When it comes to business, Kim Kardashian West has seen enormous success. After all, she boasts a personal net worth of more than $370 million, according to Forbes, thanks to a thriving career that's encompassed television, social media, fashion, cosmetics and even mobile apps.
However, the reality TV megastar says that not every business deal she's made has been a winner. One bad deal in particular that sticks out to West was a 2011 clothing partnership with Sears, according to her recent interview with The New York Times.
West and two of her sisters, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian created the Kardashian Kollection, which included bodycon dresses, lingerie and accessories sold in over 400 Sears locations.
The celebrity sisters received a 6% cut of proceeds from their products in that deal, Kardashian told The New York Times. However, the three sisters split that amount, giving them each just a 2% cut — and that was still before they each had to pay 15% of their take to their agents and 10% to mother-slash-manager, Kris Jenner.
"Think about it … We'd get, like, almost nothing," West said.
What's more, West said that she and her sisters were "flying from city to city, country to country" to promote the line, yet had little to no control over the quality of the products.
(For what it's worth, Sears cut the line in 2015 amid poor reviews and deep price cuts on the products. A spokesperson for Sears parent company Transformco declined to comment to CNBC Make It.)
Still, West believes that even her negative business experiences had value.
"I credit every business venture that I've been in until this point, to really understand what it takes, and how involved you really have to be if you want it to be the best," she told The New York Times.
For instance, West said, she is more confident and assertive with current business ventures like her cosmetics brand KKW Beauty. On a recent photo shoot for KKW Beauty there was a flurry of competing opinions from other people working on the shoot about which direction to take with the ad campaign. Kardashian took control, telling the room: "O.K., I know exactly what I want. So we're going to do that," she told the Times.
Of course, being more involved in her business means more work. But West previously told CNBC that a persistent work ethic is essential to success.
"You have to have the work ethic," she said in 2017. "If you don't have that and don't want to work 24/7, it's not going to work for you."
The lessons West learned from her early business ventures seem to be paying off today, as the star ranked 26th on Forbes' 2019 ranking of celebrity earnings, with West earning an estimated $72 million last year.
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