It’s no secret that the Kardashian family makes a lot of money from their business ventures. After all, Kylie Jenner famously appeared on the cover of Forbes last year as one of the richest self-made women in America.
What may be less known, however, is exactly how the Kardashians have managed to become so rich when so many other reality stars have gone broke. From TV shows to beauty brands to real estate and stocks, here are the diverse ways the Kardashians have kept money streaming in over the years.
‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ TV Series
“Keeping Up with the Kardashians” is the TV show that rocketed the whole family to fame in 2007. Although the exact salaries of the family are unknown, in 2017, Kris Jenner re-negotiated a five-season $150 million contract extension with the show’s network, E!.
That means the family would receive about $30 million per season, which would come out to about $3.75 million for each of the main cast members (Kris, Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall, Kylie, Rob and Scott) each year, if split evenly.
“Everybody gets paid pretty much equally, ’cause we all film a lot and we all work hard, and we’ve created this show and this brand for the last decade … Everybody’s happy,” Jenner told Ellen DeGeneres.
Spin-Off Series Like ‘Kourtney and Kim Take Miami’ and ‘Khloe & Lamar’
In 2009, E! launched the first of nine “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” spin-offs with “Kourtney and Kim Take Miami.”
“We had a successful mother ship and we thought, ‘Let’s try a spinoff,’” executive producer Ryan Seacrest told the Hollywood Reporter in 2017. “They were opening a Dash store in Miami, so that gave us a premise.”
The spin-off series ended up running for three seasons, alongside new seasons of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” and the same formula was used to create other spin-offs like “Kourtney and Kim Take New York” and “Khloe & Lamar.”
When Kylie Jenner launched a line of lip kits in 2015, few people expected a simple lipstick and lipliner palette to turn into a multi-million empire — but that’s exactly what happened. Jenner started the beauty brand with $250,000 dollars she earned modeling and, by the end of 2016, had turned it into $307 million in revenue. This resulted in her being named the youngest self-made billionaire ever at the age of 21, according to Forbes.
After collaborating with her sister’s beauty brand, Kylie Cosmetics, Kim Kardashian decided to follow in Jenner’s footsteps with the launch of her own cosmetics company in 2017. Naming the company KKW Beauty and following a formula similar to the one that worked so well for Kylie Cosmetics, Kardashian started out selling a contour kit. The company has since expanded into lipsticks, eye palettes and even fragrances. In 2018, it was reported that the brand had pulled in over $100 million in revenue.
In addition to running her cosmetics company, Kylie Jenner has also made some serious money in the real estate market. She has flipped at least several luxury homes in the last few years, making a substantial profit on each of them.
In 2015, Jenner bought a Calabasas, California, mansion for $2.6 million and sold it for $3.15 million two years later. She also bought a $4.5 million home in nearby Hidden Hills, later selling it for $5.275 million. She even bought a vacant lot for $5 million and sold it off for $5.3. Her total profit after selling all of these properties? It’s likely somewhere around the $1.625 million mark.
Not content to be just reality stars and social influencers, the Kardashian family members are also authors. Kourtney, Kim and Khloe released their first book, “Kardashian Konfidential,” in 2010. The next year, they followed it up with “Dollhouse: A Novel,” a book about three famous sisters who, not coincidentally, all have K names.
In 2015, Kim branched out with her own coffee table book of selfies called “Selfish.” Khloe also released her own book, “Strong Looks Better Naked.” The two youngest, Kylie and Kendall Jenner, also tried their hand at novel-writing, releasing two sci-fi books with the help of a ghostwriter.
Mobile Apps and Games
“Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” may be one of Kim Kardashian’s best licensing deals ever. After the game surpassed $160 million in revenue, earning Kardashian a reported $45 million paycheck, Forbes put her on the cover of their magazine, dubbing her a mobile mogul.
For a time between 2015 and 2018, Kardashian and her sisters, Kourtney, Khloe and Kendall, also had their own individual phone apps that they charged fans a monthly subscription fee of $2.99 to access.
Producing Other TV Shows
In addition to being in front of the camera, Khloe Kardashian has developed a career working behind the scenes as well. In 2018, it was announced that she would be the executive producer for a true crime series on the Investigation Discovery channel.
“I am so excited to be bringing you ‘Twisted Sisters,’” she told Entertainment Weekly. “As a self-proclaimed ‘true-crime addict’ there is no better way to tell these tales about the bonds that sisters possess and how they can go so terribly wrong.”
Before “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” ever aired, Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian had their own L.A. retail store, DASH. Over the course of 12 years, the sisters grew the fashion business, opening up locations in Miami and New York. The store was even the subject of a Kardashian spin-off reality show, “Dash Dolls,” that focused on the female employees who worked there.
