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From $5K to $1.3B

Jun 26, 2024

It started with $5k, pantyhose, scissors and a bright idea.

→ $5k to $1.3B

→ Sara Blakely was selling fax machines door-to-door

→ That's when she first had the idea for Spanx

→ Zero background in fashion or business

→ She invested her entire life savings ($5K) into HERSELF


→ She retained full ownership and control of her company, a significant part of her underdog story.

→ By bootstrapping, she demonstrated that it's possible to build a successful business without external funding.

→ Relying solely on her resourcefulness, hard work, and persistence.

→ This aspect of her journey is inspiring for aspiring entrepreneurs who might not initially have access to venture capital.

𝗛𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗴𝗲𝘀:

→ Lack of industry knowledge.

→ Repeated rejections from manufacturers who doubted her idea.

→ Limited initial funding, relying solely on her savings.

→ Working out of her apartment and doing everything herself, from product development to marketing.

𝗛𝗲𝗿 𝗕𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗸𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵:

→ Blakely's determination paid off when she convinced a hosiery mill to produce her prototype.

→ She then managed to get her product into a major department store, Neiman Marcus, by demonstrating the product personally to the buyer.

→ Her big break came when Oprah Winfrey named Spanx her favorite product, skyrocketing the brand's visibility and demand.

𝗛𝗲𝗿 𝗦𝘂𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀:

→ She's worth $1.3B

→ Spanx does $400 million in annual revs

→ Blackstone valued Spanx at $1.2B

→ She eventually raised $29.9 million in funding

𝗠𝘆 𝗧𝗮𝗸𝗲𝗮𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀:

→ 𝗕𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝘃𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗮: Even if no one else does initially.

→ 𝗣𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗸𝗲𝘆: Face rejections as stepping stones.

→ 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗲𝗳𝘂𝗹𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀: Utilize what you have and think creatively to overcome obstacles.

→ 𝗣𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗧𝗼𝘂𝗰𝗵: Directly reaching out and demonstrating your product can create opportunities.

NEVER underestimate an underdog.

Who is the next Sara Blakley? Perhaps Jessie Daavettila at RASKANA. Another great underdog story.

Need help, reach out.

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