When Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS hit the shelves in 2014, I made my way to my local Chapters and plucked a fresh copy off the shelf. Within days, I was gripping on to the last page, totally inspired by Nasty Gal’s journey to success and ready to start my own online business as ever.
We hear a lot about how the trendiest novels, movies, campaigns, etc., have changed people’s lives for the better. In all honesty, #GIRLBOSS didn’t change my life. But the lessons inside have stuck with me for the last two and a half years.
In late April, Netflix aired the first season of #GIRLBOSS starring Britt Robertson, who plays Amoruso in the re-telling of the company’s rise to internet fame. However, the show and the events that took place in it turned out to be a loose, (real loose), version of Amoruso’s experiences – in the best way.
Spoiler alert: here are three important lessons Netflix’s #GIRLBOSS taught me that the book didn’t.
Be set in your ways. When Sophia opened Nasty Gal Vintage on eBay, she was selling pre-worn trendy, designer clothing that she bought at a bargain. She runs into trouble when Nasty Gal sky rockets in popularity and all the other vintage re-sellers on eBay lose their business as a result. Suddenly, an online forum of store owners is attacking Sophia for her practices and accuses her of not actually caring about the sacredness of the garments – she was just in it for the money. Instantly, Sophia fires back at the forum, standing by her company and showing her pride in its success. Even if she was going against the vintage lover’s guidelines, Robertson’s character teaches that being set in your ways is a way to guarantee your success.
Value the people that have been loyal to you from the beginning. Amoruso’s best friend on the show, Annie, helps Sophia package orders, organize her office space, and even steam clothes. After months of slaving away with no charge, Annie realizes that she’s truly passionate about Nasty Gal and that she’s really good at what she’s doing. At the same time, she realizes that she deserves to be compensated for her hard work, and formally asks Sophia for a paying job. When Sophia denies Annie’s request, she becomes very upset and feels rejected and not deserving of fair payment. Annie goes weeks without talking to Sophia and steps away from Nasty Gal. Eventually Sophia realizes that Annie is integral part of her business and that it suffers when she’s not around. Bottom line is that best friend or not, this situation in the Nasty Gal series taught me that loyalty deserves to be appreciated and rewarded if you want someone to stick around.
Know what your shit’s worth. Not just your material shit, your personal shit too. In one fierce scene at the beginning of the season, Sophia finds a pricey vintage designer jacket at a local thrift store and talks the owner into selling it to her for under ten dollars – because eight is all she has in her pocket. Before she storms out of the shop, Robertson reminds the clerk to, “know what your shit’s worth, ‘cause you just got played”. This scene taught me that we should know the value and quality of our material goods, and this lesson comes through in other aspects of the show. Like when Sophia realizes that there’s no need to try to impress her father with her successful business because her efforts to try and better her life and herself after moving from job to job and dumpster diving for food are worth something too. Knowing how worthy you are of everything you’ve worked for is so important for every #GIRLBOSS.
Unfortunately, you won’t see Roberston back on screen in a second season of the show. In fact, Netflix decided to cancel it after the first. Though I’m sure we’d all like to see whether or not Amoruso’s business survives, if her relationship lasts or if she runs into any more trouble with the eBay’s vintage police, it’s probably for the best that they chose not to create a season’s worth of entirely false events since the show was inspired by Amoruso’s autobiography. And I don’t know about you, but I appreciate Netflix keepin’ it real.
You can still watch the entire first season of the #GIRLBOSS series on Netflix now.