“We’ve loved running DASH, but in the last few years we’ve all grown so much individually,” said Kim Kardashian in a 2018 statement, announcing the closing of the company. “We know in our hearts that it’s time to move on.”
At 5-feet-10-inches tall, it’s not surprising that Kendall Jenner pursued a career as a fashion model in her early teens. While many of the Kardashians model, Jenner is the only one to regularly strut the runways at New York Fashion Week.
Her first runway show was in the spring of 2012 for designer Sherri Hill. Two years later, at the age of 18, she walked in Marc Jacobs’ Spring 2014 fashion show. Since then, she has made many catwalk appearances, including for Victoria’s Secret as well as luxury fashion brands like Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel and others.
As a family, the Kardashians have endorsed more than a few different shoe brands. Kim Kardashian famously was the face of Skechers Shape-Ups in 2011 and even appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for the brand.
Years later, Kylie Jenner endorsed Puma before switching over to Adidas, a brand that also works with her brother-in-law Kanye West to produce his line of Yeezy sneakers. Kendall Jenner has also been an ambassador for Adidas shoes.
Although they didn’t last long, both Khloe Kardashian and Kris Jenner had their own talk shows. Jenner’s daytime talk show, “Kris,” aired for a six-week test on Fox in 2013 but was never picked up for a full season because, as a TV executive put it, Jenner was “pretty uninteresting.” Meanwhile, “Kocktails With Khloe” ran for 14 episodes during primetime on the FYI channel in 2016 before it was canceled.
Like other famous celebrities, the Kardashians have lent their names to designer perfumes. Khloe Kardashian and ex-husband Lamar Odom created their own unisex perfume line in 2011 called “Unbreakable.” However, Kim Kardashian is, by far, the most active perfume producer, having created over 14 different scents for her KKW beauty brand. In 2018, when she released three Kimoji-inspired scents, she reportedly made $5 million in the first five minutes they were on sale.
The Kardashians’ first foray into fashion happened in 2011 when Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian partnered with Sears to create the “Kardashian Kollection” clothing and accessories line. Among the items sold under the Kardashian label were a lace bodice sheath dress, a leopard print blouse and a coral-colored hoodie emblazoned with “KK” on the front.
It was reported that the fashion line brought in an estimated $600 million dollars in 2013 alone and that the Kardashians’ cut might have been somewhere around $30 million. However, the retailer and the family parted ways in 2014.
Back in 2012, Rob Kardashian branched out beyond TV appearances with Arthur George, a collection of colorful socks he designed. Claiming he has always been passionate about socks, Kardashian revealed at the time that he had a desire to emulate Ralph Lauren’s career. The company reportedly made $1.5 million in revenue in 2017. However, the next year, following legal drama with his ex, Blac Chyna, Kardashian sold half of the company to his mom, Kris Jenner, to help pay off his debt.
Although Kendall Jenner’s 2017 Pepsi ad may be the most memorable TV commercial a Kardashian has made a cameo in, it’s hardly the only one. Jenner also appeared in a far less controversial commercial for Proactiv in 2019. Meanwhile, sister Kim Kardashian has appeared in TV ads for Visit California, Skechers, QuickTrim and T-Mobile, and she, Kourtney and Khloe also headlined a Sears commercial to promote their Kardashian Kollection clothing line.
From 2011 to 2014, the Kardashians had their very own “celebrity lifestyle” gift shop inside of the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Fans could pick up everything from apparel to souvenirs emblazoned with the family’s likeness and names. The store also periodically hosted appearances by the Kardashians themselves. No reason was given for the store’s closure in 2014, but some speculated that it was poor sales that led to the decision.
Although Caitlyn Jenner was not paid to appear on the 2015 Vanity Fair cover that revealed details of her transition from male to female, after the magazine was published, Caitlyn Jenner reportedly signed with CAA Speakers, an agency that books celebrities for paid speaking engagements. Jenner’s fees for public speeches reportedly increased to as much as $100,000 per speech after she came out.
Although she never had a formal education in business, Kris Jenner has proven herself to be an incredibly savvy businesswoman. As her children’s “momager,” a hybrid of mom and manager, she supposedly takes between 10 to 15 percent of all of the money earned by her kids whenever she helps them land a new deal. She reportedly earned millions from negotiating a new contract with E! for “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” She’s also the chief financial officer of Kylie Cosmetics.
DJ Gigs And Radio Shows
DJing is not just a part-time hobby but also a side hustle for some of the Kardashians. In 2016, Kylie Jenner made her official DJ debut in Las Vegas after DJing parties at Coachella. Kendall has also DJed at Coachella.
