Sara Blakely, the self-made billionaire, has transformed shapewear into an everyday essential for women worldwide. But the road to her success wasn’t without her fair share of ups and downs.
Less than twenty years ago, the very mention of shapewear was frowned upon. Women have been squeezing themselves into the same shapewear that has been around for centuries, with tight corsets, girdles and tights. In 2000, Sara Blakely recreated our grandmother’s old fashioned and stiff shapewear into something we have come to consider an everyday essential.
Within a few years of its official launch, Spanx isn’t only a leader among hundreds of shapewear brands but also it is a genetic term used for shapewear in general, such as Kleenex is for tissues or Xerox for photocopy machines.
In the last twenty years, Shapewear went from being considered to be taboo to being celebrated and praised. Celebrities proudly show off the fact that they wear shapewear on the red carpet. Even some celebrities have gone as far as launching their own shapewear line, such as Kim Kardashian.
However, Sara Blakely was the leader of the pack in helping women everywhere embrace their curves with shapewear. But her ride to fame and fortune started off with a bumpy road and her story inspires women everywhere!
The self-made billionaire started off with humble beginnings, working at Disney World as a part-time ride operator, watching other people enjoy their lives. She shares her entire story on the educational online classes, Masterpieces about-facing one disappoint after another and how she struggled up inner strength to keep moving forward.
One of her lowest points in her life was when she had just failed her LSAT’s for the second time and she was turned down when tried out to be Goofy at Disney World. She wasn’t tall enough to play the role of Goofy and was designated to be a chipmunk. But instead of giving her a chance to show off her chipmunk skills, she was told to just direct people to their seats on a ride for Epcot.
Soon after departing Disney, she moved to Atlanta and working as a door-to-door salesman selling fax machines. That is when she started pondering her life and asking herself some of the following questions: What do I actually enjoy doing? What do I want out of my life? Am I good at anything? That’s when she realized that she enjoyed a challenge, so she needed to job or career that would take her out of her comfort zone.
Part of her success is due to the fact she wasn’t afraid of the word “no.” Learn to face rejection, by getting back up again and trying again. She said selling fax machines taught her the importance to never take no for an answer, as this job prepared her for facing rejection when she launched Spanx. Giving her heart and soul to her job selling fax machines laid the blueprints in her soul for when she would start her own company.
Another key for her success is that she believed in herself, even though nobody else did. She stated that when she was looking for a manufacturer for Spanx, they would just give her a runaround because she was a woman. Plus, she was sponsoring herself and didn’t have a big company name behind her, that is until now.
Sara Blakely is an inspiration for women everywhere, showing us that we can beat the odds against us and actually have the life we have only dreamed of. If you need some motivation, then definitely check out her portion of the MasterClass, which brings together, dozens of successful people from the world to help us improve our lives.
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Since the very beginning, Spanx has given back to elevate and empower women. This has been my calling since I was a little girl. This year through the @Spanx Foundation, we were able to give over $1,000,000 dollars to support women. $700,000 of that was given to female founders. We also supported female filmmakers and donated coats to homeless women living on the streets. This holiday season, we are building a home for a single mother. Thank you to our partners at @civicatlanta, @empowermentplan, @habitatforhumanity @atlantafilmfestival and for YOU – our customers – for allowing our dreams of making a difference in the world possible… one butt at a time! ❤️🎒 #GivingTuesday #SPANX #WomenSupportingWomen