Founder of Atlanta-based Spanx makes Forbes’ America’s Richest Self-Made Women 2018

Forbes on Wednesday released its fourth annual list of America's Richest Self-Made Women, and Atlanta-based Spanx founder Sara Blakely came in at No. 21 of the list of 60 women.

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Forbes analysts compiled net worths and valued assets plus company stakes using stock prices from June 22, 2018, for the ranking. The women featured had a record combined net worth of $71 billion, up 15 percent from 2017’s $61.5 billion.

Blakely, 47, started shapewear company Spanx in Atlanta in 2000. She was only 27.

According to Forbes, before launching Spanx, the Clearwater, Florida, native was a door-to-door fax machine salesperson.

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Frustrated with the hosiery market, she invested $5,000 in developing comfortable, shaping pantyhose. That same year, Oprah Winfrey listed Spanx on her annual “favorite things” list.

According to AJC's Rodney Ho, Spanx generated $10 million in revenue by its second year. Its products are now sold in 65 countries.

"When Forbes first identified her as a billionaire in 2012 at age 41, she was the youngest female billionaire who didn't receive her money from inheritance or a spouse," Ho wrote.

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Blakely and husband Jesse Itzler, who have four children together, also co-own the Atlanta Hawks basketball team with several others.

With a $1 billion net worth, Blakely joins the likes of entrepreneurs Diane Hendricks, Marian Ilitch and 20-year-old reality TV star Kylie Jenner, whose inclusion on Forbes' list of self-made women billionaires has received its share of backlash.

"Calling Kylie Jenner self-made without acknowledging anywhere the incredible headstart she had is what allows people to turn around and look at poor people and ask them why they haven't become billionaires yet," Twitter user @lola_adewuya wrote. "Her story is not inspiring or motivating for anyone."

Even the dictionary chimed in.

Explore Forbes’ full America’s Richest Self-Made Women list at