Small Business Startup News

Spanx Entrepreneur Now The World's Youngest Billionaire

Written by Tim Morral
Published: 3/9/2012

Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, is the youngest female entrepreneur to be named to Forbes' list of billionaires.

What do you get when you take an idea for a line of slimming undergarments, add an initial $5,000 investment and about a decade of hard work? If you're Sara Blakely, you get a spot of Forbes' annual list of billionaires.

Youngest Billionaire Spanx

At 41 years old, Blakely holds the honor of being the youngest woman to ever make the list as a self-made billionaire -- an entrepreneur who didn't make her billions through either marriage or inheritance.

The idea for Spanx, a line of skintight, slimming undergarments for both women and men, came to Blakely when she was 27 and looking for something slimming to wear underneath white pants without revealing the lines of traditional undergarments.

Leveraging an initial investment of $5,000 (her entire life savings), she built her brand with virtually no advertising, bootstrapping everything from patent creation to the development of a prototype.

In an interview on "CBS This Morning", Blakely said, "I've always had gratitude that I had the opportunity to pursue my potential," she said. "So I think my story says that, when women are given the chance and the opportunity, that we can achieve a lot. We deliver. We can make the world a better place, one butt at a time."

Going forward, Blakely plans to expand Spanx as a lifestyle brand and to increase her line to include more options in the active wear and swimwear product categories.

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