News Releases

May 14, 2014

SPANX® and Sara Blakely Announce ABAN as New Leg Up™ Winner

Spanx Leg Up
Spanx Leg Up

Atlanta, GA, May 14th, 2014 - Spanx® and Founder, Sara Blakely, announce the newest Leg Up® winners: Callie Brauel, Rebecca Brandt, and Emmanuel Quarmyne, founders of A Ban Against Neglect (ABAN), a non-profit dedicated to empowering young mothers in Ghana.   

“Everybody needs a leg up when starting a business,” said Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx.  “Mine came when Oprah named SPANX a ‘Favorite Thing’.”

Since the “Oprah-moment” that catapulted Spanx from a small start-up to a household name, Blakely has been on a mission to pay her success forward and empower women to reach their full potential. The Leg Up program was created to offer women entrepreneurs and their businesses a chance to be promoted to millions of Spanx fans via the catalog, and social media channels, including The Rear View blog.

Amidst a growing number of applicants, ABAN was selected for its innovative business model that seeks to restore the environment and the lives of women and children in Ghana. By selling unique, handmade products, like The Blessing Bag, from recycled materials, ABAN is making its mark on the world.

“I’m so inspired by how ABAN turns trash into an opportunity to empower young moms in Ghana. By carrying one of their bags, we can all help end the cycle of poverty and clean up the environment…carry on!” Blakely said.

About the Winners:

ABAN started in 2011 as a class project to create a non-profit that recycled plastic street waste into bags and accessories.  While studying entrepreneurship in Ghana, three college students were disturbed by the pollution and poverty around them.  Everyday more than 60 tons of plastic water bags end up on the streets that 60,000+ children sleep on—half of whom were young mothers under the age of 20.  These children are all from various backgrounds, but suffer the same neglect.

The founders, Callie, Rebecca, and Emmanuel quickly joined forces and turned their class project into a business to support these young women in Ghana.  Plastic waste is collected off the streets, sanitized and then combined with traditional Ghanaian fabrics.  Proceeds from every product go to fund a 2-year program that empowers women financially and personally, allowing them and their children to break free from the cycle of poverty.

For more information on the program and its winners, visit Spanx Leg Up™

About Leg Up™

Spanx wants to give other amazing women entrepreneurs their leg up! As Oprah gave Sara her big break by naming Spanx ® a ‘Favorite Thing,’ Blakely is paying it forward by endorsing female entrepreneurs and their businesses.  “Everybody needs a Leg Up when starting a business,” is Blakely’s philosophy.  Through the Spanx catalog, and its social media channels, Spanx ® highlights women and her business/products.  In addition, each woman chosen receives a lucky red backpack–like the bag Sara carried as her “good luck charm” in 2000 when starting Spanx.  Spanx does not profit in any way. The only hope is that another woman gets great exposure and her much-deserved leg up!

About Spanx®

Spanx founder Sara Blakely was getting ready for a party when she realized she didn't have the right undergarment to provide a blemish-free look under white pants. Armed with scissors and sheer genius, she cut the feet off her control top pantyhose and the Spanx revolution began! The Spanx brand now houses more than 200 products ranging from slimming apparel and swimsuits, to bras, activewear and men's undershirts. To help women everywhere experience the power of shapewear, the SPANX, Inc. portfolio now includes four brands: SPANX® by Sara Blakely®, ASSETS®, ASSETS® Red Hot Label™ by SPANX®, and Star Power by SPANX. With an array of problem-solving products for every body type and budget, Spanx has secured its place in women’s hearts and in pop-culture with daily mentions everywhere from CNN to SNL. In March of 2012, Founder Sara was named the world’s youngest, self-made female billionaire by Forbes Magazine and one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA and opening retail shops across the United States, Spanx can now be found worldwide in more than 50 countries. In addition to keeping butts covered from Savannah to Singapore, SPANX also shapes the world by focusing on their mission: To help women feel great about themselves and their potential.

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