Sophia Amoruso is quick to command the room. It’s not because she’s intimidating, and while she’s a great speaker, there’s still something more to her presence. The Girlboss founder has a grit and realness that makes her success story so much more relatable than ones you’re used to hearing. She dropped out of college, but still created a much-loved online retailer that filled many women’s closets. She watched her company falter, but quickly got back on her feet by creating a brand that cultivates an empire of ambitious women.
She’s always moving and ideating. It’s that relentless attitude that makes you see yourself in her story. While she’s busy running Girlboss and its eponymous podcast and rally, her mind is always searching for the next step. Case in point: her company has partnered with Uber to give female entrepreneurs a chance at skyrocketing their own companies. With over $200,000 given out to a variety of brilliant, female-led startups, it’s easy to see why Girlboss has such a cult following. Of course, she’s not stopping there. So, what’s next?
A LinkedIn-style platform catered specifically to career-minded women, and we’re here for it. (It personally makes me think if Bumble Bizz, LinkedIn, and The Wing all had a baby, this is what it would be.) Securing a job after graduation is no easy feat, and being a young woman unfortunately doesn’t make it any easier. Amoruso is filling an industry gap and is continuing to empower women in their career journeys while doing so.
We were lucky enough to chat with her for five minutes about how she deals with failure, what she gets at Starbucks, and the new program that’s supporting budding female entrepreneurs.
How do you describe yourself in one sentence?
Weirdo who pulled it off, and then didn’t, and is trying to again.
Can you tell us a little more about the Uber pitch program?
Were so proud to be a part of it. We’re giving 200,000 to incredibly talented and inspired young companies. They pitched here yesterday to a panel of amazing judges. Three of them will ultimately win the final prize. They’ve flown from all over to do this. I looked through many of the submissions and printed out the decks of every company that was submitted and I was really shocked by the quality. I mean not shocked really because I know how strong this community it. But these are all investable businesses, it’s pretty inspiring.
Who is your mentor?
Yesterday Arianna Huffington was my mentor. She told me to stop apologizing. I got a compliment and [brushed it off] she was like, “stop minimizing yourself.” And on stage she said that a lot of women don’t realize that no is a complete sentence. I love that. It’s important to be direct and we’re not really taught to be direct.
What’s your coffee order?
Lately, it’s been a venti soy chai from Starbucks.
What’s a habit someone should develop right when they wake up and one they should have right before they go to bed?
Just splashing water on your face. It’s so hard to wake up and usually my eyes are glued closed and that little small thing can set you in motion. At the end of the day, just put your phone down. A lot of the time I’ll have my boyfriend put it away or hide it from me, especially on vacations.
What products are on your bathroom counter that you can’t live without?
I’ve been using Drunk Elephant a lot. They have something called the Juju Bar and it’s like the best cleanser I think I’ve ever used. I use their Lala Retro Whipped Cream moisturizer too, and I really love Vintner’s Daughter and her oil. I have a lot. I probably have 60 products on my counter.
What would you suggest to do if you’re trying to bounce back from rejection or failure?
Remind yourself that it’s normal. Even though you don’t hear about people failing every day we are. If you’re not, you’re probably not taking enough risks.
What’s something you learned about the entrepreneurship industry that you didn’t think you would?
That it’s a marathon, not a race.
What would you tell your college-age self?
Finish college. Finish something. That’s a big accomplishment.
Who would you like to see featured next in our Five Minutes with… series? Comment below!
Opening image in collage courtesy of Janice Yim/Getty Images for Girlboss Rally NYC 2018