Update: Kylie Jenner is continuing to push back against critics who argue over her "self-made" title, given her family's immense wealth and fame. "There’s really no other word to use other than self-made because that is the truth," she told Interview Germany. This time, though, the makeup mogul is at least acknowledging the platform that contributed to her success. "Although, I am a special case because before I started Kylie Cosmetics, I had a huge platform and lots of fans. I did not get money from my parents past the age of 15. I used 100% of my own money to start the company, not a dime in my bank account is inherited… and I am very proud of that."
This story was originally published on March 5, 2019.
It’s official: Kylie Jenner is
Kris Jenner’s favourite a billionaire. Not only that, but she's also the youngest self-made billionaire, according to Forbes. The publication, which has been tracking the 21-year-old's dizzying financial climb, credits the expansion of Kylie Cosmetics into Ulta Beauty — which reportedly drew in an estimated $54.5 million USD in just six weeks — as the catalyst for Kylie’s newly-minted status among business women like Oprah and Aerin Lauder.
For those who are counting at home, Forbes estimates Jenner’s three-year old makeup brand — of which she owns 100%, by the way — to now be worth at least a cool $900 million USD. Factor in additional income generated from reality TV and endorsements and boom: Jenner beats out Mark Zuckerberg (who was 23 when he became a billionaire) for the youngest entrepreneur to clock her financial worth with a capital B.
Just like the last time Forbes reported on Jenner's growing fortune, people will undoubtedly balk at the publication’s “self-made” designation. Is someone really self-made when she starts with more money than most of us have seen in our lives? For her part, Jenner has a knack for making it all seem like none of it is any work at all. Of her success at Ulta Beauty, Jenner told Forbes, “I popped up at a few stores, I did my usual social media — I did what I usually do, and it just worked.” You know, casual.
But the truth is, she steers a tight ship. According to the publication, her business has just seven full-time employees and five part-timers on payroll (not including momager Kris Jenner, who handles finances and PR for a 10% cut). Kylie Cosmetics products are printed down the hill from Calabasas in Oxnard, California by Seed Beauty and sales are handled by Shopify. The rest — marketing, advertising, and hype generation — is largely done by social media.
On that note, those who argue Jenner isn’t self made might be right. If anything, she’s made by us, her 175 million followers. And no matter how you slice it, she’s made it a hell of a long way for a one-time teenage reality star with a $29 USD lip kit.