Nasty Gal? What’s That?
It may be last years news, but it sure is something worth talking about when it comes to public relations. Nasty Gal, an eBay page that sells vintage women’s clothing, sold nearly $100 million of clothing and accessories last year in profit. The name itself has heads turned when heard, but not to the half a million Facebook followers and over 600,000 followers on Instagram. For over seven years, Nasty Gal has courted a following of women in their 20’s, but many people still don’t know about one of the fastest-growing retailers in the country and can’t help but give a strange look when they hear “Nasty Gal.”
So how did Nast Gal come about? Why wasn’t more thought put into the name?
Sophia Amoruso was a 22-year-old college dropout, living in her step-aunt’s cottage and working at an art school checking IDs for $13 an hour in 2006. She decided to quit her job and start a side project one day on eBay. The eBay page, “Nasty Gal” was named after the 1975 album by Betty Davis and the webpage ultimately turned into a multi-million dollar business. I’m not sure that Amoruso regrets quitting her job at all when she looks back.
My first thought was…where did she get all the inventory to sell?
Amoruso bought a Chanel jacket at a Salvation Army store for $8 and sold it for $1000. She also found YSL clothing online for cheap by searching out items with misspellings, reasoning that if someone didn’t know how to spell Yves Saint Laurent, then they were most likely unaware of the items value. Sounds like Amoruso jumped on the thrift shop band wagon early which surely paid off.
Amoruso styled, photographed, captioned and shipped each of the products herself, selling about 25 items per week. After having friends model and photograph her products, she outgrew her step-aunt’s cottage and moved to a 1,700 sq. ft. studio in Berkeley, CA to headquarter Nasty Gal in 2007. Within the first year, Amoruso had to move headquarters again to a larger space in Emeryville which exceeded 7.500 sq. ft. Ms. Amoruso also outgrew eBay and launched ShopNastyGal.com to accommodate the amount of sales and anticipated growth.
In 2011, Nasty Gal headquarters was moved to LA to be closer to merchants and models. The “Nasty Gal Creative Studio” office space was relocated to downtown Santa Monica, CA. In March of 2012, Armoruso gave Index Ventures a slice of equity for $9 million. With the continuance of rapid sales growth and expansion, other competitors are keeping an eye on Nasty Gal for potential acquisitions.
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