The 21-year-old reality star insists she “didn’t expect” to be so successful when she launched her beauty business Kylie Cosmetics, which Forbes magazine values at, at least $900 million (R12.8 billion), four years ago.
She told the financial publication: “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.”
Most of the brand’s marketing is done through social media, where the brunette beauty announces product launches, previews new items and tells fans which shades she’s wearing each day, to her 175 million-plus fan base across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and Kylie believes it’s been essential to her success.
She added: “It’s the power of social media. I had such a strong reach before I was able to start anything.”
Kylie has overtaken Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who previously held the title of youngest self-made billionaire.
The make-up mogul signed an exclusive distribution deal in November with beauty store chain Ulta to stock her $29 lip kits, a matte liquid lipstick and matching lip liner, into the company’s 1,000-plus stores across 50 states in the US.
Following her deal with the beauty company, Kylie Cosmetics sold $54.5 million (R780 million) worth of products in just six weeks, according to estimates from Oppenheimer.
Kylie owns her entire company, which she started in 2015, and employs just seven full-time and five part-time employees, while manufacturing and packaging is outsourced to Seed Beauty and her mum and manager Kris Jenner helps run the brand’s finances and PR.
Kylie Cosmetics’ revenue climbed 9% to an estimated $360 million (R5.1 billion) last year.