Khloe Kardashian, meanwhile, took things to a whole new level by hosting her own talk radio programs, both in Miami and in Dallas, where she lived with her then-husband, Lamar Odom.
Simply showing up to a nightclub and spending a contractually agreed-upon amount of time there, partying or taking selfies can earn the Kardashians some serious cash. Kourtney’s ex, Scott Disick, for example, may pull in as much as $80,000 a night to show up at certain clubs. Meanwhile, if you want Kim Kardashian to show up to your party, her fee reportedly ranges in the millions.
In 2011, the five Kardashian sister (Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie,), plus mom Kris, teamed up with Nicole by OPI to create their own line of nail polish colors. The result was 14 different polishes with names like “Kim-pletely in Love,” “Wear Something Spar-Kylie” and “Kourt is Red-y for a Pedi.” The collection retailed for $7.99. The family was reportedly paid $600,000 up front and received a percentage of the net profits, as well.
From Rob’s appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” to Khloe’s six-week run on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” the Kardashians have popped up in several other TV shows outside of their E! reality series world. Kim even guest-starred on the TV series “Drop Dead Diva,” not as herself but as “Nikki LePree,” a love interest of one of the characters. The whole family also competed on “Celebrity Family Feud” in 2018.
In March 2019, Kourtney Kardashian teased the launch of “Poosh” — a lifestyle brand she’ll reportedly launch in the coming months — by posting a bathroom photo of herself in the buff on Instagram. According to a source who spoke to RadarOnline, Kardashian is interested in becoming a billionaire mogul like her younger sister, Kylie Jenner.
Said the source, “She is launching Poosh as a beauty brand, but also a lifestyle brand. So that means that the tea set, as well as the colognes on the shelf and even the towels [in the photo] are going to be included in her brand.”
Children’s Clothing Brands
In 2014, Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian launched the now-defunct “Kardashian Kids,” a clothing line just for kids, sold exclusively at Babies “R” Us.
“We started this idea when Kourtney was pregnant with Penelope,” Kim told WWD at the time.
Several years later, Kim and husband Kanye West created a separate children’s fashion line called the Kids Supply, which sold, among other things, child-size chokers, bomber jackets and silk dresses.
Investing In Stocks
In addition to making money from Instagram posts and modeling gigs, the Kardashians also reap the financial windfalls of more conventional investments. As a holiday gift in 2017, Kanye West bought his wife $100,000 worth of blue-chip stocks like Netflix, Disney, Apple, Amazon and Adidas. A little less than a year later, the stocks had increased in value by 40 percent. Although the value of stocks may fluctuate over time, putting money in a diversified stock portfolio is likely to end up being a financially savvy move for the Kardashians.
Although her 2011 marriage to former NBA basketball player Kris Humphries famously only lasted 72 days, it was reported that Kim Kardashian profited from the televised wedding substantially. Not only was the wedding filmed for “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” but the couple reportedly sold the rights to the wedding photos to People for $2.5 million.
“I married for love,” Kardashian wrote in a blog post at the time, defending herself against accusations that the marriage had been a money-making venture. “I would not have spent so much time on something just for a TV show!”
In 2014, Kardashian married again, and although her wedding to Kanye West was no less extravagant, they decided to release the photos on Instagram instead of selling them.
Good American Clothing Line
Wanting to create a size-inclusive denim line, Khloe Kardashian launched the fashion brand Good American in 2016, along with co-founder Emma Grede. The company caters to all sizes and reportedly sold $1 million worth of jeans on their very first day of business. Since then, the brand has expanded to activewear, bodysuits and other types of clothing. Celebrities from Celine Dion to Eva Longoria and, of course, all of the Kardashians have been seen wearing Good American jeans.
Paid Instagram posts advertising various products may be the Kardashians’ bread and butter when it comes to making easy money. Kylie Jenner can reportedly make as much as $1 million per sponsored Instagram post, according to some reports, whereas Kim Kardashian can command $720,000 per post. Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian can reportedly earn up to $25,000 per post, while Kendall Jenner’s price is somewhere around $400,000, thanks to her larger follower count.
The Kardashians may have been wholly responsible for thrusting waist trainers into the public consciousness back in 2014, posting over 15 Instagram ads between Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and Kendall’s accounts. While it’s unknown exactly how much the Kardashians were paid to advertise the waist trainers, if they commanded their usual rates for Instagram posts, it’s possible they earned millions of dollars from promoting this one product alone.
(In 2016, the company that made the Kardashian-sponsored waist trainers settled a $5 million lawsuit over claims that their marketing was misleading.)