Sara Blakely is the founder of Spanx. There isn’t a woman (or man) in this world that hasn’t heard of Spanx or thanked their lucky stars that it was invented. Just for those of you that have lived under a rock the past 10 years, Spanx is the revolutionary undergarment, that turned into a global sensation. The story of Sara’s success is all about simple innovation. With a single, disruptive design idea, she changed an entire industry and created a new product category.
Spanx has secured its place in women’s hearts and in pop-culture with daily mentions everywhere from CNN to SNL to Oprah. In 2012, Sara was named TIME’s 100 Most Influential People. There is no denying her impact on the world. Perhaps her biggest impact is that of philanthropist. In 2006 she launched The Sara Blakely Foundation to help women through education and entrepreneurial training.
Even with the massive success of Spanx, Sara has remained inexplicably grounded. Not only is she brilliant and hardworking, she is also very family-oriented and extremely funny. Hell, she agreed to do our ‘Dumb’ interview; that’s a testament unto itself.
Q. What were you doing when you got the call from Oprah?
I was in the middle of getting my hair highlighted. My phone started ringing but I didn’t recognize the number. A feeling came over me that I should pick. Once I realized who it was, I jumped out of the chair and ran out of the salon, with the foils in my hair! I was jumping up and down in the parking lot and doing the happy dance. Once the rest of the salon found out what happened, they all started cheering!
Q. What would your first thoughts be if you were asked to write Grease 3?
Bring back Sandy and Danny!
Q. What women’s product do you wish you would’ve designed?
Still working on it, it’s top secret.
Q. Were there any other names for Spanx that you scrapped?
Yes, Open-Toed Delilahs. Something tells me if I had gone with that, you wouldn’t be interviewing me.
Q. Define failure.
Now caption this bad stock photo.