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The Kardashian-Jenners aren’t just a family, they’re an empire. A massively successful brand that rivals other empires in history. They’re possibly even more popular than Rome.

The Kardashians
The Kardashians |Toby Canham/Getty Images

And just like Rome, the Kardashian-Jenner empire wasn’t built in a day. It took hard work, dedication, and a little luck. If you think the Kardashian’s are “famous for doing nothing,” think again. Let us show you how the Kardashian-Jenner empire was built. 

The momager — Kris Jenner

Before they were famous, they were rich. While Kris Jenner was married to Robert Kardashian. He was a successful lawyer for the wealthy and famous of Los Angeles.

Jenner was able to network and learn from the highly successful people she was surrounded by. “Everybody that I was surrounded by for two decades was at the top of their game in the entertainment business,” Jenner told Janet Mock for Lenny Letter. “… They taught me the most. I didn’t even realize it at the time.”

When their marriage fell apart, Kris Jenner moved on to marry Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn Jenner), but they didn’t have the money Kris Jenner had grown used to. She knew if they were going to make things work, they had to figure out some way to profit off of her new husband’s Olympic gold medals.

So, she started sending out press kits, looking for speaking or promotion opportunities. It paid off. Her husband began to have steady work promoting products like Coca-Cola and Visa. He also found work speaking as a track and field expert.

While Kris Jenner was working hard to earn money for the family, her daughter Kim was trying to build a name for herself in the gossip magazines, with the help of pal Paris Hilton.

Kim told Rolling Stone, “We’d go anywhere and everywhere just to be seen. We knew exactly where to go, where to be seen, how to have something written about you. All you had to do is go to this restaurant, or this party, talk about whatever you want to talk about, and it would be in the paper the next day.”

Soon, people in the Hollywood scene began to know the name of Kim Kardashian, and Jenner saw this as an opportunity. 

‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’

The family came up with the idea of a reality show based on their lives. At first, they thought it could be about the retail store, DASH, that Kourtney and Khloe were currently running. That idea never came to fruition, but they were able to find someone interested in making a reality show about their family life, Ryan Seacrest and the E! network.

“Kim had a look that wasn’t on TV at the time,” Damla Dogan, senior VP of Programming and development at E!, told The Hollywood Reporter. “She wasn’t stick-thin, and that was relatable.”

The first season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians aired in 2007 and it was a huge hit. Right away, Seacrest encouraged the three older sisters to get a Twitter account and start posting on social media to interact with fans and connect with them on a personal level.

That strategy paid off big time. They built a massive online following. Today, a single Instagram post by the Kardashians is worth several hundred thousand dollars.

The Kardashian empire

Once the show took off, and the Kardashians became a household name, they were free to pursue individual projects that bring in more income. The first thing Kim did was create her own fragrance line, with Jenner’s help.

In fact, the momager is super involved and supportive of all her children’s dreams. With Kim’s fragrance idea, Jenner was determined to find someone to make it happen. She told Lenny Letter, her motto is, “If somebody says ‘no,’ you’re talking to the wrong person.”

Another Kardashian-Jenner that has followed their dreams to success, Kylie Jenner, who developed a cosmetic line and is now worth over a billion dollars. Kendall Jenner is a fashion model for some of the biggest names in the industry, and Khloe has written a book and launched a denim line.

Jenner is so supportive of her children’s goals, that she sits down with each of them every year and asks what they have planned, what their goals are, and how she can help. The strategy has worked. Every member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan is massively successful, and they only grow more so every year.