Kylie Jenner is officially the youngest self-made billionaire.
After announcing that Jenner was on her way to becoming a billionaire last year, Forbes reported Tuesday that the 21-year-old has finally achieved billionaire status thanks to 9% revenue growth in her business – Kylie Cosmetics – in 2018. This growth was fueled by a new partnership with Ulta, launched in August 2018 and which brought her products to its more than 1,000 stores across the US.
“Add in the cash Jenner has already pulled from the profitable business, and the 21-year-old is now a billionaire, with an estimated fortune of $1 billion,” Forbes reporter Natalie Robehmed wrote Tuesday morning.
Robehmed continued: “She’s the youngest-ever self-made billionaire, reaching a ten-figure fortune at a younger age than even Mark Zuckerberg (who was 23 when he hit that mark).”
Jenner made her first foray into cosmetics in 2015 when she starting selling lip kits, which included lipsticks and lip liners. These sold out in less than a minute.
Several months later, she launched Kylie Cosmetics on Shopify with 500,000 lip kits in six colours. By the end of that year, the company had already generated $307 million in revenue, Insider reported.
Experts say the key to her success is her well-executed social media strategy. She has more than 175-million followers across her social media platforms to which she is able to market all of her products.The overheads of the business are low. According to Forbes, she has a team of seven full-time and five part-time employees. Manufacturing and packaging are outsourced to a local company in California and the sales and fulfillment are handled by Shopify. Her mother, Kris Jenner, handles finance and PR in exchange for the 10% management fee.
Jenner was put on the cover of Forbes’ “America’s Women Billionaires” issue in August 2018 and the magazine reported that Jenner is the 27th-richest self-made woman in the United States.
Many took issue with Forbes classifying Jenner as a “self-made” near-billionaire, saying that being born into extreme wealth and fame is the opposite of being “self-made.”
Even dictionary.com got involved:
Self-made means having succeeded in life unaided.
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) July 11, 2018