Source: Sara Blakely’s Instagram account
Most people think that starting a new business always requires a big amount of money. In truth, most successful entrepreneurs today can attest to the reality that the challenge they mostly face is not a lack of money but a lack of ideas. Fortunately for multi-millionaire entrepreneur Sara Blakely, starting her brainchild was sparked by a life-changing idea that would impact women apparel and activewear remarkably. From the day she decided to pursue her unique idea, she never looked back and only focused on what she knew would revolutionize the women’s apparel industry for many years to come.
The CEO of Spanx established her company in 2000 and spent her $5,000 life savings on her big idea, which transformed her into a phenomenal entrepreneur with a brand presence in over 50 countries and a staggering $610 million net worth as of October 2020, according to Forbes. Blakely has indeed come a long way from her days as a door-to-door fax machine salesperson for seven years fresh out of college. Today, Spanx shapewear is a favorite among numerous celebrities who find its products very pragmatic and comfortable.
Bringing her unique idea to life was not an easy journey as she got turned down repeatedly. Throughout her experience of trying to find the right hosiery mill and the lawyer who would help her patent her creation, she never once thought of giving up. She believed in the value of her idea and realized early on that it was what every woman would need to look fabulous and comfortable at the same time. Eventually, Blakely taught herself to write her own patent after buying a book titled Patents and Trademarks. At a pivotal time in her life when no one believed in the potential of her work, she remained resolute and confident that she had created something phenomenal.
From the challenge of finding the right person to customize her idea to come up with her unique packaging, creating her first website, and how to do advertising, Blakely had very little or no help at all. Still, she pressed on happily, her excitement and energy never weakening at any point. She knew back then that she needed to be the first person to believe in herself because very few would.
Today, Spanx continues to be a consumer favorite as Blakely, and her massive team of creatives continues to come up with designs that are not only comfortable to wear but also fashionable and classy. From the company’s leggings to pants, shapewear, bras, women’s undergarments, and maternity wear, comfort, style, and quality continue to be its core competencies.
Sara Blakley is quite a celebrity herself at present. Her phenomenal success as a businesswoman landed her a guest judge role on the ABC hit series Shark Tank, where aspiring entrepreneurs with bright ideas make elevator pitches hoping to get funding to bring them to life. She also did a cameo role for the popular TV series Billionaire starring Bobby Axelrod and Chuck Rhoades.
If anything, Sara Blakely’s impressive journey as an entrepreneur is one worth learning from and emulating. She continues to be concrete proof that acting on bright ideas may not always be easy, but they do pay off in the end if people find it in themselves to believe in its value.