Kylie Jenner Covers Forbes as Youngest Self-Made Billionaire
“What her half-sister Kim Kardashian West did for booty, Jenner has done for full lips," reads the magazine cover story.
Who says reality television stars can’t make it big? One is in the White House and another — Kylie Jenner — is set to become the youngest self-made billionaire in history at age 21.
At 20, Jenner has amassed $900 million by capitalizing on her family’s reality show (and the Kardashian-Jenner name, fame and fortune that comes with it) by developing her uber-successful makeup company Kylie Cosmetics, which first launched in 2015 and sold out in one minute.
Now on the cover of Forbes, released Wednesday, the magazine proclaims, “What her half-sister Kim Kardashian West did for booty, Jenner has done for full lips.” She launched her lip kits two years ago and still owns 100 percent of the company, meaning Forbes is crowning her one of the top business moguls — perhaps made all the more impressive by the fact that she had her first daughter in February, Stormi Webster.
Jenner is the youngest person in Forbes’ annual ranking of America's Richest Self-Made Women. Previous title holders of youngest self-made billionaire include Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, placing Jenner among entrepreneurial royalty.
With matriarch Kris Jenner at the helm taking her 10 percent management cut from all children, the Kardashian family is often praised for their strategic marketing and publicity that turned a sex tape into a now billion-dollar family empire through Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
As the youngest sister, Kylie Jenner noticeably benefitted from her older sisters' fame before her — without their 20 years in the spotlight, she likely wouldn’t have sold as many lip products in just three years. As pointed out by Forbes, both Kim and Kylie have turned scandal into a booming business; Jenner initially denied that she got lip fillers or surgery to give her the signature pout and only later revealed the fillers in 2015 at age 17.
On the idea of launching the company, she says: "I struggled for a minute with finding something to do on my own. Ever since I was in sixth grade, I would wear purple eye shadow.... I turned to makeup to help me feel more confident."
Now she has seven full-time and five part-time employees, with manufacturing and packaging outsourced to Seed Beauty in Oxnard, Calif., with sales and fulfillment outsourced to the online site Shopify.
The article admits Jenner has made it all by utilizing her following on social media: 110 million on Instagram and 25.6 million on Twitter (of the fam, only Kim has more Instagram followers than Kylie at 114 million). Jenner tells Forbes, “Social media is an amazing platform.… I have such easy access to my fans and my customers."
Social media analytics firm Shareablee found that Kylie Cosmetics has the most engagement online within the beauty sector. Even though companies like Chanel and L'Oreal have more followers, Kylie Cosmetics received the most "actions" — likes, comments, shares and retweets across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — at 324.1 million actions in the past year.
She turned to brick and mortar with pop-ups in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and sees herself working on Kylie Cosmetics “forever." The marketing maven also talks about planning a lipstick vending machine.
"Maybe one day [I'll] pass this on to Stormi, if she's into it," Jenner says. It is the family business, after all.
Not everyone thinks Jenner's money is self-made, however. Dictionary.com tweeted, "Self-made means having succeeded in life unaided," sparking users to complain that Jenner hadn't truly worked for her millions.