On an episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” that aired in January this year, a pregnant Kylie Jenner called her mom, Kris Jenner, to say she thought an employee was trying to take pictures of her in her own home.
(Kylie never publicly confirmed that she was expecting before she announced the birth of her daughter, Stormi, on Feb. 1. At the time of the episode’s recording, pictures of a pregnant Kylie would have been very valuable.)
Flexing her momager muscles, Kris said she thought about getting the employee arrested. The message was clear: If you don’t prove trustworthy ― and you go against the family ― Kris and the Kardashians will come for you.
“Unfortunately, there are some bad people out there who have not good intentions. And, you know, I obviously can’t control that,” Kris said in a phone conversation with HuffPost last week. “But to the best of my ability, we try to have people on our team who have our back, who we feel that we can really trust.”
The matriarch of the most famous residents of Calabasas, California, is on the market for such an employee: Kris recently went viral after announcing that she partnered with Bumble Bizz, a networking offshoot of the dating app, to find her next personal assistant.
“It’s about being discreet and being private and learning. That’s definitely a skill set,” Kris said of what it takes to join the Kardashian payroll. “And being able to be mature and understand what the family is all about. If somebody has something that’s happening in your life at the moment and it is a private thing, then somebody [would need] to have a lot of respect for that.”
As a self-described “mama bear,” Kris has no tolerance for “when something needs to be protected and somebody else doesn’t understand the importance of that.”
“That’s a problem,” she said.
And it seems Kris certainly knows how to deal with a problem.
“We obviously will go to and spare [raises voice] no expense to hold somebody accountable if that happens on our team,” she said.
“I don’t care how much money somebody might have ― if they have nothing. Some people think, ‘Oh, I don’t have any money, and they’re not going to sue me.’ Well, we’ll take payments,” she said with a laugh.
“We’ll garner those wages for, you know, the next 10 years. But I just think that people don’t think,” she added. “It’s a foolish thing to do.”
Some people think, ‘Oh, I don’t have any money, and they’re not going to sue me.’ Well, we’ll take payments.Kris Jenner
Being private and trustworthy is obviously important to her, especially after a year of hiding pregnancies, keeping a surrogates’ identity under wraps, doing damage control after tweetstorms and lending support amid cheating scandals.
For whoever lands this coveted role, Kris acknowledged, it will be a new chapter in that person’s life.
It could give the new employee 15 minutes of fame or the chance to turn into a household (Kardashian) name like Stephanie Shepherd, Monica Rose, Jen Atkin or Victoria Villarroel ― women who all saw their profiles rise significantly while working for the family.
And a little common sense and street smarts will go a long way if you want to succeed in the job, Kris said.
“Some people don’t know how to take some of the everyday, regular things that they have going for them and turn it into something else,” she said.
As fans and critics of “Keeping Up” will likely agree, turning regular things into something else ― say, a sex tape into a career ― is exactly what Kris has done. After all, this is the family that turned deals like workout DVDs, tanning bed lotions and a vanilla cupcake mix into Vogue covers, video game ventures that rake in millions of dollars and (nearly) billion dollar beauty empires.
To paraphrase what Kim Kardashian said when she landed the cover of Forbes in 2016, not bad for a family “with no talent.”
“I learned a lot in my life by paying attention and listening to how people around me worked,” Kris said. “And I think that given the opportunity, somebody could really learn a lot just being around me and the girls because it’s really nonstop, 24/7 brainstorming and creativity and just trying to get organized and really pack a lot into a day — being there nonstop with all engines blazing.”
It’s clear that former Kardashian family assistants have benefited from working with the family.
Shepherd, better known as Steph Shep, was Kim’s assistant turned COO of Kardashian West Brands before the two parted ways in 2018. She began working for Kim in 2013 and often appeared on the family’s E! show and social media profiles over the years. She eventually accumulated 1 million Instagram followers and earned a profile about her job on Refinery29.
In the article, Shepherd opened up about what it was like to work for Kim in the early days, saying she did everything from scheduling and laundry to booking travel and putting together a baby stroller. From there, she worked her way up to managing Kim’s team and working on her Kimoji launch, and she was by Kim’s side after the robbery in Paris in 2016.
If you ask Kris, 62, to describe an average day you’ll quickly learn that for her, it doesn’t exist. She gave HuffPost the rundown of her day in New York City after the Met Gala.
It was filled with phoners, meetings, recording “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” throughout the day, glam, picking up daughters at various hotels, multiple outfit changes with Tommy Hilfiger, attending the Business of Fashion dinner, then racing to the airport at midnight to hop on Kylie and Travis Scott’s plane.
Kris’ unique needs (and schedule) mean she needs someone on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to work at a breakneck speed and have “scheduling down on a very high level,” she said.
“It’s nonstop. Every day is different, you never know what to expect and you have to be ready to pivot on a dime,” she added.
In addition to being trustworthy, discreet, flexible and ready to work at all hours of the day, you also have to remember a key Kardashian rule if you’re going to be a personal assistant: Don’t be fucking rude (or shady).
“Listen, the reason that I went with Bumble is because it stands for some of the things that are important to me and that I also personally stand by, which is kindness and respect and equality, both on- and offline,” Kris said. “And I think that they’re important qualities that I’m looking for in a personal assistant, just, you know, as a human being.”
So now only one question remains: Can you keep up?