Sara Blakely: The Self-Made Female Billionaire in History

She grew up being told what she could and could not do. She was told that careers in business were for men, that dolls and babies were for girls and women. Even as a child, she refused to accept this role that the world pushed upon her, but then she had no power to change it. As years went by, she quietly planned her future.

She dreamed of stepping into the world, not as a wife or mother, but as a business owner who would out-compete and out-succeed everyone who told her she could not make it because of her gender. She took simple ideas and made them better. She marketed to an often overlooked and unrecognized market: women. She saw the spending power of women, the untapped market that was tired of being told who they were and what they could do.

Sara Blakely steered Spanx, her small startup company funded by just a couple thousand dollars in savings, to billion dollar success. The youngest self-made female billionaire in history, Blakely took a simple idea and turned it into an unprecedented triumph. As a woman, she knew what women really needed and wanted. She was tired of being put in a box and accepting the definitions that men put on her body and gender, especially when it came to underwear and comfort. She started Spanx with almost nothing in terms of backing or experience, but her ideas caught like wildfire.

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