Sara Blakely Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Sara Blakely          

Founder & CEO of SPANX

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, Blakelys 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.

Concerned with creating comfortable, slimming garments that minimize figure flaws, Blakely reinvented shape wear with innovative designs and smart features which won the hearts of fashion-loving women from Oprah Winfrey to Gwyneth Paltrow. SPANX has developed and launched more than 60 styleswith names like Bra-llelujah, Two Timin Tights, Power Panties, and Slim-Cognitoall designed to be innovative, comfortable, slimming, and stylish.

Blakely appeared on Foxsetting daring world-records, meeting Nelson Mandela, and leading successful business challengesas a cast member on The Rebel Billionaire: Bransons Quest for the Best. As the first runner-up, she received a $750,000 check from Richard Branson to pursue her dream to start a foundation to empower women, The Sara Blakely Foundation.

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. In 2012, Forbes announced that Sara Blakely is the youngest self-made female billionaire.

As the leader of the shape wear revolution, Blakely wanted to find a way to share her slimming secrets with even more women. With the launch of ASSETS by Sara Blakely, a new brand exclusive to Target, the shape wear revolution will reach new heights, giving better underwear options to women everywhereand 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.

Sara Blakelys 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


Women in Business

Giving Back to the Community

Marketing & Public Relations

The Fashion & Hosiery Industry


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 ...

Related Speakers View all

More like Sara