In the July 11, 2018 issue of Forbes, Natalie Robehmed discusses America’s youngest, self-made billionaire Kylie Jenner, and her cosmetic empire, Kylie Cosmetics (Robehmed, 2018). Unlike most entrepreneurs, Jenner was an already well-known star, but, lacked at finding her place in all the fame. “I struggled for a minute with finding something on my own,” Jenner stated (Robehmed, 2018). It wasn’t long beyond her teenage years that she ‘manager’- mom-manager, Kris Jenner got Jenner into making seven figures as a model. She even partnered with Sinful Colors and released a nail polish line, but, no matter what she endorsed it wasn’t her dream.
Jenner had a love for makeup since she was a pre-teen and growing up on camera really put her appearance out in the open for the world to see. Jenner felt that makeup made her feel more comfortable with who she really was because she was able to express herself however, one thing always held her back. Her lips.
With makeup, Jenner was able to create the illusion that her lips were much fuller by applying lip liner beyond the edges of her natural lips. In 2014, Jenner finally realized her calling and trade marketed the phrase “Kylie Lip Kits…for the perfect pout” just a few years shy of breaking out of her family farm, and on her own. Although, the cosmetic line was done independently by Jenner, her success since it began like most of the other members of the Kardashian-Jenner family; Kylie Cosmetics got started on a scandal.
Being that Jenner’s lips were fuller-looking, the media published that Jenner had lip fillers and soon the internet wanted to be just like her. The “Kylie Jenner lip Challenge” in which one would insert their lips into a small cup and proceed to suck the air out of resulted in ballooned lips went viral. In 2015, Jenner invested $250,000 of her well earned money into an outside company to release the first 15,000 lip kits and sold out in less than a minute. Kylie Lips Kits relaunched in early 2016 as Kylie Cosmetics and stocked up with nearly 500,000 kits, available in six different shades, which also sold out in minutes. (Robehmed, 2018). Now, Jenner as has begun experimenting with brick-and-mortar retailing, opening pop-up shops in addition to her online empire which are all powered by her Instagram product releases. Built off of insecurity, a love for makeup and a dream to step out of her family norm, Jenner’s company is 100% self-owned and is valued currently at nearly $800 million with a projected value of $ 1 billion dollars by the end of 2019.
In discussion of the presence of entrepreneurial attributes, Jenner holds passion and self-belief above any other attribution. Her company is based off of a personal insecurity she has faced since a teenager. As supported within the article, Jenner wanted to go into business alone, and do it for herself. Among other attributes, Jenner is a risk-taker, the cosmetic industry is not one to make easy profit in, and she is also hands-on. The cosmetic goddess releases new products on social media pages such as Snapchat and Instagram; she has no real advertisement other than the two media which is taking a risk. Jenner is hands-on and not a day passes that she is not involved with her company; she oversees every shading of the makeup, packages, products, and even labels the products, as well giving them their personal names based off of events in her life. Throughout all, Jenner remains patient and humble being that she is a self-made, 20-year-old billionaire.
Jenner’s passion has had the largest effect on Kylie cosmetics thus far. As a once bullied teenager in the way that her lips look, she became obsessed with makeup, specifically lipstick. Jenner is committed to wanting others to express themselves and feel comfortable with who they are but, also with their makeup. Everyone has their own style and this has led to an entire line of passion-filled makeup for all ages. In fact, Jenner has so much passion for her products that each of them is named after an important person, thing, or memory in her life. For example, ‘Dolce K’ is named after her favorite childhood pet , ‘Mary Jo K’ is named after her grandmother, and ‘2014’ is about a drastic time in her life when she first started dying her hair random colors, starting with teal(Robehmed,2018).
Kylie Jenner is a young, and successful entrepreneur and although was expected to fail or tamper off, as any other cosmetic business…didn’t. In fact, no other cosmetic business has ever received the volume or fans and consistency that Jenner has received over the past two and a half years. Who or what does Kylie owe all her success to though? Herself and social media. As stated previously, Jenner is very hands-on with her advertisements. So much, they she makes them all herself by promoting on Snapchat and Instagram. Stated within the article, all Jenner does to make all the money is leverage her social media posts and following. She takes a photo of her product, herself wearing it, and videos and posts with the caption of the name of what she is wearing. That is it. In total between all her social media platforms, Jenner has over 200 million, mainly young followers who all want to be her or love her products (Robehmed, 2018).
One may ask what the real risk as an entrepreneur Jenner has actually taken. As an entrepreneur, it is important to take risks in order to see what true potential not only you have but, what future your business has. In December of 2016, Kylie Cosmetics decided to test the waters and launch a pop-up shop located in California (Robehmed, 2018). At the end of the 14 day pop-up over 25,000 fans waited outside for the opening and visited the store to purchase merchandise. The risk, Jenner and Kylie Cosmetics took proved to be an effective channel for the brand, and the success has led to an entire span of pop-up shops across the United States (Robehmed, 2018).
A company may not strive forever, and as an entrepreneur, you must stand through anything thrown at you. In fact, Kylie Cosmetics growth has already begun to level off. After $307 million in sales in 2016, revenue only grew 7%, even though 30 new products were released. According to Forbes, the revenue dropped 35% by the end of 2017(Robehmed, 2018). Jenner has remained humble, and patient through every step of building her empire and maybe even as sales gradually decrease.
Kylie Jenner had built her company, Kylie Cosmetics, into a billionaire dollar empire in less than three years, making her the youngest self-made billionaire to date. Based off a personal insecurity, Jenner has provided a breakout cosmetic line that allows people to express and be comfortable with one ’s self. With passion, self-belief, patience, and humbleness, that she has already acquired Jenner can hopefully keep building her empire for years to come and stray away from a decline in sales and popularity.