Home for Sara Blakely, founder of the shapewear brand Spanx, is Atlanta, where her company has its headquarters. For at least a decade, while building her business, Ms. Blakely was away from home three weeks of every month. Now that she is a parent she travels less, although she’s often in New York and Los Angeles for work. “I’m now a mom of four under the age of 7, so I’m much more selective about where I go and when,” she said, “and Spanx is not as reliant on me as the spokesperson and the face of the brand.”
Once a year, for her birthday — she is 46 — she takes 10 of her closest childhood friends on a trip. “They don’t know where they’re going. I tell them the climate is either hot or cold. I’ve taken them to Costa Rica, to Anguilla, to Deer Valley, to California. The whole flight, they’re trying to guess where we’re going. This last one, we went to a place called the Retreat in central Costa Rica, up in the mountains. We took over the whole resort, with 10 or 11 bungalows. We had these fabulous chefs that cooked the most natural, wonderful food. We were there for four days and did yoga twice a day and went on hikes.”
Despite frequent travel, she has a fear of flying that she tries to tame with classes and rituals. A magazine “recently had this story about me on their website, and it said that I took a fear of flying class, and I always missed the class because I was always flying — I wish I could conquer my fear because I think it’s prematurely aging me.”
Here is what she takes on every trip.
“I’ve had the same Samsonite luggage since 1998. I’ve had it repaired more than 10 times; now there’s duct tape on it. I searched eBay, and I’ve been able to get three of them, which I rotate, but they’re all from ’98. It’s pretty dismal looking.”
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