Published September 08, 2011
E! network's "Keeping up with the Kardashians" might as well be called "Kardashian Inc." The family -- including branding mega-star Kim Kardashian and her sisters Kourtney and Khloe -- earned an astounding $65 million last year on everything from appearances to fragrances to their own clothing boutique, Dash. Driving this all is Kris Jenner, who's not only mom to the Kardashian clan but manager to each of them as well.
Back in your early adulthood, what were some of the things you did to make a living?
I was an airline stewardess, and I worked in my mother's clothing store and my grandmother's candle shop. My parents always had businesses, and my grandmother and mother were very independent, which taught me a lot. They loved to work -- they felt like you had to have a reason to get up every day and have fun. I grew up in San Diego, going to the beach on Saturdays with my girlfriend and our surfboards. We had this great life, and after we graduated from high school, I was an airline stewardess for about a year and a half, two years. Then I married Robert Kardashian and started having babies. I got pregnant on my honeymoon.
Did you enjoy being a stewardess?
(I) loved it. I loved the travel, and I loved getting up and going someplace exciting. I saw so many cities in the U.S., and I was based in New York City. It was so exciting.
Once you became successful, what was the biggest thing you splurged on?
Probably a car. Robert was very successful. I don't think I personally splurged on anything because I wasn't working, but as his wife, he was very generous.
Was there any one big, memorable thing he bought you?
Probably the first big thing was a brand-new Mercedes convertible, a little two-seater. And a beautiful house, by the way, which was beyond fabulous in Beverly Hills.
Yours is a family that clearly likes to splurge. Is there anything you're still frugal about?
I realize this isn't going to last forever, and I think it's really important to save for the future. It's a very rewarding feeling to raise a huge family and know that all my kids have worked very hard. They work every single day. The thing I admire most about them is their work ethic and the way they never complain and never stop. I've never seen anything like Kourtney, who has a baby and works 18-hour days every day, and she knows that she needs to work hard and save for her future. I've got some really smart kids who are doing that, and it makes me really happy to know that each and every one of them has worked hard, gotten themselves their own home and their own things, and taken care of themselves. That's so unbelievably rewarding as a parent.