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Sara Blakely Surprises Employees with the Gift of a Lifetime

Sara Blakely, Florida State University alum and founder of the well-known womenswear brand Spanx, just celebrated a significant milestone for the company and shared a gift to all her employees. 

Blakely took to Instagram to announce that she has partnered with Blackstone, a global investment firm, which has bought the majority stake in Spanx Inc. In her caption, Blakely wrote, “After meeting with the all-female deal team, I knew they were the right partners to grow our mission and scale our purpose.” 

Blackstone is partners with other well-known female-founded companies such as Bumble, the dating app founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd and Reese Witherspoon’s media company, Hello Sunshine.

Blakely spent some time reminiscing about how far she has come in these 21 years as the founder of Spanx. She became a self-made billionaire after launching her idea with only $5,000 in her savings account. She mentioned that she was laughed at for setting a goal that the company would one day be worth $20 million. This deal with Blackstone will value Spanx Inc. at $1.2 billion. Blakely will keep a sizable stake in the company and remain operating as the executive chair. 

To celebrate this new partnership and how far Spanx has come in 21 years, Blakely announced to her employees who gathered in person and on zoom that they would each receive two first-class plane tickets to anywhere in the world. In an Instagram video showcasing the moment she announced this news, Blakely explained that her life motto is “the more you experience in life, the more you have to offer others.” Therefore, she wanted to gift her employees with the chance to experience the trip of their dreams. 

Along with these plane tickets, she also gifted her employees $10,000 to cover travel costs such as hotels, excursions, food and everything that makes a vacation memorable. In the same Instagram video, Blakey also stated, “I really want every employee to celebrate this moment in their own way and create a memory that will last them a lifetime! Cheers to 21 years of magic and many more to come.”

Cheering erupted, and tears began streaming down Blakely and her employee’s faces following the announcement. Some of her employees began sharing their ideas about where they would go and how they will use this gift. Their answers ranged from Bora Bora for a honeymoon, a South African safari and even an elopement in Sweden. 

It’s not uncommon for Sara Blakely to make news for sharing with others. Along with her entrepreneurial success, Blakely has a reputation for giving back to those in her company and beyond. The “Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation” is well-known for supporting philanthropic organizations and providing elevating opportunities for women. In 2013, she also became the first female billionaire to sign the Giving Pledge

As Spanx Inc. moves into a new era following the Blackstone partnership, Blakely has said she will remain focused on expanding the impact of the Spanx brand, stating, “Now together with Blackstone, we will have even more opportunity to further our mission of making the world a better place… one butt at a time!"

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Kylee Seaver is a senior at Florida State University, studying Media Communications with a minor in Social Entrepreneurship. She enjoys traveling, fashion, and anything by Taylor Swift.
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