Aligning Personal and Business Values: Sophia Amaruso & NastyGal

Last week I discussed three benefits of knowing your personal values as a business owner. This week’s blog post shows an example of aligning your personal and business values. 

Sophia Amaruso is founder of Nasty Gal, a women’s fashion retailer, which she started 10 years ago at the age of 22 years. The company specialises in fashion for young women boasting more than half a million customers in at least 60 countries.  Inc. Magazine named Nasty Gal one of the fastest growing companies in 2012 and Forbes has listed her as one of the richest self-made women in the world.

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I’ve picked up a few of Sophia’s personal values from both reading and listening to interviews featuring her.  It is apparent that hard, honest work is something she places much emphasis on, as do many other successful entrepreneurs.  She also places much value on the act of learning something new on a regular basis and advises budding business owners to treat everyone with respect and expect to learn something new from everyone.

This value of learning is further evident in her perspective on failure. Ms. Amaruso encourages those who’d like to venture into entrepreneurship to take risks, to “blow it”, pick up the pieces and take a different direction if things don’t work out as hoped. The most important aspect of failure, according to her, is turning missteps into lessons.

Another one of her values that’s strongly linked to the act of learning is that of ingenuity. She’s also big on authenticity and self-awareness and finds it highly important to ‘practice what you preach’, i.e. aligning what you say with what you do rather than aiming to impress with words only.

Nasty Gal Inc. is an extension of Sophia Amaruso’s personal values. The company aims to be more than just a fashion outlet; it aims to represent a state of mind and a voice for the women who make use of the brand.

The website makes known what the brand is about and how they work by stating that it “stands for the girl in progress. Our team…works hard to bring you limited-edition designs that cut through the noise…” and this aligns perfectly with Sophia’s personal values of continuous learning, hard work and inventiveness.

Like-minded consumers with similar values can therefore connect to the brand on a deeper level and lead to a loyal customer tribe and a successful fashion business.

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