Kylie Jenner – ‘Selfie’ Made Billionaire

Kylie Jenner has made it onto the annual Forbes list of billionaires at the age of 21 with a net worth of $1bn. She has taken the title ‘world’s youngest self-made billionaire’ from the Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who became a billionaire at age 23. Jenner is now ranked by Forbes as the world’s 2,057th richest person thanks to her makeup company, Kylie Cosmetics, which she set up in 2015. In response to the publication, Jenner told Forbes ‘I didn’t expect anything. I did not foresee the future. But [the recognition] feels really good’.

Kylie, the youngest sister of the Kardashian-Jenner family, runs her three-year-old make up business with just seven full-time employees. The products are made by Seed Beauty, a private producer, and orders and sales are outsourced to Shopify. She set up the company, which made a profit last year of £275m, with $250,000 of her own money made through modelling and reality TV. Forbes now estimate the value of the company at $900m.

The success of the business is largely down to the marketing of the products, with most of the sales coming as a direct result of Kylie’s social media accounts. She has 128 million followers on Instagram, 26.7 million on Twitter and one of the most viewed accounts on Snapchat. All new product launches are announced on social media and the release of limited-edition ranges causes stock to sell out quickly. As stated by Jenner herself, ‘It’s the power of social media’ that has allowed her to become so successful.

This brings into question, how ‘self-made’ is Kylie Jenner? Here at Accounts Lab, we’re split over whether she deserves the title or not. The fame from her family has no doubt allowed her to build up the social media following she has today, as well as the initial capital used to start the business. However, despite all being given a similar platform to start from, Kylie has been the one to become a billionaire out of her four other sisters. Whether you believe she is self-made or not, it cannot be denied that Jenner has intelligently utilised her strong social media reach to tap into the target market and build a successful business for herself.

At Accounts Lab, we act for many online startups and early growth businesses – we also specialise in accounting for shopify businesses. We implement cloud-based accounting systems and provide expert advice on funding and tax solutions. If you are thinking of setting up your own business, or looking to grow an existing one, do not hesitate to get in contact with one of our advisors to see how we can help you with your journey.