ebay store turned online vintage clothing retailer that managed to quickly succeed — and ultimately crumble — because of Amoruso’s mismanagement, her poor treatment of employees, and her ability to spend large amounts of cash with very little return!

Amoruso took the skills she honed running her incredibly successfully company into the ground and wrote a self-help business-y memoir, which was eventually made into a terrible Netflix show that somehow made Britt Robertson — one of the effortlessly likable people in Hollywood — unlikable by virtue of playing a fictional version of Amoruso where most of her warts had been washed away (seriously, Robertson is not a great actress, but it’s hard not to like her, in spite of that). It was impossible, nevertheless, not to recognize what an entitled, brattish person Amoruso is underneath the fictional version of herself. Girlboss was canceled after one season. Rightfully, as it was awkward airing a Netflix series promoting the business acumen of a character based on a woman whose company had recently gone belly up.

So, that’s it for Amoruso, right? She ran her company into the ground, her brand was tarnished by a failed Netflix series, and a lawsuit filed against her company for creating a toxic environment for pregnant women.

Not so fast!

The rise and fall of a brand would not be complete in America without an opportunity for another rise! She’s been given $1.2 million in venture capital to regrow her brand. The Nasty Gal brand is sunk, but apparently, there’s still some value in the “Girlboss” brand as a media empire.

From Forbes:

Girlboss Media’s products include an editorial website,, and an email newsletter disseminating its content, which ranges from personal finance to beauty and fitness. “Ambition and wellness for women aren’t mutually exclusive,” Amoruso said.

Posts on the current homepage include ‘Why You (Yes, You) Should Consider Getting A Financial Planner’ and ‘Why You Should Think Twice About Using Emoji In Your Work Emails.’

This October will see the publication of Amoruso’s third book, ‘The Girlboss Workbook: An Interactive Journal for Winning at Life.’

Christ! We’ve been toiling away here at Pajiba for over 13 years now, and all we had to do to succeed is write articles about whether to use Emojis in work emails. What have we been doing with our lives?

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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