This entrepreneurial woman is a no-nonsense brand-building machine. But make no mistake; Kris Jenner is like the surrogate mother we wish we all had to look after our images and careers. Loving, honest, and full of good advice, this woman juggles it all with a smile on her face, her beautiful offspring next to her, and a chic handbag on her shoulder.
So when we asked Kris on what she wished she knew in her twenties, she gave us the life lessons she shares with her children and their friends. Consider this a sneak peek into the life of a Kardashian daughter.
Marie Claire: What would you tell your 20-something self about love and marriage?
Kris Jenner: I was too young when I got married to understand the ups and downs that would come. Communication, tolerance, and forgiveness all really matter. I wished I knew in my twenties that marriage is a journey not a sprint. It's not all rainbows and butterflies. Love is precious and when you know you love someone you know. This is what I tell my kids. I want them to be passionate and I am happy that we all love hard. Bruce and I knew each other five months and it lasted 24 years. Khloe and Lamar got married within 30 days. Allow yourself to fall in love completely and work things out as a couple. Being totally open and vulnerable can hurt but trusting in love will allow you to experience some of the greatest joy you will ever know.
MC: What role have female friendships played in your life?
KJ: They are some of the most important relationships I have ever had in my life. When you raise a family its amazing to have a support system of other women. I was 22 when I had my first baby - I didn't always know what I was doing and so I was so thankful for my girlfriends. Sometimes you are the student, sometimes you are the teacher. One of my only regrets now is that because I am so busy I don't get to see my friends as often as I would like. But with true friends it doesn't matter if you see them regularly or once in a while. One of my best friends is in New York--Kathie Lee Gifford. After 35 years of friendship, when we talk we pick up right back where we left off.
MC: What is important to know about money?
KJ: Save for a rainy day! Life can be very up and down and I have experienced both lifestyles. We all make silly financial decisions but being smart about money is a critical life skill – so much so that Kim believes that keeping a good credit score should be taught in high school. Kourtney is frugal and is the best saver in our family. No one talks to you seriously about money in your younger years and it would be so beneficial if they did. What you do in your twenties has consequences that you realize in your thirties, forties, and fifties. You can create great financial freedom if you know what you are doing when you are young.
MC: What advice do you have a about building a successful brand?
KJ: I was very lucky to have had a great creative idea for a show, plus I had six children with unbelievable work ethics. For the last 10 years they have never wavered. People think in a reality show, that it's just rolling a camera. That is the tip of the iceberg. We hire a lot of people - it's big responsibly to be in the middle of this machine. When not filming there is press and travel and working on businesses like our clothing brands. For example, Kendall and Kylie don't just put their name on something – they have meetings and decide every detail down to zippers and stitching and are involved in every campaign and photo shoot—they are heavily involved.
It's important to ask a lot of questions and learn from others every day. I teach my kids to keep learning about new things—like right now Kourt is writing a book about being a mom, which I am really excited about. Building a successful business can start from a very small seed. You can take a dream and a vision and turn it into a business. The most successful businesses come from a place of passion.
MC: What can you tell us about self-belief and overcoming criticism?
KJ: It's sad that there are people somewhere, hiding behind their computer and writing cruel things about others on social networks. As my life has evolved and I have been on my own journey I certainly feel vulnerable and beaten down at times but I know the importance of brushing myself off and getting back up. You must have a drive to reach your potential.
When I am having a bad day I will go to Kim and she will make me feel like an idiot for worrying or even thinking about trivial things. She is so resilient and strong, as is Khloe. They really boost my spirits. We are a big, mushy family and carry a lot of strength for one another. It's important to surround yourself with the right people. We also have a strong Christian foundation—I pray about things during bad times and am reminded that we are so much stronger than we think we are. The older I get I understand that everything is going to be ok in the end.
MC: What can you share about putting your best face forward?
KJ: For me it's simple. Wash your face with a hot terry washcloth at night—it's exfoliating and cleansing. Use a great day cream and night cream. Be active! We have always been an active family—skiing, tennis, golf—my children learned to be physically fit from a young age. We live by the 80/20 rule: 80 percent is healthy and 20 per cent is having fun!
I also take great pride in personal grooming, as I understand the importance of a first impression. My mom is my inspiration. She is 80 and looks pulled together everywhere she goes. I try to pull it together daily. We are lucky that we get to work largely within the fashion/beauty industry, which is our passion. We are extremely blessed.
Love and cherish people around you. Life is short and you never know what can happen. Oh, and one more thing—lovely lingerie underneath everything makes you feel good. Always wear matching underwear.
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