Forbes released its annual listing of the richest people on the planet on Wednesday (March 7). While it contains the usual suspects like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison, there’s a new player in town. And she’s made her money from…underwear.
Spanx founder Sara Blakely has joined the list of the uber-rich. Her undergarment firm, which makes products that smooth away bumps and hides panty lines, is worth an estimated $1 billion. And she owns 100 percent of the company.
At age 41, Blakely is the youngest self-made female billionaire on the list. The only other women to qualify for this category are Oprah Winfrey and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman. What’s perhaps most remarkable about this is that she started the firm just 12 years ago and has never spent a dime on advertising.
Blakely, whose products are sold in more than 11,500 stores in 40 countries, still has a ways to go if she wants to top the list. Mexican telecom executive Carlos Slim Helu, with an estimated worth of $69 billion, is the richest man in the world.