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With Girlboss, Sophia Amoruso Is Using Past Failures to Fuel Her Latest Success And she's launching a brand new social network to help other women thrive.

By Liz Brody

This story appears in the October 2018 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Emily Shur

During the spring of 2017 the world was getting nasty toward Nasty Gal's Sophia Amoruso. It wasn't a treatment she was used to. Until then, she'd been an entrepreneurial darling: the It-girl founder of a booming clothing retailer, frequent subject of magazine covers (including Entrepreneur's: January 2013), regular headliner of conferences, and author of a best-selling memoir. And then, on April 21, the TV version of Sophia streamed out to 130 million Netflix members. It was a comedy called Girlboss, based on her book—a loose retelling of Amoruso's life ("real loose," the opening credits stress), in which a 22-year-old Dumpster-diving college dropout launches her fashion empire from an eBay store.

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The series, frankly, wasn't very good. But that wasn't the problem. The problem was that, simultaneously, in a rather spectacular backassward feat of timing, the real Sophia, 33, was out of work, having sold the company she was celebrated for after it filed for bankruptcy amid a pile-on of troubles. The crisscross of Sophia narratives was catnip to critics, who suggested Amoruso was a narcissist and wrote headlines like "Girlboss is a feminist fraud."

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