|Founded||Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
(February 15, 2000 )
|Headquarters||Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|Area served||United States|
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 "body shaping" undergarments and bodysuit shapewear, intended to give the wearer a slim and shapely appearance.
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. 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.
In 2000, she launched the Spanx brand from her home, 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.
Products and marketing
A marketing study estimated the overall market for "shapeware" at $750 million for 2008.
Sara 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 k sound were funnier and she wanted the company to have a humorous, memorable name.
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.
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.
She moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and secured production run deals with local manufacturers.
- "Sara Blakely Dared To Ask, "Why Not?"". Inc.com. January 20, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
- David L. Kurtz (1 January 2010). Contemporary Marketing 2011. Cengage Learning. pp. 423–. ISBN 978-0-538-74689-2. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
- Best Foot Forward, Money Magazine, December, 2002
- "Spanx company info". Hoovers. D&B.
- ""Why Not?" inc. talk by Sara Blakely, section: "growing the business" ~4:40sec. http://www.inc.com/sara-blakely/the-spanx-story-how-sara-blakely-turned-footless-pantyhose-into-a-business.html".
- Dodes, Rachel (5 November 2009). "Shapeware Has Women Bent Out of Shape". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "Spanx brand spanking new line for men". People Magazine. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
- Drell, Laura (2 February 2011). "My First Million: Sara Blakely, Spanx". AOL Small Business. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- "How'd They Do that?". Oprah. 1 February 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2011.