Spanx Founder Celebrates Billion Dollar Deal With Huge Employee Honor

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Staffers at Spanx likely had two words for their CEO and founder in the last few weeks: Spanx you!

The shapewear brand’s founder, Sara Blakely, surprised employees of the company with a heck of a big gift in response to Spanx closing a $1.2 billion deal with Blackstone: She gifted each person two first-class plane tickets and $10,000.

Blakely revealed the news to the public in a joyous Instagram post at the end of last month, which features a video of herself making a statement to her entire staff. At one point, Blakely spins a globe and then tells the crowd of workers that she’s gifting them flights and cash.

"If you go on a trip, you might want to go out to a really nice dinner, you might want to go out to a really nice hotel, and so with everybody's two first-class tickets to anywhere in the world, you are each getting $10,000," she tells the instantly emotional crowd.

Amid cheers and shocked faces, many employees are even seen shedding a tear in the video. Blakely continues on in her announcement to toast "the women that came before me, and all of the women in the world who have not had this opportunity."

In her caption for the video, the 50-year-old shared that she really wanted “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,” she wrote.

Blakely has been open about how Spanx came to be, sharing with Forbes in 2012 that it was a solution to a recurring problem she’d been having, hating how a seamed foot of pantyhose looked when she wore shoes exposing her toes but loved the clean lines pantyhose created under her clothing.

“I cut the feet off my pantyhose and wore them underneath,” she told the publication. “But they rolled up my legs all night. I remember thinking, ‘I’ve got to figure out how to make this.’ I’d never worked in fashion or retail. I just needed an undergarment that didn’t exist.”

Shortly thereafter, the then-27-year-old set aside her entire $5,000 savings and spent years creating that very undergarment, all while working a full-time job. The rest, as they say, is history.

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Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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