The name is Sara Blakely, her company, Spanx. For those who don’t know her, Sara Blakely brought to women footless pantihose and many other amazing hosiery inventions. Her turning point: endorsement from Oprah which sent her company off the charts. What I didn’t know was her success story.
Deep down inside of all of us there is an entrepreneur, our challenge is often to figure out what product or service we are to sell. I do have a great deal of admiration for people who are able to get me to buy things that I don’t want by convincing me that I actually NEED them and even more than that, those who are able to make me a repeated buyer. Sara’s story is touching because she started out like ‘us’.
A few days ago I stumbled upon a website – Inc.com and began to watch and read various inspirational stories of entrepreneurs. Sara’s story caught my attention because I had actually watched the moment on the Oprah show back in 2002 when the got the golden endorsement – way to know you are a vintage fan.
Sara was 27 working for a company selling fax machines door-to-door, and then one day she had her ‘a-ha’ moment. She was going to a party and needed footless pantyhose to go with her outfit, so she cut the ‘feet’ off her pantyhose and bam: problem solved. Somewhere in there, she’d been praying to ‘the universe’ to give her an idea that will help her make millions and touch people’s lives. She’d abandoned the idea, but when she was watching the Oprah show and heard our dear O say that she too cut off the feet of her pantyhose, the spark was rekindled, almost as a confirmation that she should go ahead with her idea. At 29, Sara built her business from her 2 bedroom apartment by investing her entire savings of $5,000 into the company. She convinced Nordstrom to put her products in 7 of their stores. Knowing nothing about the hoisery industry, she embarked on a journey that eventually revolutionized the male-dominated industry. She currently owns 100% of the company, has never advertised and has never accepted outside investment.
Net worth: drum rollll…..ONE BILLION DOLLARS.
Here are her current stats from Forbes.com
- Age: 41
- Source of Wealth: Spanx, self-made
- Residence: Atlanta, GA
- Country of Citizenship: United States
- Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, Florida State University
- Marital Status: Married
- Children: 1
- Daring to Ask, ‘Why Not?’ (inc.com)
- Spanx Creator Sara Blakely Joins Forbes’ Billionaires List (shoppingblog.com)
- Inspiration from Sara Blakely (2lipsticksarebetter.wordpress.com)
- Spanx founder Sara Blakely among Time’s “Most Influential” (bizjournals.com)