In the five days since my Forbes cover story on Spanx creator Sara Blakely was published, readers have been writing, tweeting, and commenting with questions about the youngest self-made woman on our latest World’s Billionaires list and her $1 billion invention.
While a handful of these emails have been of the “Will Sara marry me?” variety (for the record: no), the vast majority have expressed amazement that Blakely, 41, grew her undergarment empire without any outside investment, debt, or even a cent spent on advertising.
When I spent some time with Blakely in Atlanta a few months back, she and company CEO Laurie Ann Goldman told me how Spanx grew from a one-product wonder to a household name without shelling out on ads:
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