Is Kim Kardashian A “Real” Business Woman?

27 Dec

As I was driving to Einstein Bagels to pick up a delicious locks on bagel sandwich I turned the radio on.  “In Paris” by Jay-Z and Kanye West was ending leading to a bump before the commercial break.  That’s when the host dropped this on me.  Kim Kardashian is going to be paid $600,000 to host  New Year’s at club TAO in Las Vegas.

Are you kidding me?!  That’s more than six of the top ten highest paid public speakers in the world from 2010.  This pay check is slightly under what Tony Blair took home in appearances that ENTIRE YEAR.  This got me thinking.  Is Kim Kardashian a successful business woman or is she a famous personality who hasn’t sabotaged her image yet?

Let’s take a look at some of the facts.  She co-owns a clothing store named D-A-S-H with her sisters Khloe and Kourtney, which has three locations.  She’s had several other endeavors with her sisters including a jewelry line for Virgins, Saints, and Angels, a clothing line for QVC called K-Dash, and the Kardashian Kollection for Sears done by the whole family.  She’s also done several other fashion related works throughout the years of lesser scale.

How much impact has she had in the success of her business ventures?  Without raw numbers of course it’s hard for me to pass judgment.  I can say that I don’t believe that the bulk of what she does would be successful without the power that her name brand carries.  That could be said for a lot of people who have turned television fame into personal brands, namely Martha Stewart.  Does that matter when measuring success as a business person?  She’s a one woman marketing campaign.  This is what allows for places like TAO to spend an obscene amount of money to more or less have her show up.

Depending on where you look Kim earns about $6mil a year.  Does that make her a businesswoman?  By comparison the top earner for 2009 was former President and CEO of Yahoo! Karl Bartz at $47.2mil (Martha Stewart clocked in at $9.7mil).  Better yet does the amount of money that Kim generates make her a successful businesswoman by default?

Part of what makes Kim Kardashian so polarizing is how she earns her money in relation to the perception of how hard she had to work for it.  Maybe the bigger question is what is a business person?

-Josh P. Greenberg
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Related Articles:
Fortune: 2009 Highest Paid Women
Kim Kardashian’s Paycheck at TAO on New Year’s Eve $600,000?!
Kardashian Kollection at Sears Review
Kardashian Teaches Marketing to Small Businesses


3 Responses to “Is Kim Kardashian A “Real” Business Woman?”

  1. Elyssa December 27, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    Awesome article! I completely agree..I think that next question is what actually is a business person?

  2. Anton English December 27, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    I would consider Kim a business woman. The thing is that her business is herself. She doesn’t really have a product she is selling other than the Kardashian name. I dont think this is different than many other people. Martha Stewart being a great example.

    Truth be told, I would kill for her kind of fame. And I would be happy with a couple million a year to sell myself

    • Josh P Greenberg December 27, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

      That’s a fantastic point. I’ll expand that by saying she does sell products; her perfume, clothing line, etc. It’s her personal brand (a.k.a appearances and TV spots) where she is most powerful. No one is buying a sweater from the Kardashian Kollection for 600k.

      I would be happy to have that kind of fame too, if nothing else just to see what I could do with it. I think that’s exactly why a lot of people are quick to call her a “socialite” instead of a business woman though. It’s a hard line to draw where being a celebrity ends and being a business person begins. People have different definitions of where that line is exactly. In my opinion it comes down to the decisions your handlers make versus the decisions you make and I can’t pretend to know how much of either is being done here.

      Thanks for the comment Anton. I obviously found it very thought provoking.

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