Spanx Founder Looks to Paint Better Picture For Mothers

Written by: Caitlin St. Pierre, guest-blogger and AdMass Advocate

Days before giving birth to her son, an idea occurred to Sara Blakely. This was not the first time this had happened to Sara. As a creative, naturally curious person, ideas appeared all the time. While she drives her car, before she falls asleep, right when she wakes up… you get the idea. In fact, the last idea she pursued made her the world’s first self-made female billionaire — she created a little brand called Spanx. So she has some experience when it comes to following her gut. But this idea was different — it wasn’t about business or target markets, it was about what her body was capable of. What she as a woman could do. And she had an idea that would celebrate this miraculous gift, the gift of creating life.

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She made her pregnant belly into a watermelon. Yup. She went to a good friend of hers who was a professional makeup artist and asked him to make her belly look like a watermelon — as realistic as possible. And then she drove straight to her local grocery store and plopped her watermelon on top of all the others, and her friend took a picture.

It was just fun. It was a cool way to enjoy the last few days of her belly having this perfect spherical shape. It was a funny picture that she would treasure and later show her son. But it caught fire, because all around her were millions of women with babies in their bellies who also wanted to have fun and play dress up and celebrate the fact that they were becoming mothers. So, Sara started taking pictures. Of friends, of women she admired, of women who admired her. Celebrities and chefs and florists and businesswomen were all transformed into donuts, fishbowls, planets and pumpkins. Sprinkled among the pictures are words of wisdom to remind you to dream big, conquer your fear, and always, always listen to your mother.

Apart from being a wildly entertaining coffee table book, this book is making a difference. 100% of proceeds go towards Every Mother Counts, a maternal health organization that links mothers to essential care providers by addressing three of the biggest barriers in maternal health: transportation, education, and supplies.

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A few weeks ago, AdMass had the honor of hearing Sara Blakely speak at a Cosmo event: Fun Fearless Money. It was held in Manhattan to give millennial women the tools they need to budget their own finances, to make smart moves in their career, and to remind them that they are brilliant and capable of anything. Sara Blakely was a keynote speaker and very candid about her path to success. Here are a few of our favorite moments from her inspiring speech:

An idea is the most vulnerable the moment you have it.”

Sara advises if you have a great idea, keep quiet about it for a while. “Telling other people invites their egos into the conversation.” Sara believes if she had told people about her idea to create Spanx, she would have been talked out of it.

“If no one showed you how to do your job, how would you be doing it? Not knowing how things are ‘supposed to be done’ can be your greatest asset.”

And perhaps most importantly,

“Go inside yourself for all of the answers. You already have them, everyone does. It’s just scary to listen.”

For our part, we want to help find some belly-art advocates…mothers who can get behind a fun, creative project like this to help make pregnancy and childbirth safe for women everywhere. Not only will we be reaching out to mothers directly, but we’re hoping we can get some help from anyone reading this blog post. Please SHARE this with anyone you think would be interested in being a part of this amazing cause.

This book isn’t just for women who are pregnant. And it isn’t just for women, either. We all have moms.

Follow us on Instagram and like our Belly Art Project photo for a chance to win a free copy of the book!