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They say she has no talent, but she’s still a $370 million queen. Kim Kardashian’s KKW Beauty and career timeline is a masterclass in glowing TF up. Since they are so imprinted in popular culture–it seems insane that there was a time not too long ago, when no one knew who the KarJenners were. Though the Kardashian name was somewhat known in American society due to Kim’s late father, Robert Kardashian Sr.’s presence in the O.J. Simpson trial in the ’90s–Kim didn’t really step onto the scene until 2004.
Though she now admits that she was a bit obsessed with money and fame when she was younger–we first heard the name Kim K. when she was working as R&B legend Brandy’s stylist. At the time, Kim was super close to the songstress/actress because she dated Brandy’s brother Ray J for a couple of years. She also sporadically appeared as Paris Hilton’s assistant on the socialite’s reality series, The Simple Life.
However, it wasn’t until Kim’s debut on Keeping Up with the Kardashians and that infamous sex-tape, that she became a household name. Still, no one could have perceived Kim. K becoming the business mogul and activist that she is today.
Her career timeline is a lesson in shattering expectations, doing what the f*ck you want and living your very best life.
An eBay Queen
Long before she was a reality starlet and before her rapper husband, Kanye West revamped her closet–Kim Kardashian had a thing for fashion. When she was in high school, Kim worked at a clothing boutique and in her father, Robert Kardashian, Sr.’s law office. Though her love for the law would come decades later, she discovered eBay while working in the office. Kim told Variety that she convinced her father to allow her to buy five pairs of $700 Manolo Blahniks as long as she paid him back plus interest. “Everyone had to have them,” she revealed.
With eBay, Kim realized that she could capitalize on the highly-coveted shoes. She sold each pair for $2,500. She explained, “I became so obsessed with seeing that return, I would sell off the things I wouldn’t be wearing.” That was just the beginning.
After styling for a few years–Kim decided to take her love of fashion to new heights. She teamed up with her sisters, Kourtney and Khloé to open their first clothing boutique–DASH. The sisters opened their first store in 2006 in their hometown of Calabasas, California. The initial idea for the store was a consignment shop which played into Kim’s love for eBay– but it would get MUCH bigger than that. Before the ladies shuttered the brand in 2018–there were DASH stores in Miami and New York City.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians
Then came the MOTHER of reality shows. Looking back, when Keeping Up with the Kardashians first debuted back in 2007, no one–not even Kim knew what it would become. She and her family agreed to the series because they thought it would bring more attention to DASH. “I was thinking, this might not last very long, but we’ll grow a great business and expand online,” she told Variety. “I thought it would be great press. I didn’t think it would turn into what it turned into.”
Now in Season 17--KUWTK will forever go down in pop culture history. Kim is also an executive producer for KUWTK she explained, “It was important to me, because I feel like I am. I watch every single edit. I do so much work behind the scenes. I think there was no reason not to be an executive producer. I think it’s deserved.”
So, about that sex tape
Eight months before KUWTK premiered in Oct. 2007–Kim found herself embroiled in an infamous scandal. A sex tape that she’d recorded with her then-boyfriend, Ray J. leaked. The tape was horrifying for Kim as it was released without her consent. She ended up suing the entertainment company who distributed it without her permission–reportedly settling for $5 million.
Since then, many celebrities (and everyday people) have been victims of hackers sharing their private videos and photos. It’s still a horrible and upsetting thing to go through. Looking back over a decade later, Kim told Oprah Winfrey that she’s “not naive to the fact” that it boosted her fame. “I think that’s how I was definitely introduced to the world,” she explained.
Getting her money and her revenge–by the end of 2007, Kim posed for Playboy magazine on HER terms and put the entire ordeal behind her.
With the explosion of KUWTK–the KarJenners were able to double down on their money with spin-offs like Kourtney and Kim Take Miami, Kourtney and Kim Take New York, Khloé & Lamar, Kourtney and Khloé Take The Hamptons, Dash Dolls, Rob & Chyna, Life of Kylie, and currently, Scott Disick’s Flip It Like Disick.
Some workout tapes and a little acting
Kim has never been satisfied with being average, and she immediately looked for ways to capitalize on her new-found fame and success. In 2009 she debuted a three-DVD workout plan called Fit in Your Jeans by Friday. The DVDs were split into three sections called, “Ultimate Butt Body Sculpt,” “Amazing Abs Body Sculpt,” and “Butt Blasting Cardio Step.” By then, Kim was known for her curvy/fit body so she used it to her advantage.
