Just eight months after Forbes declared that Kylie Jenner was on track to become the world's youngest "self-made billionaire," it's now official. As reported by the publication on March 5, Kylie Jenner is now a billionaire at age 21. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg previously held the record at age 23. (To clarify, Forbes defines "self-made" as someone who "built a company or established a fortune on her own, rather than inheriting some or all of it.")
While Jenner did grow up in the spotlight with famous parents, the reality star gained a majority of her aforementioned fortune through her makeup company Kylie Cosmetics, which found success through online sales. However, Kylie Cosmetics inked a deal to distribute products exclusively in Ulta stores in November 2018, according to Forbes. This reportedly resulted in $54.5 million worth of sales and contributed to a 9 percent revenue increase for the company with an estimated $360 million. Forbes estimated that Kylie Cosmetics is now worth at least $900 million.
Jenner explained that transitioning her company from solely selling online to having products in stores makes sense because it gives access to "people that would never buy my products online." She also 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." So casual — and now she's a billionaire. Even so, she's probably the person who is most surprised by the company's major success. Jenner admitted to Forbes,
"I didn’t expect anything. I did not foresee the future. But [the recognition] feels really good. That’s a nice pat on the back."
Later in the interview, Jenner admitted, "It’s the power of social media. I had such a strong reach before I was able to start anything." Yes, she does. Jenner has 128 million followers on Instagram and 26.7 followers on Twitter.
Still, this feat is not that surprising. Her wealth has been making major headlines for the past year. On Dec. 18 2018, Forbes released a list of the wealthiest American celebrities. Jenner didn't top the list (yet), but she did tie with Jay-Z for fifth place with her then-$900 million net worth. Not only that, but she was the youngest person in the top 10 and the only one in her 20s.
Before that, Jenner talked about the first three years of Kylie Cosmetics in a July 2018 interview with Forbes. Aside from discussing the impact of social media on her empire, the youngest Kardashian-Jenner sibling discussed the origins of her company. She recalled, "I said, 'I'm ready to put up my own money. I don't want to do it with anyone else.'"
She announced the launch of her venture on Nov. 29, 2015 and started selling her three initial lip colors the next day. She told Forbes, "Before I even refreshed the page, everything was sold out."
And that was a major sign of her success to come. Now, Kylie Cosmetics has more than those three lip kits. The company has expanded to include lip gloss, concealers, highlighters, blushes, and bronzers with collections for almost every occasion including Halloween, Valentine's Day, and even Kylie's birthday and the birth of her daughter Stormi Webster. The makeup mogul recently announced that setting powders are on the way. It seems like Jenner's customers will buy anything that she sells and that's not going to stop anytime soon.
In the July 2018 interview, Jenner told Forbes that she sees herself working on Kylie Cosmetics "forever." She even said, "Maybe one day [I'll] pass this on to Stormi, if she's into it." Who knows, maybe Stormi will help run the empire someday — or she might follow in her mom's footsteps with a business of her own.