Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2012

Sara Blakely

The comic irony of Spanx is that the woman who became a billionaire after inventing them doesn't even need them. Poor thing, she was a size 2 when the idea hit her.

But luckily for Sara Blakely, 41, plenty of us had a little junk in our trunks. As we were trying to hide our guts, she trusted hers. Despite the naysayers, with just $5,000 and a great idea she proved that you don't need an M.B.A. to know what women want and how to market it.

Her business has expanded almost as quickly as our waistlines, now offering 200 products in 40 countries. She's even designed a line of Spanx for men, nicknamed Manx or Mirdles, and has found some male consumers who say the compression garments "really help with back pain."

Right. That's why I wear them too.

Couric is a special correspondent for ABC News and host of the upcoming talk show, Katie premiering Sept. 10.