Hey guys, welcome back to our five-blog series on ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ in which we are scaling up the biggest giants in the entrepreneurial world in terms of their contribution towards the world. In our previous blog, we shared the story of the pioneer in the technopreneurs of the world, Bill gates. He wasn’t the 1st technopreneur on whose work we took a gander at, as we have also covered the Tony Stark of our world, Elon Musk. Let us know whether you agree with both the contenders we have presented so far who deserve a seat among the guardians.
In today’s pick, we decided to widen our horizons from covering just the technopreneurs and give a fair opportunity to rest of the domains in the entrepreneurial sector. Today we will be sharing the story of a woman, who became the face of female empowerment. She is one of the most powerful women in the world, and we do not mean this in terms of physical strength but in terms of spirit.
Meet Sara Blakely, world’s 93rd most powerful woman since 2014 as per Forbes list. She is the founder of Spanx Inc. which is an American underwear maker focusing on shaping briefs and leggings, founded in Atlanta, Georgia. She has been enlisted in the Time magazines ‘Time 100’ list of 100 most influential people in the world in the year 2012. As of now, she is one of the few self-made women entrepreneurs who rank among the category of billionaires.
So how does a girl, with no connection to the business world or no money to inherit grew up to be the symbol of woman’s potential & inner strength.
The story is interesting!
The Origin Story:
She was born in Clearwater, Florida U.S.A. on 27th February, 1971 in the house of a trial attorney & an artist. After completing her graduation from the Florida State University, Sara wasted no time & started prepping to become an attorney. However, life had other plans for Sara. After scoring very low in the Law SATs, she decided to took a job at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. During the three months of her employment at Disney, she also moonlighted as a stand-up comedian before leaving both the gigs for a job in an office supply company called Danka. The job was to sell fax machines, door-to-door.
We know! You are thinking that how can a door to door saleswoman can become a billionaire. Well, as we said in one of our tweet, the race of the entrepreneurs is the best sales force in the world and Sara was no exception to that. She was just an entrepreneur in the making!
It was during her job as a fax machine saleswoman when she got the idea for Spanx! The saleswomen were forced to wear pantyhose in the hot Floridian climate and she despised
the look of seamed foot while wearing open-toed shoes. However, she did like the way that the control-top model eliminated panty–lines which made her body appear firmer.
One day, while getting ready for a private party, she experimented by cutting off the feet of her pantyhose while wearing them under a new pair of slacks and found that the pantyhose continuously rolled up her legs. She loved the idea so much that she got it self-patented & after crossing several hurdles, she founded Spanx in the year 2010. And that is the story of Spanx, which rapidly became an integral part of the dressing essentials for the women.
The Sara Blakely Foundation:
It wasn’t long before Spanx became one of the most liked and bought product by women in the world. In the year 2006, she thought of extending her horizons to helping women & the inception of Sara Blakely Foundation was set in motion. In last decade, the foundation has donated millions to charities around the world, focusing on charities that empower the women and girls in need.
Sara Blakely & her ‘Red Bag’:
In the beginning phases of Spanx, Sara had to face a lot of ‘Nos’ in her journey. But instead of giving-up, Sara picked up her ‘lucky red backpack’ which she used during her college days. Once she dug it up from her mother’s attic, the red bag never left her side. Now her foundation gives a Lucky Red Backpack to each woman it supports and has become an insignia of their potential and inner strength.
The Sara Blakely Foundation is on a mission to support women and help them SOAR through education, entrepreneurship and arts. Through her consistent belief and passion for empowering women, Sara became the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world through her successful shape–wear line in 2014.
But how does she qualify to be a guardian?
Sara participated in Gates-Buffet Pledge of donating half of her money for charity purposes. But a lot of billionaires are opting to do so. What makes her difference? In our opinion, Sara Blakely is spreading a strength within the women across the world. Her goal is to empower women & give them the hope to lead a strong & independent lives.
She may not be saving the world from an impending threat or a crisis, but she certainly is doing her part in giving women what they need- Hope & Strength!
Let us know whether you agree with our 3rd contender who has the potential to be among the guardians.
We would also like you to check out our twitter feed as we are religiously posting stuff that will guide you in your startup journey.
Stay tuned for more such stories & let us know who do you think should be our next candidate to be among the guardians of the galaxy.
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