That year, she also appeared in a tragic romantic comedy Deep in the Valley –Chris Pratt was in it too. Though the film wasn’t exactly critically acclaimed it wasn’t her last venture into acting. In 2013, Kim starred in Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.
The perfume, the makeup, and that clothing brand
They say practice makes perfect. From 2010-2015–Kim and her sisters tried their hands in everything from perfume to makeup to clothing. However, because they were relatively hands-off and most of the time a company was just slapping their name on a product–a lot of the items failed. There was Kardashian Glamour Tan, the OG Kim Kardashian fragrance, the Kim Kardashian Gold and Love perfumes, Khroma Beauty and the Kardashian Kollection with Sears. All of them except for Kim’s fragrances were flops.
The Sears collection was a hot mess in particular and by 2013– it was “flopping big-time”–officially folding in 2015.
That $18 million wedding
If you don’t know anything about Kim K. by now–it’s that she’s the comeback queen. Her sex tape scandal didn’t hurt her nor did her 72-day marriage to NBA player, Kris Humphries–though things seemed BLEAK at the time. After a whirlwind romance that we were all extremely confused about, Kim married Kris in a MASSIVE wedding that was broadcast on E! as Kim’s Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event.
The wedding earned Kim–$18 million in licensing fees, endorsement deals, and broadcast deals for Kim. Therefore when she filed for divorce less than 3-months later people were pissed. At the time, Kim was convinced that she was canceled. Little did she know, this was only the beginning of her real ventures into the business world.
Kim Kardashian: Hollywood
In 2014 with new-found confidence and rapper Kanye West by her side, Kim began making her biggest money moves to date and surprisingly, it all began with a mobile game. Within just five days of debuting Kim Kardashian: Hollywood for iPhone and Android–Kim grossed $1.6 million. By August 2018–the game has grossed $8 million.
A New York Times Best Selling author
The next year–Kim debuted her stunning New York Times Bestseller, Selfish to the world. The small coffee table book was a sensation that was a culmination of 448 pages of selfies she’d taken over eight years.
After her dip into the tech world with the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game–Kim launched Kimoji in December 2015 for iOS. The app legit crashed the Apple Store. At the time, Kimmy tweeted, “Apple, I’m so sorry I broke your App Store!!!” For the Kimoji launch–Kim only worked with Kanye-approved graphic designers.
If there’s one thing about Kim–she learns. After several failed makeup launches–the reality starlet put on her mogul hat and got hella hands-on for KKW Beauty. When she launched the business in 2017, with a $48 contour kit, it sold out in MINUTES–bringing in $13 million in sales. The brand has since expanded massively to include body makeup, eyes shadows, foundations, glosses and everything in between. The brand will now be sold in Ulta stores.
Using her beauty brand and the previous success of her fragrances–Kim launched KKW Fragrance, with her first scent making $10 million. Instead of spending a ton money of marketing on advertising–Kim used her massive social media following (149 million on IG alone) to promote her brands and products. GENIUS. People legit brought her perfume without ever smelling it. KKW Fragrance is also sold in Ulta stores.
Then came Skims–Kim’s solution for shapewear that is both affordable and for EVERY woman. It’s clear that when Kim is truly passionate about something she goes for it. When Skims launch in September after undergoing a rebrand from its original name Kimono–it “pushed $2 million in product” within just MINUTES. Those numbers are just “unprecedented for shapewear and undergarment brands.”
Kim Kardashian x Justice Reform
As a mom of four young children, a wife, businesswoman, and everything else she’s done–Kim’s also found time to foster her new passion–law and criminal justice reform. Though she is not formally in law school–she’s interning at a California law office and studying to take the Bar Exam in 2022. When she revealed her plan she said, “It’s never too late to follow your dreams.”
Since 2018, Kim has helped petition for the release of several formally incarcerated people who’d been given unfair and unjust sentencing.
With a law license underway in the next couple of years–and massive successful businesses under her belt (not to mention all of the coins she makes from KUWTK, speaking engagements, and endorsements) it’s clear that Kim THRIVES under her favorite mood–being underestimated.