Olivia Barnes (Contributor of She Will Speak Series)
Though she's far less extravagant than other billionaires, she's still making the most of her success. Source: Forbes. Source: Business Insider , Forbes. Source: Business Insider. Sources: Spanx , Business Insider. Source: New Yorker. Source: People.
Sara Blakely is founder and owner of shapewear brand Spanx, which sells undergarments, leggings, swimwear and maternity wear in 65 countries. A onetime door-to-door fax machine salesperson, Blakely made a makeshift undergarment using pantyhose to wear under white slacks. She initially shilled her new invention, which became shapewear brand Spanx, on the sales floor at various Neiman Marcus stores. While Spanx is a celebrity favorite, Blakely is becoming a celebrity herself. She is a guest judge on 'Shark Tank' and had a cameo in 'Billions.
Spanx, Inc. The company manufactures mainly pantyhose and other underwear for women and, since , produces male underwear as well. Spanx specializes in foundation garments intended to make people appear thinner. The creation of the initial product prototype was completed over the course of a year and involved Blakely, her mother, and her friends personally testing the garments. This was innovative at the time, as the industry did not test products with people. Blakely's research revealed that the industry had previously been using the same size waistband for all hosiery products to cut costs, and a rubber cord was inserted into the waistband.
Sign in. Throughout history, inventors have found inspiration from the strangest places. A frustrated consumer-turned- entrepreneur, Sara invented footless pantyhose, created a national brand and led a shapewear revolution. Obsessed with creating comfortable, slimming garments that minimize figure flaws, Sara has created more than problem-solving products and recently entered the bra business with the ground-breaking Bra-llelujah! In , Sara brought her shapewear know-how to more women with the national launch of ASSETS, a new collection of expertly- designed shapewear and legwear.