About Speaker Sara Blakely
Sara Blakely knows what it feels like to invest your whole life into your dream. That’s exactly what she did when she took her $5,000 savings and invested in her idea for more flattering women’s hosiery at just 27. The problem? Not a single investor was interested. Did that stop her? Absolutely not! Sara is now the sole owner of a billion dollar business that redefined the women’s apparel industry.
In total, Sara spent about 2 years researching and developing the product before bringing it to market. Her biggest strength was she wasn’t afraid to take chances. She didn’t mind cold calling for hours. Wasn’t afraid of rejection. Didn’t care if her industry manufacturers and investors didn’t see the product’s value. Most importantly, she didn’t let what she didn’t know intimidate her. In fact, she says this is one of the biggest differentiators for entrepreneurs trying to build the future. Not knowing everything is actually a benefit because it ensures you’ll do things differently than everybody else.
Sara is the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire. As the old adage goes, with great power comes great responsibility. She relishes in the opportunity to impact others through her philanthropic work as well as her speaking engagements. Sara believes it is her calling to help women and the next generation of entrepreneurs. She also uses her influence to make the world a better place. In 2013, she became the first woman to sign The Giving Pledge.
Outside of Spanx, Sara is also part owner of the Atlanta Hawks. She has made appearances on several TV shows including as an investor on Shark Tank and later as a judge on ABC’s reality show American Inventor. She is married to Marquis Jet co-founder Jesse Itzler and they have 4 children. Sara and Jesse often make speaking appearances together to discuss business and lifestyle topics.
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