Before women wore girdles, and long before Spanx was created, corsets were a requirement for women with strong moral values. The term “loose woman” was coined to describe a woman who was seen in public without her corset. Unfortunately, in addition to fortifying a woman's virtue, they also caused internal damage to the body.
When Sara was attempting to get her idea for footless pantyhose off the ground, she found herself running into an old boys network. Sara was truly surprised that the people responsible for designing and creating women's shapewear and hosiery were men.
Sara's footless pantyhose is the product that revolutionized the shapewear and hosiery industry. Sara loved the “second skin” body shaping elements that pantyhose provides, but hated that she couldn't wear them with sandals. She cut the feet out of a pair of traditional pantyhose and the idea was born.
In 2000, The Oprah Winfrey Show wanted to visit Spanx headquarters to profile the company for the “favorite things” episode. Show producers were surprised to learn that Sara had been running the business out of her Atlanta apartment. She eventually upgraded to an official office and is now building a brand new office overlooking the Atlanta skyline.
When developing the Spanx brand, Sara wanted to integrate a sense of humor into company's image. The comic on this pantyhose package insert is an example of what makes Spanx stand out in the industry.
After coming in second on the Rebel Billionaire, Branson contributed $750,000 to the start of The Sara Blakely Foundation. Women on the Move is just one of the organizations that benefits from the Foundation.
When faced with the complaint that Spanx were too expensive, Sara launched a line of women's undergarments with a lower price point at Target. The result was Assets, the shapewear/hosiery that is “guaranteed to improve your bottom line!”
At the helm of a multi-million dollar company, Sara Blakely is proof that a big idea can turn into big business in just eight short years!
Watch Slideshow Again