Atlanta—Spanx CEO/Founder Sara Blakely believes the “women supporting women brings great karma and is good for the world!” And she should know. The self-made Blakely remembers when as a struggling entrepreneur she got a helping hand from another self-made woman executive.
“Everybody needs a leg up when starting a business,” said Blakely. “Mine came when Oprah named Spanx a ‘Favorite Thing’.”
Paying It Forward
Now Blakely is responding in kind with her Leg Up program, which was begun in 2010 as a way to pay forward her success and offer recognition to up-and-coming women entrepreneurs and their companies.
Since its inception, the program has featured 15 businesses and 20 female entrepreneurs. This year’s winner is Ashley Edmonds, founder of lilywrap, an easy-to-use gift wrap alternative that “saves time…and trees.”
Blakely selected lilywrap as her own “Favorite Thing.” These easy-to-use, reusable wrappings mimic the look and feel of traditional wrapping paper—bow and all—and are available in a variety of colors and patterns. A patent-pending stretchy fabric wrap is offered in three sizes, so no matter the gift shape, a present can be covered. “I love giving gifts, but can’t stand wrapping them,” Blakely said. “My friends and family laugh at my ‘creative’ gift wrapping. Thanks to lilywrap, I don’t have to worry about the wrapping! And because they’re reusable, it’s like giving a gift, inside a gift.”
In addition to winning new fans at Spanx, lilywrap will be featured in the Spanx catalog, which circulates to more than one million fans. www.spanx.com/legup
In addition, each winner chosen receives a lucky red backpack–like the bag Blakely carried as her “good luck charm” in 2000 when starting Spanx. Spanx does not profit in any way. “The only hope is that another woman gets great exposure and her much-deserved leg up,” Blakely said. www.spanx.com/legup