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

Sara blakely spanx
Sara Blakely started Spanx with $US5,000 ($AU6,676) and turned it into a billion-dollar brand. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
  • Spanx CEO Sara Blakely surprised staff with $US10,000 ($AU13,351) and plane tickets.
  • The company is celebrating Blackstone buying a majority stake.
  • The deal values Spanx at $US1.2 ($AU2) billion.

Spanx is celebrating its $US1.2 ($AU2) 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 to anywhere in the world during a party celebrating Blackstone taking a majority stake in the company. Spanx is also giving employees $US10,000 ($AU13,351) each to spend on their trip.

Blakely posted a video to 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 in disbelief.

A post shared by Sara Blakely (@sarablakely)

Blakely started the company in 2000 with $US5,000 ($AU6,676) she made selling fax machines door-to-door. On Wednesday, Spanx announced that the private equity firm Blackstone will buy a majority stake in the company, valuing it at $US1.2 ($AU2) billion.

“I wrote a goal down and I said this company will one day be worth $US20 ($AU27) million, and everybody laughed at me,” Blakely said 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 last 21 years. Kim Kardashian West launched a rival shapewear company called Skims in 2019.