Fourteen years ago, in her two bedroom Atlanta apartment, Sara Blakely had a revelation while toiling as a fax machine salesgirl: to create slimming footless pantyhose. Fast-forward two years and the founder of much-beloved shape-wear brand Spanx was on The Oprah Winfrey Show, in ten, Forbes had named her the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire.
From scouring America to find manufacturers who believed in her product to modeling them on her own 5 foot 6 frame at Neiman Marcus to convince shoppers to buy, Blakely’s journey to becoming the first female billionaire to pledge her wealth to the The Giving Pledge, Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffett’s philanthropic foundation, was never easy and couldn’t be more inspiring.
WATCH the Inc. videos to find out more about Blakely’s struggle with filing for patents, the company’s unique branding strategy and her astounding ascent to the Forbes list of 100 Most Powerful Women of 2013. Read more about Blakely in Forbes’ Undercover Billionaire: Sara Blakely Joins The Rich List Thanks To Spanx.
READ IN CONVERSATION WITH PERNIA’S POP-UP SHOP’S FOUNDER PERNIA QURESHI, AN INSPIRING STORY OF A WOMAN’S PASSION FOR FASHION.