Sara Blakely went from a $5K self-investment---to world’s youngest self-made female billionaire at age 41 in little more than a decade--by manufacturing cool undies designed to make you look très haute. If I wasn't aware of the brand or founding CEO previously...there were now one thousand million reasons to check her out: here
Born in Florida to a lawyer dad and artist mother—Sara graduated from Florida State with a communications degree. After selling fax machines door-to-door in the sweltering southern heat…she cut the feet off a pair of pantyhose to create a smoothing, no panty-line look under white pants. That minor fix proved so satisfactory that she was certain that other women would appreciate her solution--particularly in dressy Atlanta where she'd relocated.
Sara tracked down a manufacturer who could produce an initial 3,000 pair--who was only convinced when his daughters loved her idea. Sara designed her own logo, and figured out how to DIY her Spanx trademark--then marketed the brand across the U.S. via her home phone. Perhaps dialing to Elvis singing 'Money Honey' in the background: here
When Oprah gave SPANX her blessing—Sara’s budding operation went full-blown. And like Oprah—Sara also believes in giving back. Through her foundation numerous organizations including: Habitat for Humanity, Atlanta Children's Shelter, Dress for Success, African Women's Development Fund, Kidsave International, Partnership Against Domestic Violence, Step Up Women's Network, Washington Women In Need…and many others...receive support.
Because Sara attributes getting through college successfully to her ‘lucky red backpack’ she recreated duplicates as giveaways to symbolize her motto of ‘starting small, thinking big, and remaining true to self’. To learn more: Spanx