Most college-aged kids get by with minimum wage paychecks. 21-year-old Kylie Jenner was just named the youngest self-made billionaire in history. Forbes announced Tuesday that Jenner had surpassed Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who was 23 when he reached the billion dollar-mark.
“I didn’t expect anything. I did not foresee the future,” Jenner told Forbes. “But (the recognition) feels really good. That’s a nice pat on the back.”
Jenner, the youngest member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, began Kylie Cosmetics in 2015. Forbes estimates that makeup company alone is worth over $900 million and credits its success in part to the simplicity: Kylie Cosmetics employs just seven full-time and five part-time workers, the outlet reports.
“I see (Kylie Cosmetics) going very far,” Jenner said. “I work really hard.”
And with more than 128 million Instagram followers, Jenner is able to advertise to a loyal fanbase.
“It’s the power of social media,” she added. “I had such a strong reach before I was able to start anything.”
Jenner’s 38-year-old half-sister, Kim Kardashian West, was worth roughly $350 million last July, Forbes estimated in comparison.
When the magazine first reported last summer that Jenner was on track to take over the title, she was met with debate from readers and social media users alike, who argued over whether her success was “self-made” or merely a byproduct of being born into an already-famous and wealthy family.
“Building something successful is remarkable even for someone with incredible resources at the outset,” wrote Carli Dimino in a letter to the editor. “Not every idea is a success, no matter how many flashy consultants or marketing plans you have to put behind it. In fact, most ideas are trash. Jenner has taken the (admittedly enormous) resources at her disposal, leveraged her social media following, and sold the bejeezus out of legitimately great products that she believes in.”
“Self-made means having succeeded in life unaided,” tweeted the official Dictionary.com account. “Used in a sentence: Forbes says that Kylie Jenner is a self-made woman.”