Sara Blakely: Redefining Success One Butt at a Time


Women all over the world can only imagine something flattering to wear under “cream-colored pants and open-toed shoes.” Sara Blakely, creator of Spanx, made women’s wildest dreams come true with the invention of footless pantyhose. Blakely’s fashionista passion and entrepreneurial skills has made her the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, and placed her on the list of Forbes’s of ‘Women Who Are Redefining Power.’ Sara Blakely’s dreams started with $5000 and the belief that her idea was going to be a success.

Not as a child, nor teenager, or in her young adulthood did Blakely ever imagine creating women’s shape wear for a living, but she dreamed of being a lawyer. However, Blakely earned abysmal scores on the LSAT and with a degree in legal communications; she then decided to start an adventure through various professions. Blakely worked for Disney fastening safety belts on Epcot’s World of Motion. After months of misery, she transformed her career into a door salesperson for fax machines. Soon after a “succession of terrible ideas,” Sara Blakely arrived at Spanx when she discovered stockings to be hot and visible with kitten heels yet they concealed her underwear line and made her body look more firm.

Sara Blakely with new hopes of becoming a savvy businesswomen began developing her new product, by cutting the feet off of pantyhose. Blakely researched hosiery patents at a local university library and wrote her patent out of a textbook to save thousands of dollars in legal fees. Today, Blakely’s dreams came true following the distribution of Spanx at luxury department stores across the globe. Spanx is valued at approximately $1 billion, it is debt free, has spent zero dollars on advertisement, and is 100% owned by Sara Blakely.

Samantha Horvitz

Florida State University

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