Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Seed Beauty manufactures the hugely popular brand in California.

Forbes magazine announced last week that 21-year-old Kylie Jenner, the youngest member of the Kardashian clan, has officially become the youngest self-made billionaire ever.

Now, there’s plenty of debate as to whether Jenner deserves that “self-made” distinction — as they say, the devil works hard, but Kris Jenner works harder — but there’s no doubt that Kylie Jenner is at the helm of one of the most popular makeup lines in America.

Best known for its $29 lip kits, Kylie Cosmetics products are sold in Ulta locations across the country and online. Revenue hit $360 million in 2018 alone, and Forbes estimates the company is worth at least $900 million — and Kylie Jenner “owns all of it.” Overhead is low, as momager Kris Jenner handles the company’s finance and public relations needs “in exchange for the 10% management fee she siphons from all her kids,” Forbes reports.

With profits that big, one might assume the makeup line is manufactured overseas. But in actuality, Kylie Cosmetics is made in the United States — another reason why the company doesn’t have a lot of overhead. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

As Forbes reports, the entire line is manufactured and packaged by Seed Beauty in Oxnard, Calif. The company also manufactures Kim Kardashian’s makeup line and the popular brand Colourpop.

Founded in 2014, Seed is quickly becoming a major player in the cosmetics industry, as it can bring a product from concept to creation in only five days, InStyle reports:

“It helps that Seed has total control of its manufacturing process, working on everything from product development to marketing, all under one roof on a 200,000-square-foot campus in Oxnard, Calif. All of its six brands—alongside the aforementioned three, there are a few hush-hush brands in development—are also digital first, allowing each one to develop new products quickly and launch them immediately.”

Seed itself keeps a pretty low profile, and its founders haven’t said all that much about their relationships with the Kardashians. But the company does pay close attention to what their customers are doing.

Seed employees use social media to “closely track whatever’s blowing up the beauty space online, whether it’s a type of concealer or new smokey eye, and are constantly chatting with the brands’ consumers for constructive feedback,” according to InStyle. Seed can then incorporate that feedback into their products and quickly get new items on store shelves.

It’s the kind of collaborative relationship that builds loyalty between companies and their customers —something that simply isn’t possible when a company is dependent on manufacturing overseas.

The decision to keep things local helped Kylie Jenner build a billion dollar brand. Given her success, more companies would be wise to follow Kylie Cosmetics’ lead.