Who would have ever of thought that tights with the feet cut out would become a billion dollar idea?!
A product promising to help people look thin has given its inventor a big fat wallet. Sara Blakely, the founder of ubiquitous shapewear company Spanx, debuts on one of the covers of Forbes’ new Billionaires issue as the youngest self-made woman to earn the big “B” title at age 41.
The entrepreneur who failed her LSATs twice and couldn’t even get a job playing Goofy at Disney has come a long way. Via HuffingtonPost reports:
Florida native Blakely started her first business in 1990: a babysitters’ club. But Spanx famously began when Blakely, at age 27, cut the feet off a pair of pantyhose to wear under her cream-colored slacks for their figure-flattering properties. “I needed an undergarment that didn’t exist,” she told Forbes.
While holding down a day job, Blakely worked tirelessly to build her Spanx empire, shipping items in the wee hours of the morning and aggressively approaching Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus to start stocking her products.
Today, Spanx is run by a team of 125 and sells 200 products in 11,500 stores in 40 countries. Blakely has also netted a variety of celebrity fans, including Octavia Spencer, who says she wears three layered pairs on the red carpet, and Melissa McCarthy, whose pair got her into a particularly embarrassing moment. There’s even a line of Spanx activewear.
Now that’s a lil positivity!