Behind Sara Blakely's frank, angelic smile lies a purebred successful hunter. She had a job selling fax machines at home, when she suddenly decided to become an entrepreneur. Her goal was to find and market clothes that could be worn under white pants without leaving a mark. This idea catapulted her to the position of the youngest woman to enter the list of Forbes magazine. Her fortune is estimated at 1,160 million dollars, about 1,000 million euros.
She is considered one of the 100 most influential women in the world. Her career has established her as a paradigm of female entrepreneurship. She capable of devising a consumer product and risking her money in search of success. Blakely invested $5,000 in developing her idea, then got the Neiman Marcus chain, a specialist in women's clothing, to sell this product. Ella's brand Spanx sells her products in 65 countries, including original lingerie, but also tights, clothes for pregnant women and even for men.
Blakely's story could be that of any woman reading these lines. Natural from the town of Clearwater in Florida (United States), she is the daughter of a lawyer and an artist. She studied at Florida State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts and Science.
stumble in law
Her first vocation was law, but she gave up because of her low grades in the Law School admission test. Her career begins at Disney World in Orlando, where she works for three months. After becoming a stand-up comedian, she takes a job at Danka's office supply company, which leads her to sell fax machines door-to-door.Warning, scroll to continue reading
Like some of the great innovations in fashion, Blakely got the revolutionary idea herself. In Danka she was forced to wear stockings with the heat that she had in Florida. She was fed up with the discomfort of those pantyhose, at a party she decided to remove the part of her feet to wear this garment under new pants. Blakely was at the time inventing the fashion of wearing figure-enhancing pantyhose under pants. A garment that is today at the headquarters of Spanx, the company with which she has achieved success.
She founded this company at the age of 27, while she was still selling faxes door to door. When she wanted to patent her inventions, she realized that there was no female attorney in the entire State of Georgia, so she bought a book from Barnes & Noble where she learned how to write her own patent. A true successful hunter.
She moves to North Carolina where America's leading hosiery manufacturers were, but finds nothing but rejection from a male-dominated industry. One of them, under pressure from his three daughters, finally decides to support this project.
Blakely revolutionizes the underwear industry. Her tests are done by herself, her mother and her friends. She discovers that the manufacturers of these stockings only used one waist size to save costs, which leads her to use different sizes of elastic for different sizes.
Blakely reaches an agreement with a lawyer to finalize the patent process for her brand. She immerses herself in the world of packaging her products and chooses the color red, which was a novelty at that time, when white, beige and gray were used.
The name was the last stage of her dream. She discovered that Kodac and Coca Cola had great strength for the inventors of these products. As she was driving, she came up with the word spanks. The ending of this story is simple. To play with double meanings and not be too explicit, she decided to change the last two letters to x. A star of women's fashion was born: Spanx.
Four million sales in its first year, ten million in the second. She now wants to design the most comfortable women's shoe in the world. Meanwhile, the foundation that she created in 2006 and that bears her name, contributes to helping women in their education and in their careers as entrepreneurs.