Spanx CEO Sara Blakely — whose shapewear company was valued at $1.2 billion after asset management firm Blackstone bought a majority share Oct. 20 — thanked her workers with a $10,000 bonus and two first-class plane tickets to anywhere in the world.
The big bonus came in an Instagram video posted Friday and reported by People Tuesday.
"I really want every employee to celebrate this moment in their own way and create a memory that will last them a lifetime," she wrote in the caption, adding, "Cheers to 21 years of magic and many more to come."
In the video, Blakely also looked back on starting the company and her goals for it.
"On the white board in my room, I wrote a goal down. I said, 'This company will one day be worth $20 million.' Everybody laughed at me ... And so, to stand here today and think about what we've been able to create and what we've been able to do by being authentic and kind and [delivering] amazing products to women," Blakely said. "To use very feminine principles in a very masculine space, which is business, leading with intuition and vulnerability ... I think it's a really big moment in time for women."
Several workers broke down in tears while hearing the news, while others talked about their travel plans.
"I'm gonna go on my honeymoon with my fiancé, and we're going to Bora Bora!" one male worker said, the video showed. "I'm going to South Africa," a young woman screamed while jumping up and down with excitement.
On Oct. 20, Blakely posted a photo of herself signing paperwork to finalize the Blackstone deal.
"With all my heart I love this brand. With all my heart I will continue to love this brand. I will remain a significant shareholder and continue to help the business fulfill its greatest potential, as well as continue to fulfill my greatest passion - elevating women," she wrote. "I'm as excited today for the future of Spanx as I was when I started it 21 years ago."
Blakely continued, "I received a sign from the universe 21 years ago to start the company and I received another sign that it was the right time to take in a partner and specifically Blackstone. After meeting with the all-female deal team, I knew they were the right partners to grow our mission and scale our purpose. Now together with Blackstone, we will have even more opportunity to further our mission of making the world a better place… one butt at a time! Stay tuned…"
Some powerful females chimed in on the congratulations, including supermodel Karlie Kloss, who thanked Blakely for "all you do to elevate and support (literally and figuratively)" and actress Reese Witherspoon, who called Blakely "an inspiring founder."
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