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MEET SARA BLAKELY OF SPANX
Girlboss, entrepreneur, designer - The Atlanta-based founder and CEO of Spanx, Sara Blakely tells us about her continued success over 20 years after her debut, what gets her heart racing in the morning and her top three tips on how to get ahead in business...
It all started with a pair of infuriating white pants, Sara Blakely, founder and CEO of Spanx, couldn't find the right underwear for. Sara explains “When I started Spanx, the undergarment options out there weren’t great. Everything showed. So I took matters into my own hands and cut the feet out of some control-top pantyhose and it worked like a charm. Little did I know, women had been cutting the feet out of their pantyhose for decades… but no one had ever done anything about it, so I felt very motivated to make it happen.”
This get up and go attitude characterises Sara’s entrepreneurial skills starting with just $5,000 in personal savings, her brand is now a household name and staple in every underwear drawer. Sara credits Oprah Winfrey among her idols, quelle surprise as this extraordinary businesswoman is all about female empowerment. When asked what it feels like to be an instiller of confidence? Sara replies in true American style “Phenomenal! It’s been my greatest dream to support and inspire confidence in women… who knew it would start with their butts?”
ITS WHAT’S UNDERNEATH THAT COUNTS
Spanx leggings, be it in faux leather, jeans or combat styles are now a cold-weather staple in Irish women's wardrobes. When pressed on her favourite style Sara answers “I’m really excited about our new faux leather pieces. Our Leather Like Skinnys are comfortable and beautiful and will look perfect with sweaters this autumn.”
Her passion for her customers is matched by her love of adventure which has been the driving force behind the Spanx Active lines. Starting her day off with a green tea and mountain biking. Yes, you read that correctly, with her ideal getaway consisting of “rides around the lake house in Connecticut or trails in Georgia. I love our Booty Boost Active Leggings. They are perfect for biking and playing with my kids. ” When asked about visiting Ireland Sara exclaims “I just got my Ancestry DNA results and I’m 33% Irish! So, I need to visit my homeland and when I do, Brown Thomas will be my first stop.” We look forward to welcoming you, Sara!
BREAK A SWEAT
SARA’S TOP ENTREPRENEURIAL TIPS
Start small, think big, scale fast. It’s okay to start small. You don’t have to have the answers, all the money or even all the experience to build a business. Focus on your product. Either make something better or create something that doesn’t exist and stay connected to your “why” or purpose. If your purpose is something greater than yourself, it becomes easier to take the risks and put in the extra hours. And work on your mindset. You have to have the fortitude to keep going when times get hard.
Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. The very thing you “don’t know” could be your greatest asset and ensure you’ll do things differently from everyone else.
It’s always a good time to start a business. Don’t obsess over what is going on around you. Do you have a good product? Are you solving a problem? Is it better than anything else out there? If the answer is “yes” to those questions, it’s always a good time to start a business.