Having no background in creating a product or what goes into it, Sara spent many hours at her local library and bookstore. She moved to Atlanta, GA where with the help of her life savings of $5,000 she set up shop in her apartment figuring everything out by herself from design concept, to packaging, to patents. She took a week off work to travel around to different garment mills to see if she could persuade one of them to help create her vision. Having never heard of Sara Blakely, representing and funding herself, they all turned her away. That was until a bit latter one of the mill owners agreed to help her after being convinced by his two daughters who thought Sara’s concept was brilliant.
The next step was to get her product in stores. She created a whimsical, modern package and contacted a department store giant, Neiman Marcus. She told the store’s rep that she had a product that all of their women customers would buy, if she could only have ten minutes of her time to present it to them. Neiman Marcus agreed, Sara flew herself to meet them, and once there Sara presented her Spanx prototype, that took over a year to perfect, by taking the rep into the bathroom to demonstrate how well Spanx worked under her own light colored pants. Within three weeks, Spanx were being sold in Neiman Marcus stores and Sara used the same approach to get Spanx in all her subsequent retailers.
Now Spanx is synonymous with the term shape wear. Very few celebrities will dare step out onto the red carpet without first donning one of her creations. Women, and now men, all over the world swear by her sleek, comfortable undergarments. Sara owns 100% of the business, which she built entirely on her own without ever getting a loan. Spanx is valued as being worth at least $1 billion. This year Sara has received the great, and surreal, honor of becoming the youngest, entirely self made, female billionaire to grace the cover of Forbes Magazine. Bravo!