What I am Reading: #Girlboss

True inspiration from an industrious, uber cool, Girlboss. Sophia Amoruso, Founder and CEO of fashion empire 'Nasty Gal' tells us how she did it.

Imagery sourced from the Nasty Gal website.

Truth be told, I always judge a book by its cover. This one was no different. I was drawn to the elegant simplicity of bold type against a stage of soft pink, fronted by an impossibly pretty vixen with a bookish haircut reminiscent of a hollywood siren.

A couple of pages in and I was hooked as Sophia, self proclaimed misfit, self deprecatingly notes all the failures that lead to her eventual success. From dumpster diving for food (yes I am being literal) to owning a multi million dollar fashion empire at 30 years of age. It’s an entrepreneurial dream to achieve the amount she has… especially at such a young age.

We all want to find that insane level of success and yearn to discover the secret to doing so. Many believe it is dumb luck or just street smarts and strength of determination. I believe there is a portion of ones success attributed to that, but in this case it is more about art direction than anything else. The business premise is by no means unique. Hunting for vintage clothing to hock on ebay is akin to the 20 something version of a kids lemonade stand. But this story is different. Its all about presentation. Each and every item sold was styled, photographed and re-branded to inhabit an otherwise overlooked worth. All written descriptions were thoughtfully contrived to sell. Rock chic swagger fizzed at the seams of every delivery, but unlike many other youth centric fashion labels, this one felt authentic because of the personality steering the ship. For me, the book became more of a lesson in marketing than anything else.

And now I would like to talk about the Nasty Gal label itself. The success story is cool but the clothes are even cooler. I have always appreciated the mod/rock chic aesthetic. I spent most of my teens rocking a white PVC skirt, bouncing from band to band wanting to be a blonde incarnation of Shirley Manson (Garbage). Nasty Gal nails the spirit with polished ease. I can’t wait to visit my brother in LA (because he is awesome) but also because it would be fun to make a casual stop by Santa Monica to see the newly opened store.

South Melbourne Markets

South Melbourne Markets

Best markets in Melbourne

South Melbourne Markets are the best in Melbourne and quite possibly (because I am fiercely patriotic) the world!

South Melbourne Market Website

SoMe Space
The markets designer home-wares sector.

The Super Cool
Design Store

Paco Y Lola
Mexican Eatery

Beautiful home-wares

One of Melbourne’s biggest draw cards is its markets. From quirky design stalls to tables laden with gourmet delights. I adore them, more specifically I adore the South Melbourne Market, possibly the most beautiful and unique in Australia. It is no surprise to see TV crews running through the aisles in hot pursuit of ‘Block’ contestants searching for something to give their room reveal the ‘edge’ Melbourne is famed for. Similarly, I will usually be found scouring through vintage posters and artwork, admiring the work of graphic designers from generations past.

I am lucky enough to live on the 96 tram line from St Kilda beach to Brunswick. The markets are only 5 stops away. A traditional market visit will usually start in the fruit section with a fresh drinking coconut, macheteed (not a real word) right in front of me. It’s all very bizarre traipsing amongst the stalls with a festive island holiday beverage, but somehow it just seems fitting. Drink in hand, I mosey over to The SoMe design sector which is full of interesting jewellery, clothing, home wares, magazines and books… the mothership to Jo land.

If I am with a bunch of friends, I will usually take the opportunity to lunch at Paco Y Lola, a Mexican street food eatery which has the best blonde sangria I have ever tasted. You can buy it by the jug or as a single glass and it goes down beautifully with a chicken burrito. Other favourite menu picks include the chicken and fig salad and or the cumin roasted cauliflower with almonds and pomegranate seeds. It is a party for your mouth!

The actual market building is surrounded by quaint little streets filled with cute Melbourne-esque cafes, bakeries, restaurants and interior design stores. A few of them are wifi enabled which is great for me to take my iPad along, catch up on emails, do some research, write a blog post, all whilst chowing down on a delicious pastry.

My partner Remy, has a penchant for the deli section of the markets, the cheese room specifically. He is French and used to eating the kind of potent cheese that is unavailable for export to Australia due to excessive bacterial content (bless him). However they do have a variety of imports that my very Australian palate can handle. I have a few favourites including ‘Mature Aged Gouda’- so flavoursome and crystal ridden; Comte and Cantal – Specific to villages in the South of France and lastly the smoothly flavoured Swiss Gruyere cause you can’t bypass quality.

The South Melbourne markets have an impressive collection of indoor and outdoor greenery. I am a huge fan of succulents in all shapes and sizes. There is a smorgasbord to choose from. I’m obsessed with the Fiddle Fig Ficus plant which you will find in abundance. In my opinion throwing one of these beauties into a living room with a simple white pot can transform the space into a chic fresh and liveable area.

All in all, I 100% recommend visiting the South Melbourne Market. You will thank me for the recommendation!