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Famous Girlboss Starts New Life As Venture Capitalist

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Sophia Amoruso, the founder and former CEO of Nasty Gal, has been lying low for the past several years (perhaps because she’s the woman who popularized and will forever be associated with the term girlboss.) But it seems she’s back, with new hair and a new business, though there’s little about that in a profile of her published today in Elle, which declares that the “original #Girlboss is casting off that label and embarking on her next chapter.”

Amoruso founded Nasty Gal in 2006; a pioneering online fast-fashion brand, it sold cheap, edgy going-out clothes and accessories and had a cult following among hip young women. In a few years, the company was making $100 million a year, and in 2014, Amoruso published her bestselling memoir, #Girlboss, about starting the company. But a year later, she stepped down as CEO amid layoffs, revenue losses, and a lawsuit filed by former employees who alleged they had illegally been terminated while pregnant (the suit ultimately settled). The company went bankrupt and sold for $20 million in 2016, and not long after, Netflix made a show about the whole saga. Amoruso then pivoted to create the Girlboss Media brand and job-seeking site, which she sold in 2019, by which time the term girlboss had become embarrassing, if not derogatory.

She was the earliest casualty of the “Girlboss Reckoning,” when formerly beloved female founders — Ty Haney of Outdoor Voices, Audrey Gelman of The Wing, etc. — left their companies after being lambasted by former employees in the press. (At one point, Amoruso was on the same Bad Girlboss list as Elizabeth Holmes, which she seems — understandably — upset about. “I raised a too-high valuation, didn’t know how to build a great culture, and didn’t live up to people’s fucking expectations,” she tells Elle. “And years later, that’s who I am? Elizabeth Holmes, who put dying people at risk and is in fucking prison?”)

But the profile barely touches on Amoruso’s new endeavor, which turns out to be running a venture-capital fund. According to its website, Trust Fund “is an early-stage venture fund focused exclusively (yet broadly) on investing in tech-enabled products that help people start and build businesses. We write $150 - $300K checks into pre-seed and seed stage companies.” Its portfolio includes some pretty big names — Theragun, Kindbody, 1stDibs — but I guess that’s not worth mentioning, perhaps because transitioning from girlboss to venture capitalist is about as much of a pivot as going from brunette to blonde.

Famous Girlboss Starts New Life As Venture Capitalist