Interesting Success Story: Sara Blakely

March 28, 2012

I read this profile of Sara Blakely several days ago. I don’t know about you, but I like reading about how people attain their wealth. Sara Blakely’s story is particularly interesting because she’s now a billionaire and runs a private company (Spanx) with no debt. That’s a rarity this day and age.

I urge you to read the whole article. I want to focus on a few interesting bullet points:

• She took the LSAT twice to try to go to law school and failed both times.

• She worked several months at Disney’s Epcot helping to buckle seat belts for one of their rides.

• She went to work selling fax machines for Danka.

• She created Spanx basically by accident. She didn’t like wearing panty hose because they were hot but she liked the way the pantyhose covered her panty lines (can I say that on a financial blog?). So, she cut the legs off a pair of pantyhose and Spanx was formed.

• She used $5,000 of her savings over a two-year period to develop and launch her product.

• She wrote her own patent.

• She got her product into Neiman Marcus.

• She had no money for advertising so she went on a PR rampage.

• She shipped samples to Oprah Winfrey and eventually got Oprah to promote them on one of her “Favorite Things” episodes.

Interesting stuff.

What does this show us? One, you must have an idea. Two, you must plan. Three, you must go for it even though you may not feel ready.

I like to see people like Sara succeed.

3 responses to Interesting Success Story: Sara Blakely

  1. From a women’s perspective, I think the product sounds brilliant (the name is a little racy, though). I often wear panty hose to cover my panty lines, but don’t like wearing the legging part!

    Cool success story!

  2. I just want them to tuck my tummy in! To hell w/the pantylines! :)

  3. Ha ha! That too!