When Forbes released its 2019 list of billionaires, one name stood out – Kylie Jenner. The magazine named the 21-year-old as the youngest self-made billionaire in history. She made her first ten-figure income younger than Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. The title as a self-made billionaire is one reason people took an interest. Debates have been swirling the net on how really “self-made” the youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan is given that she comes from money. How did Kylie get to make all that wealth in such a short time? Let me break it down.
The Marketing Genius
Kylie’s got her fortune thanks to the wild success of her cosmetics company, Kylie Cosmetics. However, her road to the billionaire’s club began a bit earlier than the launch of her business. One thing that almost everyone can agree with me on about the Kardashians is the effective marketing of Kylie’s mother and manager, Kris Jenner.
The Kardashian family was virtually unknown until Kris’s first husband, Robert Kardashian, was thrown into the limelight as the defence attorney for O.J Simpson.
Fast forward to 2006 when a sex tape starring Kim Kardashian leaked online and the Kardashian-Jenner matriarch sees an opportunity. She pitches a reality show that follows the lives of her family, specifically her 5 daughters. The show, “Keeping Up with The Kardashians”, leveraged the little fame that Kim had achieved and made money from it. Kylie and her sister Kendall Jenner didn’t have much screen time, but that changed with every season of the show. As with all her daughters, Kris inked deals for Kylie and Kendall all over the place from candy to hair extensions.
The Rise of Kylie Cosmetics
With the revenue that Kylie got from her endorsements, she set up a cosmetics company. Kylie Cosmetics started with lip kits in only three colours Dolce K, Candy K and TrueBrown K.
The business launched in 2015. In a matter of seconds, Kylie Cosmetics had sold out its stock. According to Forbes, the company made $307 million in its first year. Kylie grew the product line to bronzes, concealers and eyeliners. In 2018, Kylie Cosmetics struck a deal with Ulta, which meant her products were available in stores across the US. Forbes estimates that this deal made Jenner $360 million. As of 2019, the company is valued at slightly over $900 million.
The Social Media Influence
The Kardashian-Jenner family has perfected the art of leveraging social media. Whether it’s Kim’s fashion line or Kendall’s fashion spreads, the Kardashian girls know the power that social media holds. When Kylie launched her venture, she had a combined reach of 56 million across Twitter and Instagram.
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Kylie admitted that she already had a “strong reach” before she was able to start anything. Her relationship with rapper Travis Scott and a ridiculously secretive pregnancy are some things that made Kylie a popular on social media the past couple of years. She took that fame and turned it into currency, something some of us would like to know how to do.
However she did it, Kylie Jenner has just become the wealthiest member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, and that’s saying something considering she is only 21.