It's tough when your mom is also your momager.
While fans who manage to keep up with the Kardashians know that matriarch Kris Jenner is the ultimate mom and manager, few people actually get to experience that delicate balance. Of course, one of those people is model and tequila entrepreneur Kendall Jenner, who spoke to Forbes for its 30 Under 30 issue about learning from her mistakes, building a liquor empire with her brand 818, and how she sometimes forgets that her mom and her manager are the same person.
Forbes notes that tequila is the fastest-growing category in spirits, up 17% year over year, or $886 million, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. So, it makes sense that Jenner would want to make 818 one of the biggest names in the industry. Jenner added that she chose tequila because she remembered her parents drinking it, which brings us to momager Kris Jenner, who's quick to give business advice and be a mom, too — only Kendall sometimes mixes up the two versions of Kris.
“Obviously, my mom is my mom, but she’s also my manager," Kendall explained. "We have moments, when we’re talking on the phone, and we’re talking about business, maybe having a heated conversation about something, and then all of a sudden, she’s like ‘OK I love you how are you feeling today?’ and I’m like ‘Oh my god, yeah you’re my mom, too!’”
“Kendall has been very independent about this process and really shown me that she's not only an amazing businesswoman, but super-smart, super-focused, amazing work ethic,” Kris, who invested in 818, added. “She has every single part of what it takes to be in her position, and she's nailing it.”
Jenner also spoke about how involved she is in the process of crafting 818 and how different it is from modeling. The brand is reportedly predicted to sell 160,000 cases in 2023 (Forbes estimated that 2022's sales hovered around $25 million).
“With modeling, I was a part of someone else's vision,” Jenner said at October’s Forbes Under 30 Summit in Cleveland. “I was their character and whoever they wanted me to be at that moment. The shift into being a founder and owning my own business was a really cool way of getting to know myself again.”
With so many celebrities shilling tequila and other liquor, Jenner is aware of the competition and how consumers view them in comparison to legacy labels.
“I consider that a healthy challenge,” she says of 818 being lumped in with the Rock, Eva Longoria, and Mark Wahlberg, who all have tequila lines. “We obviously know that there are a lot of amazing brands on the market and amazing tequila on the market. It just makes us want to be better.”
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