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Spanx, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Apparel
Founded Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
(February 15, 2000 (2000-02-15))
Founder(s) Sara Blakely
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Area served United States
Products pantyhose, hosiery

Spanx, Inc. is an Atlanta, Georgia-based hosiery company founded in 2000 that mainly manufactures pantyhose and other undergarments for women, and, since 2010, for men. Spanx specializes in foundation garments, including undergarments and bodysuit shapewear, intended to give the wearer a slim and shapely appearance.[1]



Florida State University graduate and former Walt Disney World Resort employee Sara Blakely joined local stationery company Danka on graduation, and began selling fax machines door-to-door.[2]

In the heat and humidity of Florida, she tried unsuccessfully to find pantyhose that didn't have seamed toes, and that didn't roll up the leg when she cut them.[3] Investing her life-savings of $5,000 she moved to Atlanta, researching and then trying to reach production deals with local manufacturers. Sam Kaplan, co-owner of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based Highland Mills, didn't buy Blakely's pitch until polling his two daughters on what they thought of footless pantyhose. Their reaction was unanimous: They'd buy it. Kaplan decided to take Blakely's order after all, and by August 2000, she had her first 3,000 pairs of hose.[4]


In 2000, she launched the Spanx brand from her home,[5] undertaking all initial calls and marketing herself. She was later caught on CCTV by a department store repositioning her products so they were displayed more prominently.[6]

Products and marketing[edit]

A marketing study estimated the overall market for "shapeware" at $750 million for 2008.[7]


Spanx started manufacturing body-shaping undergarments for men ("Spanx for Men – MANX") in 2010.[8][9]


Spanx received a marketing boost when Oprah Winfrey endorsed it on her show.[10]

Corporate affairs[edit]


Blakely came up with the name Spanx after taking Jeff Justice's Comedy Workshoppe in Atlanta. One of the things she learned there was that words with a x sound were funnier and she wanted the company to have a humorous, memorable name.[11]

Having read books on marketing, she designed her own logo on a friend's computer, and then to save the lawyer fee to trademark the Spanx name, used a Barnes & Noble textbook and learned how to do it herself. In 2000, she launched the Spanx brand from her home, undertaking all initial calls and marketing herself across North America. The Spanx company and brand are now valued at more than $1 billion.[citation needed]


Spanx is a private company and has not released financial information. Blakely owns 100% of the brand and has said that the company had approximately 100 employees in 2011.[9] in 2014, Laurie Ann Goldman was the CEO but left the company in February 2014.[12]


She moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and secured production run deals with local manufacturers.


  1. ^ Rebecca Adams.(January 20, 2014). "Spanx And Other Shapewear Are Literally Squeezing Your Organs". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  2. ^ "Sara Blakely Dared To Ask, 'Why Not?'". Inc. January 20, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2012. 
  3. ^ David L. Kurtz (January 1, 2010). Contemporary Marketing 2011. Cengage Learning. pp. 423–. ISBN 978-0-538-74689-2. Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Best Foot Forward", Money, December 2002
  5. ^ "Spanx company info". Hoovers. D&B. 
  6. ^ "'Why Not?' inc. talk by Sara Blakely, section: 'growing the business' ~4:40sec". 
  7. ^ Dodes, Rachel (November 5, 2009). "Shapeware Has Women Bent Out of Shape". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Spanx brand spanking new line for men". People. February 4, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Drell, Laura (February 2, 2011). "My First Million: Sara Blakely, Spanx". AOL Small Business. Retrieved March 8, 2012. 
  10. ^ "How'd They Do that?". Oprah. February 1, 2007. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  11. ^ "'Why Not?' inc. talk by Sara Blakely, section: 'growing the business' ~11:58sec". 
  12. ^ Moin, David (February 11, 2014). "Spanx CEO Laurie Ann Goldman Exits". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 

External links[edit]