Five Reasons Why Kathy Ireland is the Biggest Boss Babe of All Time
If you haven’t heard of Kathy Ireland, I’m just going to assume that you’ve been hiding under a rock for quite some time now. With a private company worth over $2 billion, this model turned mogul has successfully crafted a legendary empire.
You may know Kathy from her modeling days back in the 80s, known to grace us with her beauty on the most successful Sports Illustrated cover still to this day. After watching various interviews of Kathy, I’ve learned that although she was successful, Kathy disliked doing business solely off her looks. In interviews, she mentioned she did it so she could save for college and for her own business someday.
Presently, Kathy does not consider herself as “super” model, but as someone who knew she needed to be on the other side of the lens. When she made the transition from being a super model into an entrepreneur, she received countless criticism for her spirit & vision, dubbed to be a bimbo super model without any knowledge on how to run a business. Kathy Ireland faded the noise from those who doubted her and leaned into her work full force creating a global empire, Kathy Ireland Worldwide. Considered “the richest model-preneaur” on the planet, Kathy Ireland is a successful business woman, one who has been on the cover of Forbes Magazine twice in her lifetime, has her brand listed as the 25th most powerful brand by License! Global Magazine and is one of the 50 most influential people in fashion.
I had the opportunity to visit Kathy Ireland’s booths at Las Vegas Market and interview her with some of my other blogger babes. Due to time constraints, I was only able to take a picture with Kathy and watch as she was interviewed by other influencers and major press. I’ll never forget the moment when it was my turn to stand next to Kathy for a photo. She greeted me with a smile ever so sweetly and said, “You are so beautiful.” Choked on words at the fact that one of the most beautiful, talented, humble and inspirational women on the planet just said those words to me, blew me away. I remember saying how beautiful she was with a nervous and sheepish smile on my face.
Although I didn’t get a chance to sit with Kathy and the other Vegas influencers, I still wanted to do this post and explain how influential she is. From humble beginnings, to glamour model, to running an unstoppable empire, here are five reasons why Kathy Ireland is the best boss babe of all time:
1. Her first job was Santa Barbara, California’s first ever paper-girl when she was 8 years old.
From a young age, Kathy Ireland had the drive to work hard. Although, not many people appreciated Kathy Ireland’s spunk and determination. In an interview, she told a story of a man who yelled at her, saying that she was doing a boy’s job. However, the experience only made Kathy Ireland stronger,
“…it instilled a fighting spirit in me because there was no logical reason why I couldn’t have the job based on my gender. It taught me to persevere."
2. She started her business from selling socks.
Kathy Ireland partnered with K-Mart and launched her first product in 1993: Socks. People expected swimsuits or a beauty product due to her supermodel career, but Kathy wanted to make sure her business was going to be based on a real product that every woman could get use out of.
“If women would embrace something as basic as a sock, that would tell us we were on to a real brand.”
3. Her top tip for running an empire encompasses passion, humility and kindness.
In a recent interview with the Today Show, Kathy gave her top tip in running a business: “Consider others as more important than yourself. All that you give is all that you get. So give it all you’ve got. Don’t do anything half measure. Really put your heart in all that you do.”
4. She’s a phenomenal speaker and is truly passionate about her brand.
On a visit to Google’s campus back in 2012, Kathy Ireland spoke about her brand and even cracked a few jokes about people not taking her seriously as a business woman. She spoke about her mentors Elizabeth Taylor and Warren Buffet, how they taught her to listen and consider opportunities in industries that she could organically grow her brand in. But the thing that stood out to me were her stories of how she took negative feedback and considered it “a gift wrapped in a nasty package.” You can watch the video here.
5. She sells more merchandise than lifestyle guru, Martha Stewart.
According to Forbes, Kathy Ireland Worldwide sells at $2 billion in retail, while Martha Stewart only sells about $900 million in retail. Kathy Ireland also has over 17,000 products in her brand like socks, beauty products, home goods, jewelry and wedding destinations. The list goes on and on. Don't believe me? Check out her website and see for yourself. If that’s not enough to convince you of Kathy Ireland’s greatness, I don’ know what will!