WWKD-What Would Kim Do?
This fall, my brand Haus Urban turns two years old. While I’m proud I’ve kept it afloat this long, I can’t say I’m completely satisfied with the progress. If I’m being honest, I don’t think I’ll ever be because that’s just who I am, but even incrementally I would have liked to have been much further along at this point.
The truth is, life happens. Especially in business, and when you’ve built something from the ground up it’s hard to not let every little setback feel like a personal attack on your vision and your life. In those trying times I ask myself:
What Would Kim Kardashian Do?
The honest answer is always something that I couldn’t in the short term (Snuggle Kanye, play dress up with North, feed a peacock, buy a Birkin) but in the long term it’s always the same answer: Keep it moving.
Kim Kardashian is a lot of things as both a public figure and an enterprise, but she’s nothing if not resilient. As much press as she gets in and around the beauty space for both her projects and cosign of others, it’s not her success that inspires me so much: It’s her failures. The Kardashian sisters have had so many endorsements, joint ventures, side hustles and vanity projects it’s often hard to keep track of what’s really worked and what hasn’t.
Before the contour kits from Kim Kardashian West Beauty dropped this month, selling out 300k units (and raking in $14.5 million in less than five minutes), Kim had to reckon with her own graveyard of business fails.
While co-founding ShoeDazzle set her up for e-commerce success in the early 2000’s, the first makeup push Khroma Beauty (Later renamed Kardashian Beauty due to a lawsuit by an existing makeup company) didn’t do her too many favors in winning the trust of the non-Kardashian plussed consumer. Given the “blink and you’ll miss it” lifespans of Kardashian Kollection by Sears, Kardashian Beauty hair care (currently on closeout at Walmart) and the short lived Kardashian Khaos store, there have been more than a few misses notched in Kim K’s belt. And yet, like an unruly patch of hair you’ve been laser treating for the better part of the year, she keeps coming back, defiant as ever.
The last thing Kim K. was expecting last year during her annual excursion to Paris Fashion Week was to be held up at gun point, robbed, and thrown in a bathtub, nor was she expecting her husband’s very public meltdown just a few months later. However, Kim Inc. pressed on after a short break. Shows were filmed, launches were still on track, international press engagements were honored. While this obviously isn’t possible without a deep bench of a team, her commitment to the power of her brand and audience are nothing short of obsessive. Her entire career has been built on failing fast and often. She’s made some questionable decisions, but owns them and is on to the next thing so quickly you forgot about that Playboy spread or that fine by the FDA for that morning sickness pill she was pushing on Instagram.
So while we may argue the merit of a Kardashian Kontribution to the social media generation, American capitalism, and our need for celebrity voyeurism masquerading as entertainment, the entrepreneurial lessons still stand.
And for that, Kim, I salute you.