The Next Generation: Jenny Leung and Mikaila Ulmer
Last July, Forbes magazine made celebrity Kylie Jenner its cover woman for the story “America’s Women Billionaires,” writing “At 21, she’s set to be the youngest-ever self-made billionaire.” Although Jenner is the founder and sole owner of Kylie Cosmetics with a $900 million empire that will soon reach the $1 billion mark, the designation that she was “self-made” was met with immediate backlash on social media.
As the youngest of the wealthy and famous Kardashian-Jenner family, Jenner started her business by investing “some $250,000 of her earnings from modeling gigs to pay an outside company to produce the first 15,000 lip kits.” Because of her background and access to money, most people weren’t buying it. Even dictionary.com joined in, tweeting “Haven’t we gone over this? Self-made: Having succeeded in life unaided.”
Some may agree and some disagree on whether Jenner is self-made or not. But, there is no disagreement that our 2019 WBEs Who Rock! are self-made. They may not be billionaires…yet. But, like Jenner they are young and their innovation, ambition, drive, and success and embody the characteristics of a truly self-made entrepreneur.
Jenny Leung, founder and CEO of BellaNove´, expanded on an existing retail concept that allows pregnant women to look good without the cost of buying a new wardrobe every trimester. And, 14-year old entrepreneur Mikaila Ulmer took her great grandmother’s flaxseed lemonade recipe and fused it with a desire and commitment to save honeybees.