Spanx Founder Gifts All Employees First-class Plane Tickets and $10,000

·2 min read

Christmas came early for lucky employees at Spanx this year. Last week, Sara Blakely, CEO and founder of the popular shapewear brand, shocked her employees by gifting them each two first-class plane tickets to anywhere in the world, plus $10,000 to plan the trip of a lifetime. The announcement came just days after Blakely sold the company's majority stakes to private equity firm Blackstone in a deal that valued Spanx at $1.2 billion.

Sarah Blakely, Spanx CEO and Founder
Sarah Blakely, Spanx CEO and Founder

Sarah Blakely, Spanx CEO

In a behind-the-scenes video from Blakely's personal Instagram, an emotional Blakely recaps the incredible journey Spanx has been on over the past 21 years, getting choked up when recalling the criticism she received for daring to dream that the company would one day be worth $20 million. Blakely, a frequent guest investor on hit entrepreneurial reality show Shark Tank, founded the business with $5,000 and the simple idea to cut the feet off of pantyhose.

After a champagne toast, where Blakely recognizes "the women that came before me, and all of the women in the world who have not had this opportunity," she's seen spinning a globe. It's then that she reveals to her employees that they will all receive two first-class plane tickets to anywhere in the world. But she doesn't stop there.

"If you go on a trip you might want to go out to a really nice dinner, you might want to go out to a really nice hotel, and so with everybody's two first-class tickets to anywhere in the world, you are each getting $10,000."

The room erupts in ecstatic cheers, happy tears, and overjoyed hugs as everyone realizes the incredible gift they've been given.

"I really want every employee to celebrate this moment in their own way and create a memory that will last them a lifetime!" Blakely said in her Instagram caption. "Cheers to 21 years of magic and many more to come …."

So where are the lucky employees jetting off to? A few employees share their plans that include visiting Japan, Croatia, South Africa, and Antarctica, as well as honeymooning in Bora Bora and an eloping in Sweden.

Bon voyage and happy travels!

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