Sara Blakely was just 27-years-old when she decided to create smoothing undergarments that would flatter a females figure, since that time Spanx has become a worldwide recognized brand worth an estimated $1 billion making Blakely the youngest woman on the Forbes billionaires list thanks to her 100% ownership of the private company.
The company’s wealth was estimated by several Wall Street Bankers and their estimate ranks Sara at 1,153 out of 1,226 on the Billionaires list.
Based out of Atlanta, GA the company employees 125 staff members including 16 men and the company claims to now control 20 percent of revenue in the “shapewear” industry for a value of $250 million.
According to Blakely she started her company with just $5,000 in the bank and a hatred for old fashioned pantyhose:
“I cut the feet off my pantyhose and wore them underneath,” she told Forbes. “But they rolled up my legs all night. I remember thinking, ‘I’ve got to figure out how to make this.’ I’d never worked in fashion or retail. I just needed an undergarment that didn’t exist.”
For three years Blakely wore the same cream pants every single day to promote Spanx because she had no money to advertise her product. She supported herself by working a nine to five sales job while performing stand-up comedy at night.
In 2000 Blakely received orders from Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Later she would receive a resounding endorsement from billionaire Oprah Winfrey who added them to her annual “favorite things” show.
Spanx now offers more than 200 products which are featured in more than 11,500 department stores and boutiques in 40 countries.
Are you impressed with Sara Blakely’s success story?