American Entrepreneurs, Sophia Amoruso & Dan Fleyshman
Read on to see the next entrepreneurial forerunners featured on our 10 Retail Change Makers blog.
7: Sophia Amoruso, Founder of Nasty Gal, Girl Boss CEO, New York Times Bestselling Author, Serial Entrepreneur. (American female entrepreneur)
Dedicated to helping entrepreneurs, side-hustlers and founders-to-be build their dream businesses, Sophia has built large companies and failed miserably on the public stage over the past 14 years. No newbie when it comes to putting in hard work, at 22 she started a little eBay store selling vintage clothing out of the back of an ‘87 Volvo and named it Nasty Gal.
Sophias’ mission and business history
In her own words “I’m a total introvert and riddled with impostor syndrome every day––but I get up and keep getting up because I’m driven to share my learnings with the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
Sophia Amoruso is the Founder & CEO at Business Class, a serial entrepreneur, and New York Times Bestselling Author who has forged an unparalleled path in founding and scaling iconic brands and businesses. She’s evolved from one of the most prominent ﬁgures in fashion to a cultural thought leader, inspiring a new generation of founders, professionals, freelancers, and creatives.
In 2020, Sophia founded Business Class, a comprehensive 10-week digital course for entrepreneurs, creatives, and freelancers, which has built a community of over 1500 founders across the globe.
In 2017, Sophia founded Girlboss, a community for ambitious women. In 2019, at the 5th Girlboss Rally, which hosted 1800 attendees, she unveiled the new Girlboss.com, a digital professional network that Fast Company dubbed “The LinkedIn for Women.” Sophia also hosted Girlboss Radio, which garnered over 20 million downloads. In December 2019, it was announced that Girlboss had been acquired by Attention Capital.
Her 2014 New York Times Bestseller #GIRLBOSS, which chronicled her early life as well as her experience as the founder of fashion empire Nasty Gal, was adapted into a scripted TV series that premiered on Netﬂix in 2017 and was produced by Charlize Theron. Sophia has also authored two other books: Nasty Galaxy and the Girlboss Workbook.
Sophia made her mark when she founded Nasty Gal and bootstrapped it to $30 million on profitably, raising $60 million in venture capital and scaling the business to over $100 million in revenue. Sophia became a member of the CFDA in 2016.
Sophia has been featured on the cover of Forbes magazine’s 2016 America’s Richest Self-Made Women issue and featured in the Fortune 40 under 40, Forbes 30 under 30, Inc. 30 under 30, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business lists, and named one of Forbes’ Richest Self-Made Women. Through her businesses, books, and podcasts she has mentored thousands of people on how to dream up and build profitable businesses they’re proud of. Sophia has navigated the tricky waters of building both bootstrapped and investor-backed companies and after 14 years of it, she decided she was ready to harvest everything.
What she’s currently up to
Nowadays Sophia publishes a weekly newsletter, shares her thoughts and knowledge on her personal Instagram, and through downloadable E-Book, the Side Hustle Bible, as well as free resources like her Bio Bible and in-depth online course, Business Class. She resides in Los Angeles, CA with her 3 toy poodles and is always optimistic as to where her journey will take her next.
8: Dan Fleyshman (American entrepreneur)
Born on September 2, 1982 (age 38) in San Diego, California, USA. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California, in the United States. Dan Simon Fleyshman is his full name. Dan is a well-known American businessman, social media personality, poker player, social activist, Youtuber and US public figure. His claim to fame, some might say, is being known for being the youngest founder of a publicly traded company
His early years
In an interview Dan stated that he had to work from a very young age, as he grew up in a very middle class setting. While still in high school he started selling cereal and candies to save up for his studies, as he knew his family wouldn’t be able to afford college tuition. Commendably, while buying and selling cereals and candies, he also budgeted so that a portion of the profit could be given to his mother to help with household supplies and food. He also worked part time jobs on weekends to be able to buy stock and add into his business fund.
After completing high school, he decided to set up his own business with over $43 000,00 he had saved from his middle and high school jobs. His first business being a clothing brand, that he started along with publishing his first book, titled “How to set up your personal brand for under $1000”.
Dans business journey
Later on, he founded the energy drink company ‘Who’s Your Daddy (WYD)’ in September 1999. WYD sells energy drinks and juices, and within two years of starting his business the drinks were available in over 15,000 stores. It quickly became one of the most popular energy drinks within the first two years of its existence. With the rise in energy drink popularity Dan continued to grow WYD to the point where his energy drinks were available in over 55,000 stores over the following 4 years. Following the success of WYD, in January 2008, Dan utilised profits to open the ‘Platinum Collection,’ a jewellery and fashion store specialising in diamond jewellery, watches, and high-quality clothing.
Growing slightly complacent and now content with the growth of his previous business ventures, he launched an online poker website (at roughly aged 27). Poker rose to third place in the world in just ten months of starting his online business, proving that Dans’ business foresight and determination makes him a business leader who is adaptable to market changes. As a result, his business/platform became one of the most recognisable poker brands in the world, not just in America.
After losing everything he had worked so hard for, Fleyshman launched his social media website, ‘Elevator Studio.’ He works with a wide range of influencers, managers, and businesses, and has worked with approximately 600 influencers to date. He also held several events and campaigns under the Elevator Studio brand. Elevator Nights, his branch, has organized over 30 events and assisted over 1000 entrepreneurs. His list of businesses doesn’t stop there, as he also co-founded the ‘100 million Mastermind Experience’ with Cody Sperber and Joel Marion, where he spoke with 200 investors and attended business events. As an investor, he has invested in over 30 companies and provided business advice to them.
In June of 2011, Dan established his non-profit organisation. He aimed to assist those in need around him, with the resources he now had from the success of Elevator Studio. He stated that many people live on footpaths and do not have a place to live or food to eat. He assisted them by providing them with tools to rebuild their lives and homes. They provide a backup that includes everything that is required.
His “rags to riches” story is incredibly commendable, and Dan is a true inspiration.
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