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Spanx founder Sara Blakely is a shining example of female entrepreneurship. Before she founded her pioneering shapewear company, she sold fax machines door to door in order to afford health insurance. The hardworking woman changed her life when she founded Spanx 21 years ago and made a professional goal. She recalls, “I said this company will one day be worth $20 million, and everybody laughed at me.” Not only did Blakely meet her goal, but she surpassed it. The CEO recently sold a majority stake to investment firm Blackstone for an estimated $1.2 billion.
For Blakely, starting Spanx was a way to provide high-quality products to women within a then-male-dominated industry. She’s rightly proud of what she’s achieved, and despite selling the majority of Spanx, she will still remain involved with the business. “With all my heart I love this brand,” writes Blakely in an Instagram post. “With all my heart I will continue to love this brand.” The CEO adds, “I will remain a significant shareholder and continue to help the business fulfill its greatest potential, as well as continue to fulfill my greatest passion—elevating women.”
Blakely also revealed her confidence in choosing Blackstone as a partner. “I received a sign from the universe 21 years ago to start the company and I received another sign that it was the right time to take in a partner and specifically Blackstone,” she says. “After meeting with the all-female deal team, I knew they were the right partners to grow our mission and scale our purpose.” Blakely adds, “Now together with Blackstone, we will have even more opportunity to further our mission of making the world a better place… one butt at a time!”
To commemorate the milestone, Blakely and her employees got together to celebrate. In a video posted on Instagram, Blakely is captured making a heartfelt speech to Spanx staff members in celebration of the sale. In one clip, she spins a globe and asks, “Why am I spinning a globe?” She then announces that she bought each employee two first-class tickets to anywhere in the world. But that’s not all—Blakely continued, “You know, if you have a trip, you might want to go out to a really nice dinner, you might want to go out to a really nice hotel.” The generous boss then told everyone that each staff member will also get $10,000 to spend on their trip. Everyone in the crowd erupted into a cheer, and as the camera panned around the room, the staff members’ tearful and excited reactions were captured.
“It was an emotional announcement filled with happy tears acknowledging how far we’ve come,” writes Blakely on Instagram. “I really want every employee to celebrate this moment in their own way and create a memory that will last them a lifetime! Cheers to 21 years of magic and many more to come.” Blake also captioned the video with, “My life motto is the more you experience in life, the more you have to offer others.”
When asked where they would like to go for their trip of a lifetime, some employees already knew their answer. One woman stated she would use the gift to have her honeymoon in Bora Bora, and another employee wants to elope to Sweden!
Check out the video below and follow Blakely on Instagram for updates on her life as the best boss ever.
Spanx CEO Sara Blakely just gifted her employees $10,000 and two first-class tickets to travel anywhere in the world.
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