One night, Sara Blakely cut off the bottom off her pantyhose, and the idea for Spanx was born. Blakely researched and wrote a patent for footless pantyhose, then drove around North Carolina visiting textile mills in search of one that would turn her design into a product. Most told her it would never sell, but one mill owner decided to take a chance and help turn her “crazy idea” into reality.
Within three months, Blakely sold more than 50,000 items from her apartment. She also started pitching her product to high-end department store buyers. Now that “crazy idea” has Blakely soaring. Spanx has grown to include a full range of body-slimming undergarments, bathing suits and activewear.
In 1993, he dropped out of school to focus on the company. In 1998, he changed the name to 1-800-GOT-JUNK? A year later, the first franchise opened in Canada. Now there are locations all over North America and Australia.
The idea for Pillow Pets dawned on Jennifer Telfer as she watched her young sons smash down their stuffed animals in order to sleep on them. So she set about creating stuffed animals that unfolded into plush pillows.
Telfer and her husband decided to wholesale the products themselves through their company, CJ Products. She began by hawking them at a mall kiosk during the holiday season, and then at a home show two weeks after Christmas.
When the products nearly sold out, Telfer realized she was onto something. The cuddly toy has since exploded into the marketplace, bringing in $300 million in sales in 2010.
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Now go get ’em!
I expect to read good things about your success in five years. Or less.