Spanx and Pillow Pets

One night, Sara Blakely cut off the bottom off her pantyhose and the idea of Spanx was born. Armed with $5,000 in savings, Blakely researched and wrote her patent for footless pantyhose and drove around North Carolina begging mill owners to make her product. Most told her it would never sell, but one owner decided to take a chance and help her make her "crazy idea." The idea for Pillow Pets dawned on Jennifer Telfer after watching her young sons smash down their stuffed animals in order to sleep on them like a pillow. So she set about creating stuffed animals that unfolded into plush pillows. Telfer and her husband, Clint, decided to wholesale the products themselves in 2003 through their company, CJ Products. She began by hawking them at a mall kiosk during the holiday season, and then at a home show two weeks after Christmas. When the products nearly sold out, Telfer realized she was onto something. The cuddly toy has since exploded into the marketplace, bringing in $300 million in sales in 2010. Click here to see all 9 ideas that made $100 million.

Be first to comment