Login or signup
36
WIRE

Nasty Gal Founder: Proud to Be an Outsider

Sophia Amoruso opened up at last night's PandoMonthly event in Los Angeles. Here's what went down.

Sophia Amoruso, founder of clothing website Nasty Gal

Advertisement

Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso knows how to attract customers to her e-commerce empire, but it turns out she can also pack a room.

Los Angeles-area entrepreneurs turned out in droves to hear Amoruso chat with PandoDaily founder Sarah Lacy at a sold-out event held Thursday. While the site hasn't posted the video of Amoruso's talk just yet, Lacy talked to us about the one-on-one conversation and two big topics: loneliness and the woman issue. 

Outsiders rule.

“Sophia has the most nascent company of anyone we’ve put onstage,” said Lacy. “She was really an unknown everywhere, particularly in L.A., and hasn’t really been part of the clubby, Silicon Valley group.”

Amoruso addressed her position as a start-up scene outsider during the interview, saying that while creating your own universe is empowering it can also be lonely, and that there is “no one that’s your peer.”

It’s a narrative that comes up frequently in interviews with founders, says Lacy, who attributes growth in entrepreneurial hotbeds like the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and Los Angeles to a search for supportive community.

“You can’t imagine the pressure, the emotion, how personally you take everything. There’s just this level of anxiety that rests only on founders’ shoulders,” Lacy told Inc. “The only people who can relate are other entrepreneurs.”

A woman in tech? Try an entrepreneur in tech, thank you.

Amoruso is the first female entrepreneur interviewed as part of the PandoMonthly events series, but like many female founders, she downplayed any significance associated with being a woman in tech.

Instead, she told Lacy, her success had more to do with shying away from venture capitalists who placed too much emphasis on the gender of her customers.

Lacy, who interviews a new founder each month as part of the series, says the audience found Amoruso’s willingness to identify and debunk start-up stereotypes, particularly related to the funding process, “refreshing.”

“Being appropriately offended when [potential backers] tried to fit what she pulled off into whatever investment thesis they were trying to push at that moment—I think a lot of people in the audience who had maybe been rejected for capital probably really enjoyed hearing that.”

 

Last updated: Feb 1, 2013




Register on Inc.com today to get full access to:
All articles  |  Magazine archives | Comment and share features
EMAIL
PASSWORD
EMAIL
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMAIL
PASSWORD

Or sign up using: