SARA BLAKELY

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Sara Blakely isn’t finished changing the way women wear their clothes. The world’s youngest self-made female billionaire will be introducing denim to her growing Spanx product line this fall. The one-time FORBES cover star has also been busy rolling out the “shapewear” brand’s first standalone retail stores in upmarket malls along the East Coast. In mid-February, she encountered a roadblock when longtime CEO Laurie Ann Goldman parted ways with the company. Blakely has come a long way since age 29, when she invested her $5,000 life savings trying to come up with something flattering to wear under her white slacks. Six months later new line of shaping underwear was named one of Oprah Winfrey’s Favorite Things. Since then Blakely has taken Spanx from a one-product wonder to a powerhouse with over $250 million in annual revenues and net profit margins estimated at 20%. She owns 100% of the company, which remains staunchly private despite persistent IPO rumors.
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