Watch Spanx employees react to the news they're getting $10,000 and first-class plane tickets to anywhere in the world

·1 min read
sara blakely spanx
Sara Blakely started Spanx with $5,000 and turned it into a billion-dollar brand. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
  • Spanx CEO Sara Blakely surprised staff with $10,000 and plane tickets.

  • The company is celebrating Blackstone buying a majority stake.

  • The deal values Spanx at $1.2 billion.

Spanx is celebrating its $1.2 billion valuation and Blackstone deal by gifting each of its employees the trip of a lifetime.

Sara Blakely, the shapewear company's billionaire CEO and founder, surprised staff with two first-class tickets each to anywhere in the world during a party celebrating Blackstone taking a majority stake in the company. Spanx is also giving employees $10,000 each to spend on their trips.

Blakely posted a video on social media of the moment when she announced the gifts to employees who gathered in person and over Zoom. Employees were apparently dumbfounded by the news. Some cried, while others were slack-jawed.

Blakely started the company in 2000 with $5,000 she made selling fax machines door-to-door. On Wednesday, Spanx announced that the private-equity firm Blackstone would buy a majority stake in the company, a deal valuing it at $1.2 billion.

"I wrote a goal down, and I said this company will one day be worth $20 million, and everybody laughed at me," Blakely says in the video.

Spanx, which started out by selling stretchy, body-smoothing undergarments, has grown into a gigantic brand with a wide product line and men's offerings over the past 21 years. Kim Kardashian West launched a rival shapewear company called Skims in 2019.

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