With an empire that spans clothing lines, a billion-dollar makeup company, and 14 successful shows, Kris Jenner has become more than the matriarch of one of the world’s most influential families. The Kardashian Jenner “momager” is also a mother of a new era of personal branding. Now she’s sharing her journey to stardom with you. Learn how she cut through the noise, built lasting fame, and turned a vision into reality.
Raised in La Jolla, a suburb of San Diego, California, she got an early taste of entrepreneurship at age ten, when she started working at a candle shop co-owned by her mother and grandparents. The job exposed her to an environment in which each family members played a crucial role in the success of the business (an education that would to put it mildly, come in handy down the line). Under the tutelage of the family matriarchs, she grew to cherish hard work and developed a strong sense of duty
Eager to explore the world, Kris skipped college and landed a job as a flight attendant for American Airlines. In 1978 she married prominent Los Angeles–based defense lawyer Robert Kardashian, and in no time, she was absorbing valuable business insights from his network of powerful clients and colleagues.
The Kardashians had four children: Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, and Rob. In 1991 Kris and Robert divorced; that same year, she married Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner). Through a tireless campaign of cold calling, network building, and brainstorming, Kris helped her new spouse launch a lucrative second career as a motivational speaker, brand ambassador, and costar (with Kris) of a series of home-fitness infomercials.
Meanwhile, along came two more daughters: Kendall and Kylie. The family’s ascent—fueled by Kris’s instinct for leveraging their busy lives, internal drama, and ferocious loyalty—was just beginning.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians
In 2007 Kris pitched a reality series based on her family to American television producer and host Ryan Seacrest. Initially her goal was to promote two businesses: Smooch, a children’s apparel boutique she cofounded with Kourtney, and Dash, a clothing and accessories outlet that was a joint venture of Kourtney, Kim, and Khloé.
With Kris attached as costar and executive producer, Keeping Up With the Kardashians premiered that fall on American cable channel E!. Offering up the family’s private lives for public consumption, the show grew from runaway hit to phenomenon; it ran for twenty seasons. Along the way, the Kardashian Jenner family launched and endorsed a constellation of brands, offering everything from cosmetics to tequila.
In 2011 her autobiography, Kris Jenner…and All Things Kardashian, was released, and in 2014 she published her cookbook, In the Kitchen With Kris. On April 14, 2022, her family’s new reality series, The Kardashians, premiered on the streaming network Hulu; the first episode promptly became the most watched series premiere in the network’s history.
Act like you can’t afford the bread until they find out you own the bakery. Stay humble.
“The Brand Called You – Tom Peters 1997 Essay
With his 1997 essay “The Brand Called You,” Maryland-born management consultant and author Tom Peters launched the term personal branding into the mainstream. The story, published by American business magazine Fast Company, posited that wise professionals were shrugging off the identities imposed by their jobs, and that readers should follow suit. “Starting today,” Peters wrote, “you are a brand.”
Personal Branding is the focused and intentional leveraging of unique skills and quirks in order to shape the way you’re perceived, advance your interests, and expand your sphere of influence.
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