Spanx founder & Clearwater native rewards employees with first-class tickets to anywhere, $10,000 to spend on trip

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FILE – In this April 24, 2012 file photo, Spanx founder Sara Blakely attends the TIME 100 gala, celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world, at the Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York. Blakely was the successful bidder for the skintight satin pants that Olivia Newton-John wore in the movie “Grease.” She told “CBS This Morning” Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 she plans to frame them and hang them at Spanx because they inspired the company’s black faux-leather leggings. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

TAMPA (WFLA) – The chief executive and founder of shapewear company Spanx had a huge surprise for employees to celebrate the company’s $1.2 billion deal with investment management company Blackstone.

In honor of the brand’s deal with Blackstone, Sara Blakely, originally from Clearwater, announced to her employees that each person was getting two first class tickets to anywhere they wanted to go on the planet and $10,000 to spend on said trip.

“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 an Instagram post. “Cheers to 21 years of magic and many more to come.”

Blakely still holds some stake in the business she started in 2020 and is set to be executive chairwoman of an all-female board.

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