By the end of the next year, Kylie Jenner will be a billionaire. At least, that’s what Forbes has just predicted in an in-depth feature they published about the 20-year-old cosmetics tycoon. Titled "How 20-Year-Old Kylie Jenner Built A $900 Million Fortune In Less Than 3 Years," the piece delves into Kylie Cosmetics' staggering statistics, picking apart exactly how the youngest Kardashian-Jenner clan member built one of the most coveted makeup brands of all time.
Forbes also claims that Jenner's wealth is self-made — a statement that didn't go down well with everyone. Countless people took to Twitter to question how someone with Jenner's heritage — with her family's wealth and status — can really be considered "self-made." And while that's a fair point, it's undeniable that she is making the most of the gifts life has given her.
In terms of success, the numbers speak for themselves. Forbes' article is stacked to the brim with ridiculous figures. To make the figures and business facts more digestible, we've condensed them down into bite-sized chunks, which you can feed upon below.
Overall, Kylie Cosmetics is worth approximately $800 million
The numbers Forbes has attached to Jenner’s company are, in a word, insane. In the two years since starting the brand, which she launched using $250,000 of her modeling earnings to produce the first 15,000 lip kits, she has raked in astronomical profits. Starting with a $29 lip kit and expanding to include other cosmetics such as eyeshadow and concealer, in 24 months she has sold more than $630 million worth of makeup. Forbes now values her company at $800 million. And Jenner owns 100 percent of it.
The business essentials are kept relatively cheap
One of the primary reasons Jenner has been able to sell so much and bank eyebrow-raising profits is her overheads. She outsources pretty much everything. Her entire empire is built on just seven full-time members of staff and five part-time employees. Everything else is handled by other companies.
Her manufacturing and packaging, for example, are done by a private-label producer called Spatz Laboratories and its parent company Seed Beauty. They collectively employ more than 500 people solely to take care of Kylie Cosmetics. Shopify was then brought in by Kris Jenner to handle the sales and fulfillment. To use that shopping platform, Jenner pays around $480,000 per year, which is peanuts when considering that she has no brick and mortar location (bar a couple of pop-ups and short-term concessions) and therefore no rent to pay. And mama Jenner handles all the business and finance aspects in return for the 10 percent management cut she takes from all her children.
She has millions of fans at her fingertips
Of course, none of this would be as easy or have happened as fast if Jenner didn't have her entire target audience at her fingertips. On Instagram, she has an automatic link to the 110 million people following her personal account. On Snapchat, she has even more. She has 25.6 million followers on Twitter and 16.4 million who follow Kylie Cosmetics. And that's before the boosts she gets from siblings and friends.
What's more, she's extremely active. Her feed is updated constantly with selfies captioned with the details of the Kylie Cosmetic shade she's wearing. She uses her platforms to tease new products and announce launches, which generally reaps fruitful rewards. In 2015, for example, she teased the kits on IG for months and then announced the launch 24 hours before they went on sale.
Natalie Robehmed / Forbes
The kits sold out in less than a minute. Resellers started offering the $29 product on eBay for up to $1,000. "Before I even refreshed the page, everything was sold out," Jenner says.
She’s en route to dethroning Mark Zuckerberg as the youngest self-made billionaire ever
All this wealth and success comes before you even consider the extra bank made via TV shows and movies (such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Life of Kylie, and Ocean's 8) and endorsing Puma shoes and PacSun clothing. Add this to an estimated $60 million in after-tax dividends and the money seeping in from Kylie Cosmetics, and it's not really a surprise that the young mother has ended up on Forbes' fourth annual ranking of "America's Richest Self-Made Women."
If she does reach the $1 billion mark by the end of next year, by which point she'll be 22, Jenner will become the youngest self-made billionaire ever. She will have trumped Mark Zuckerberg, who reached the threshold at 23, and Bill Gates, who was 31.
And that, you have to admit, is pretty damn impressive.
Are you impressed by Kylie Jenner's empire? Let us know in the comments.
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