Long before Kim Kardashian became a household name, she ran a successful business on eBay. Contrary to popular belief, the 34-year-old reality star and businesswoman has been working most of her life. Kim revealed in a new interview with Variety how she worked hard to create an empire for herself.
Some people believe that Kardashian never worked a day in her life. In fact, they think she became famous because of her leaked sex tape with ex-boyfriend Ray J. That’s hardly the case. In fact, Kardashian became famous because she’s a smart businesswoman. She told the entertainment magazine that prior to her fame, she worked in retail.
Kim also became smart about her business thanks to her father, Robert Kardashian. She told Variety that he would always tell her to sign contracts for everything. Kim signed her first contract when she was just 16-years-old, thanks to a small fender bender she had.
“I worked at a clothing store for four years. I loved it. When I turned 16, my dad made me sign a contract — he made us sign contracts for everything — that if I hit my car, I would be responsible for paying for it. I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and I tapped someone. It was so not a big deal, but I had to pay for it. It was during the O.J. trial. They saw my last name and said, ‘Kardashian, your dad’s that lawyer?!’ They sued me for a lot of money. After I paid them back, I kept on working to buy myself some clothes.”
Kim also realized that she could sell some of the designer clothing she bought on eBay.
“I discovered eBay and I loved shopping. I had to be on a budget. I didn’t have credit cards. How do I figure out how to make this a business? I remember I bought these Manolo Blahnik shoes that were $700. He [Kim’s late father, Robert] let me buy five pairs. I had to pay him back plus interest. I sold every pair on eBay for $2,500. I became so obsessed with seeing that return, I would sell off the things I wouldn’t be wearing.”
Kardashian says that she became successful at her business since she had an eye for the trends and she knew what women wanted.
“They were these Manolo Blahniks that Jennifer Lopez had worn in her first or second video. Everyone had to have them. I called at the right time and the girl at the store had five pairs and I took them.”
That’s when Kim would start her business out of her famous friends and relatives’ closets and sell their clothing and accessories on eBay. She had the username “kimsaprincess,” an account she opened in 2002.
“My closet business came about when I was at my godparents’ house, Sugar Ray Leonard and his wife Bernadette. Bernadette’s closet was massive and had so much stuff in it. I said to her, ‘You really need to clean out your closet.’ Well, we spent the whole night doing that.”
Kim was so good at her business, that Bernadette recommended her to her celebrity friends. Before she realized it, Kim was cleaning out closets for Paris and Nicky Hilton and Nicole Richie. Some even called her the “Queen of the Closet Scene.” Paris even jokingly referred to Kim as her “maid” on an episode of The Simple Life.
In fact, the famous Kardashian sister still uses eBay, but not to make money. The Business Insider added that she uses the site to sell her clothes and donates the portion of proceeds to various charities, most of which go to the California Community Church. Many of Kardashian’s family members have also sold their clothing on the auction site.
Kim Kardashian’s net worth is $85 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Her business now includes a clothing line, a successful mobile video game, beauty and hair products, her selfie book, and several weight loss endorsements. Kim first made headlines after her infamous sex tape that turned into a $5 million deal with Vivid Entertainment.
Forbes recently reported that Kardashian earned $28 million alone in 2014. She also became one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2015. Kardashian also landed a $100 million dollar deal to stay on the E! Network.
Though most people view her as a reality star, Kim Kardashian says that she still visions herself as a businesswoman.
“When the opportunity for our TV show came about, I wanted to do it to bring attention to our stores [DASH, which she’d opened with her sisters]. I was thinking this might not last very long, but we’ll grow a great business and expand online. I thought it would be great press. I didn’t think it would turn into what it turned into.”
[Image: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images]