She hated wearing panty hose and was just not gonna take it anymore!
So Sara Blakely cut the feet off her stockings and wore them underneath her clothing to achieve a smooth seamless look that was comfortable, too. After a few design tweaks, Spanx figure-flattering undergarments were born.
That creativity and an initial $5,000 start-up investment has parlayed into a highly successful business, earning Blakely, 41, a spot on the Forbes' billionaires list for 2012, according to reports. She is listed as the world's youngest self-made female billionaire.
The Spanx brand, which offers more than 200 products and is featured in more than 11,500 deaprtment stores and boutiques in 40 countries, got a jump start in 2000 when Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue placed orders. Later, Oprah Winfrey gave the products a ringing endorsement and placed them on her annual "favorite things" list.
Forbes magazine released its annual list of billionaires earlier this week, reporting that a record 1,226 people worldwide have a net worth in the ten digits, a 1 percent increase from last year's total.
The group's total combined net worth is up 2 percent at $4.6 trillion. The average worth of a list member is $3.7 billion.