Good luck — or rather, statistically possible to implement one chance in a hundred of failure — came to Sarah in 1998, when 27-year-old girl had a very difficult task: look flawlessly in a new tight white pants. Of course, Sarah would often go to the gym and do not eat after six in the evening, but it was too late. I could wear control top pantyhose, but then would be committed one of the worst fashion sins — tights sticking out from sandals. And Blakely dawned on me: what if I just cut off a foot of pantyhose and leave only what you need? Ingeniously simple. Sarah shone the whole night, and the next day searched on the Internet for information about the need for registration of the patent. Patent she eventually recorded on their own, because she didn’t have money for lawyers.
Sarah invested in the idea everything she had, $5,000 to himself. Week she went to the factories with the prototype, made his own. Her business education and experience, of course, denied, but was it possible to confuse the seller of yesterday’s faxes some the tenth rejection? In the end someone just out of pity agreed to help.
When it came to sales, the newly minted CEO Spanx showed unprecedented perseverance. Sarah phoned literally everyone I know, from friends to the people with whom I went to kindergarten 25 years ago. She personally spent two years on the first network agreed to distribute Neiman Markus: trained shop assistants, talking to customers, and constantly shifting your shapewear from the far corner closer to the counter. Sales for the first year is $4 million.
Two years later, the great specialist weight loss Oprah Winfrey announced that Spanx her favorite product of the year, and invited Sarah on the show. The best advertising was impossible to think up. Sales jumped to $10 million, and in 2011 revenue Blakely, according to various estimates, amounted to $250 million In 41 year Sara Blakely became the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world. She still owns 100% of Spanx and can safely call myself the Queen of bootstrapping (financing of small firms exclusively from its own internal sources. — Forbes).
Now the Spanx name has become a household name, and the company is one of the largest clothing manufacturers in the world. Spanx already produces clothing for women and men. Spanx — still not a public company, and its financial figures were not disclosed, but experts estimate that the annual revenue could reach $500 million, and sales geography covers more than 50 countries.
What else Sara Blakely spends his time and energy? Not forgetting about their own way to the Forbes list, she dreams that the women often risked, and are willing to help them, than can. In 2013 Blakely became the anchor lender Grameen America — a microfinance organization issuing microloans to women. Blakely can also be seen in the jury of the reality show Shark Tank, where startups are trying to attract investment star business sharks. One of these projects — Alice’s Table. The company holds workshops for women in the format of the lessons, floristry. Personal investment Sarah to the company was $250 000, for which she received a share of 10%.
In 2018, along with Google Ventures and Goldman Sachs Blakely became an investor in the C round startup TheSkimm is a startup that began with newsletters focused on urban women, and over time had grown to a full-fledged media companies. Total investments amounted to $12 million, they will further expand the audience, which now stands at 7 million people.
Recently, Sara Blakely has joined forces with the richest man in the world Jeff Bezosa and put the money in the Fund Rise of the Rest. Its main objective is to support startups that are not in new York, Boston or California, where so is 75% of all us venture capital investments. Investment Fund, which now stands at $150 million, will be limited to $1 million per company, and manage it will be a co-founder of American media conglomerate AOL Steve Case.
In 2013, Sarah became the first female billionaire to join the Giving pledge movement founded by bill and Melinda gates, and bequeathed half of his fortune to charity. Donating $20 million to charity, Blakely recently teamed up with Center for civil initiatives (Center for Civic Innovation) and invested another $300,000 in eight women projects that solve social problems. The proceeds of the two projects exceeded $1 million First project — Goodr, which helps to fight hunger by providing food to the needy, which remains unclaimed in shops and restaurants. Second — TILA Studios, helping to promote the art of black women. There are still SwemKids, whose staff teach children from low-income families swimming.
Have Blakely investments, far from supporting women and entrepreneurship. Together with the co-founder of Apollo Management Fund Antony Ressler, she bought a basketball team Atlanta Hawks. Husband of Sarah, entrepreneur Jesse Itzler, also recording a rap album under the alias Jesse James became a fan of the “Hawks” after the couple settled in Atlanta in 2008. A great alternative to ties and socks as gifts beloved husband!