Sofia Amoruso is the founder and CEO of the fashion e-commerce site Nasty Gal, which in eight years has managed to reach annual sales of over 100 million dollars, and currently has more than 350 employees. Here is what she says about the success of her book:
I have never started a company. I founded an eBay store and ended up with a company. I would never have borrowed if I knew the business would grow so much.
I was 22 and, like most 22-year-olds, looking for rent money and Starbucks. If someone had shown me what Nasty Gal would look like in the future in 2014, I would have exclaimed in disgust, thinking "no, damn it, it's too much work."
There are different types of entrepreneurs. There are those who start a company because they have an education and have chosen to do so, but there are also those who do it because it is really their only opportunity. I definitely fall into the second category. I thought I was completely unsuitable for employment and I wanted to give one last chance to my ideal to be "unemployed." However, this really worked in my favor.
Since I was a small business in the beginning, customer service was my main priority. Many people run their companies as if their customers are fools. That is a mistake. If you're just there to take their money, they know it. However, if you are genuinely concerned about what you are doing, they will reciprocate.
I knew my clients and what they liked because I was a client myself. Instead of dictating what I think customers would buy and wear, I listened. If I bought something and they didn't like it, I would go there. Instead of imposing on clients my idea of what it should be, I let them guide me along the way.
One of the key things to running a successful company is knowing how to get free advertising.
Rule number one? This is easy. Just do your job well.
Thanks to the styling, photography and voice of the brand, Nasty Gal was an exciting place to shop, but if our customers weren't as happy when they kept one of our products, then the excitement was dying online.
I don't care when someone buys something from me. I know there are a million places where people can buy a dress or a pair of shoes, so I want to make sure that if someone buys from Nasty Gal, they feel it's worth it. We dress girls for the best years of their lives, so whether you're spending $ 300 or shopping for things on sale, I want you to feel like you're wearing a million dollars.
Rule number two: Keep your promises.
When girls buy something from Nasty Gal, what they receive in the mail is just as amazing as what they saw online. So customers become loyal, come back again and again and share their enthusiasm with their friends that you are online. This is a natural word of mouth that cannot be bought.
Rule number three: Give your customers something to share.
Social media is built on sharing, and Nasty Gal gave the girls something amazing to share every day. Whether it's a quote or a behind-the-scenes photo, we've always worked hard to create the best and most compelling images, words and content for our customers.
In most companies, the person who takes care of the official account on Twitter and Facebook is far from the top of the food chain. In Nasty Gal, however, although I don't always write every message on Twitter, I still read every comment. If our customers are unhappy with something, I hear about it first.
In other companies, it may take months for customer feedback to reach the CEO, if at all. When Nasty Gal joined Snapchat, it meant I joined Snapchat. I sent a few photos and our customers reacted en masse. There is nothing more exciting than sending personal messages to a client and seeing what the answer will be.
Call me crazy, but I really believe Nasty Gal is a feeling. Although our community lives in many different places, it is this feeling that unites our customers and makes us much more than a clothing store.