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Sara Blakely          

Founder & CEO of SPANX

Sara Blakely is an American billionaire businesswoman, and founder of Spanx, an American intimate apparel company with pants and leggings.

Sara Blakely wanted footless body shaping pantyhose to wear with her cream-colored pants and open-toed shoes, but she couldn't find them anywhere. As a frustrated consumer turned entrepreneur, Blakely took $5,000 in savings and began her adventure in the $2 billion male-dominated hosiery industry. Two years later, with her first pair of patented footless pantyhose in hand, Blakely cold-called and landed the top retail stores across the country. Selling over 50,000 pair in its first three months from the back of her apartment, Blakely's SPANX revitalized an industry in a ten-year slump. Her SPANX footless pantyhose even captured the attention of Oprah and landed on The Oprah Winfrey Shows Favorite Things list.

Remaining self-funded and profitable ever since Blakely started the company, SPANX continues to show increasing profits, celebrating more than $100 million in retail sales in 2006. SPANX are sold in Americas finest upscale stores and boutiques in the US, including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, and Parisian, as well as upscale boutiques and retailers in Canada and the UK. With the launch of ASSETS by Sara Blakely, a new brand exclusive to Target, the shapewear revolution will reach new heights, giving better underwear options to women everywhere and giving back. A portion of each ASSETS purchase will go to The Sara Blakely Foundation, dedicated to supporting and empowering women around the world. In 2007, Blakely donated $1 million to The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.

In 2012, Forbes announced that Sara Blakely is the youngest self-made female billionaire, and she was named in Time magazine's "Time 100" annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. As of 2014, she is listed as the 93rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

Sara Blakely's story and SPANX products have been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, Forbes, E!, and Glamourto Vogue, People, InStyle, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, WWD, and USA Today. Sara has been named Ernst & Youngs Southeast Regional Entrepreneur of the Year and Georgias Woman of the Year.

Speech Topics


Entrepreneurship

Women in Business

Giving Back to the Community

Marketing & Public Relations

The Fashion & Hosiery Industry

News


Spanx Mogul Sara Blakely Becomes First Female Billionaire To Join ...

Sara Blakely made history in 2012, becoming the youngest self-made woman to join Forbes' Billionaire's List. Now, she scores another "first": she's joined Bill ...

Spanx inventor Sara Blakely donates half her $250 million fortune to ...

Sara Blakely, founder of shapewear brand Spanx, has become the first female billionaire to join the Giving Pledge. She has vowed to give half her wealth to ...

Sara Blakely, Spanx and the American Dream – Global Public ...

Watch the full interview on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN If you think the American dream is dead, just meet Sara Blakely.

Sara Blakely, Spanx Founder, Is First Woman Billionaire To Join ...

More billionaires showing their benevolence is a business trend we can get behind. Nine new wealthy donors and their families signed on to the Giving Pledge ...

Women in Business: Q&A with Anna Phillips, CEO and Founder of ...

Anna Phillips founded The Lash Lounge in Texas in 2006. After working in IT, Anna worked at Google as a massage therapist. It was here that she realized both ...

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