is the History of the youngest $1B Woman Enterpreneur
from Wikipedia.org 05/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Spanx, Inc. is an Atlanta, Georgia based clothing manufacturer – whose undergarments & bodysuit shapewear is intended to give the wearer a slimer, more shapely appearance. [A lot of us could use that]
Early Career: Florida State University graduate Sara Blakely – a former Walt Disney World employee – joined a local Orlando stationery company [it wasn’t moving] and began selling Fax machines to small businesses.
Her Creation. In the heat and humidity of Florida, she tried unsuccessfully to find Pantyhose, that didn’t have seamed hose in open toed shoes, and that didn’t roll up the leg when she cut out the feet. Investing her life-savings of $5,000, she moved to Atlanta, researching and developing a hose that wouldn’t “run”, walk or crawl up your leg.
Finding a Manufacturer. She tried to do production deals with numerous local Atlanta & Georgia manufacturers. When that didn’t work, she kept contacting an ever-growing circle of manufactures. After dozens of attempts, she finally thought she found one. Sam Kaplan, co-owner of the North Carolina based Highland Mills, didn’t buy Sara’s pitch, until polling his two daughters on what they thought of footless pantyhose. Their reaction was unanimous: “They’d buy it”. Kaplan decided to take Blakely’s order after all, and by August 2000, she had her first 3,000 pairs of hose.
Launch: In 2000, she launched the Spanx brand from her home, undertaking all initial calls and marketing herself. She was later caught on Closed Circuit TV by a department store – repositioning her products, so they were displayed more prominently. [Now that’s taking matters into your own hands]
Naming her Company. Sara came up with the name Spanx after taking Jeff Justice’s Comedy Workshoppe in Atlanta. One of the things she learned there was that words with a “K” sound were funnier and she wanted the company to have a humorous, memorable name. She believes a product experience should include a little fun, because she worked Part-time as a Comedian for several years.
DIY Marketing. Having read books on Marketing, she even designed her own Logo on a friend’s computer. Then to save the lawyer fee to trademark the Spanx name, used a DIY book and learned how to “do it” herself. In 2000 she launched the Spanx brand from her home, undertaking all initial calls and marketing herself across North America. The Spanx company and brand are now valued at more than $1 billion. [ Would you like her to teach out how ??? ]
Comments: What has been your experience with Spanx products? Do have an idea you could take to the top ???