Michael B. Horn
Authority on the Future of Education and Blended Learning Expert; Co-founder, Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation
Speaker Sara Blakely 's innovative idea for slimming undergarments led to the creation of Spanx, a billion-dollar brand. Despite challenges in a male-dominated industry, Blakely's determination and philanthropic efforts have made her a prominent figure in business and entrepreneurship. Today, Spanx offers a wide range of products, and Blakely continues to inspire and support female entrepreneurs through her foundation.
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Entrepreneurship speaker Sara Blakely has literally changed the shape of business, one pair of Spanx at a time. A magnetic public speaker, Sara Blakely shares her inspiring story and crucial insights with audiences around the world.
A moment of inspiration led Sara Blakely to create a business empire. While dressing for a party, Blakely realized that she lacked the right undergarment to wear with her favourite white pants. Cutting down a pair of hose, she got the smooth, slimming look she was after, and with it the idea for Spanx.
With her life savings of $5,000 and a patent in hand, Blakely took on the male-dominated hosiery industry. After refining her design for two years, she approached retailers with the idea. Within months, Blakely was selling tens of thousands of Spanx from her office apartment. When Oprah Winfrey named Spanks one of her favourite things, the world took notice. By 2012, Blakely was the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire.
Spanx now offers scores of products for women and men. Blakely has kept the company private while growing it into one of the world’s most recognizable and profitable brands. Spanx generates annual revenues of nearly half a billion dollars.
Blakely has made a name for herself away from Spanx, including a career-changing turn on Richard Branson’s The Rebel Billionaire. Although she placed second in the competition, Blakely so impressed Branson that he volunteered to support her new philanthropic organization. A year later, in 2006, The Sara Blakely Foundation was born.
Among the Foundation’s first initiatives was a $1 million donation to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. In 2020, the Foundation supported more than 1,000 female entrepreneurs through the Red Backpack Fund. In the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic, grantees received $5,000 and guidance through Blakely’s masterclass on entrepreneurship.
Sara Blakely, the CEO and founder of SPANX, Inc., has revolutionized the women's fashion industry with innovative and comfortable products such as bras, leggings, activewear, and shapewear. Her brand has garnered global recognition and has been featured on Forbes Magazine and Time Magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People. In this fireside chat, Blakely will share her inspiring journey of turning her $5,000 life savings into a disruptive force in a $2 billion industry.
Speaker Sarah Blakely, the billionaire founder and CEO of SPANX, shares her remarkable journey of turning a simple idea into a global fashion empire. Learn how she overcame challenges, pursued her passion, and built a brand that has redefined the fashion industry. Blakely's keynote will provide valuable insights, practical tips, and motivating anecdotes to empower you to unleash your own entrepreneurial spirit and create the career of your dreams.
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