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Paris Hilton Interviewed by Courtney Reum | Upfront Summit 2020

Paris Hilton
Media Personality, Businesswoman
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Upfront Summit 2020
January 29 2020, Pasadena, CA, United States
Upfront Summit 2020
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Paris Hilton Interviewed by Courtney Reum | Upfront Summit 2020
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About speakers

Courtney Reum, along with his brother Carter, is the cofounder of M13, a disruptive Brand Development + Venture Capital firm that has invested in over 100 startups such as Lyft, Pinterest, ClassPass, and Slack. He’s been recognized as one of Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs 4 years in a row and his entrepreneurial venture VeeV earned him a place on Inc’s 250 fastest growing companies. Additionally, Courtney was a Co-host on the nationally syndicated TV show Hatched and has been featured in Richard Branson’s book, Screw Business as Usual.

About the talk

Topic: Business

Paris Hilton talks with M13's Courtney Reum about being the CEO of a billion dollar brand; balancing her entrepreneurial efforts including product lines, properties, retail outlets and entertainment; her start as the first "influencer" and connecting with fans; the differences between her public and private personae; and the leaders and advice that have inspired her career.

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Alright, thank you everybody for hanging around hopefully that video gave you a little preview of what's to come for anyone who wasn't paying 00:00 attention. That was 3 billion and fragrance sales. I'm just get the blood flow and make sure everyone's awake just a show of hands who saw something 00:09 that video that you did not know about Paris Hilton. Better be a lot of hands. Okay, good. All right. Well, we'll hopefully have a little fun to end 00:16 the day here. But let some let's start with that Paris. I think, you know a lot of people have been underestimated you for a long time. Probably going 00:24

all the way back to the simple life days and think of you as a ditzy blonde door still love you tan or what whatever adjective you you may but you've 00:32 been working incredibly hard since then, so give us your just overview of what you been up to the last 10 years or so. I think he's so much sand 00:41 should be here today with so many incredible business men and women in the room. So 00:50 thank you all for having me and I first started my brand off when I was a little girl. I was always going into my mother's Boudoir and 01:00

she collected perfumes and I said to my mom one day one day. I'm going to have my own Paris Hilton perfume and to be sitting here today now and Just 01:10 released. My 25th fragrance is just a dream come true and your most recent fragrance Electrify actually won best 01:19 beauty products at the women's wear Daily Show. And you're the you're the CEO of Paris Hilton entertainment. I'm sure some people are like, what does 01:29 that mean exactly land the CEO of my company and I not only had 25 fragrances, but I also have nineteen other product lines. 01:38

So I make everything from purses clothing shoes. Lingerie swimwear. Probably dog 01:48 clothing what you don't mean if there is a product I make it and I oversee everything and it's a lot of work, but I really hate I love what I do and 01:57 those products are sold it Paris Hilton stores stores. We operate there parrots in there also online and then other 02:07 retailers. Till we started prepping for this. I had no idea that you had 50 stores around the world. That's that's amazing. Yeah, so, you know, you're 02:17

you're the CEO of now of billion-dollar Company by day yet by night or maybe sometimes by day you go to some of the biggest music festivals in the 02:27 world. How do you how do you bounce those two? I really love to optimize my time. So I'm traveling on a plane over 250 days a year. So 02:36 anytime I'm traveling around the world. I don't just want to do one thing. I want to make the most of my time and my time so I basically will pack in 02:45 a week or more of work into today's so anything from appearances photoshoots interviews meeting looking at different real estate 02:54

properties. I'm doing also charity work and then at night I get to perform at whatever is the most the best music festival or 03:04 5 or whatever is happening. And that's if you can entertain my pants at night cuz I love music. I love to entertain and I've also turn that into a 03:13 very lucrative business for sure. I mean for any of any of us who think we travel. 250 days has his next level. So weird around 03:22 the campfires that you've been paid a million dollars as an appearance fee and that your top grossing female. DJ in the world true or false 03:32

money or politics so I won't go into that. But your your your mom and my mom would would like 03:40 each other but you know, just give me a wink or don't say anything if that's true. All right, so, you know you grow in the 03:50 Paris Hilton brand from fragrance spray onto a global Lifestyle brand. I think that's you know, actually kind of in your your DNA. So tell us a little 04:00 bit about the Hilton Legacy and especially your grandfather who I know is really important to you. He's always been my mentor and I feel so blessed to 04:08

have such an element or is in my grandfather and my great-grandfather and the Legacy they have built and in a coming from the Hilton name. It's always 04:17 been such a huge. And it's something that I've always wanted like a lot to live up to and also I wanted to make my family proud 04:27 and the fact that they never spoiled us. They really instill that work ethic our whole family and that's been passed on 04:35 from my grandfather to my father and now it's myself my sister my brothers and I'm very grateful that because I feel that I wouldn't be the woman I am 04:45

today if it wasn't for them and just I'm really encouraging me and I just think it's something just that it runs in my blood. So you're you're you're 04:55 going into real estate as well. Yes. I have my two pair of properties that are in the Philippines and now we are expanding 05:04 and can be doing boutique hotel spas clubs all around the world. So I'm very excited to be falling in my family's footsteps and 05:13 just releasing my own a real estate projects. So we're both Entrepreneurs who started with fragrances I started with 05:22

eco-friendly booze. So we have some stuff in, maybe not but you know we leave now can I transition to starting a friend called M13 where 05:32 you know, we have a consumer tech-focused Venture Capital funds as well as a brand studio. So our whole goal is to harness, you know, those learnings 05:42 and try and do them is scaling and help other but budding entrepreneurs really have a Founders first approached. You have an incredible amount of your 05:50 wisdom from what you've done. How do you go about trying to think about sharing that with other people and what are usually say to them? I think it's 05:57

it's really about loving what you do having a passion for it and following your dreams ever since I was a little girl. I had such 06:04 like dreams in life and I always want to just drive to be the best I could be and I love being in this business where I can be an inspiration 06:14 to others, you know, young women and men who want to build a brand and be in this business and you know it it's all about having 06:23 hard work at that goes well and comes down to it, but SX exciting time from what I've seen being around you 06:32

really do love what you do. So let's let's rewind it a little bit cuz we have to talk about kind of the the roots and so let's talk about simple life. 06:42 What how did that get started? You know what what happened in the early days of that and how to take off from there 06:50 and they said we wants to this reality show called the simple life and 06:57 you're basically be a fish out of water going and doing going somewhere. We're not going to tell you where and how old are you at the time this was 07:06

when I was 21 07:16 the first approach to this. This is the 07:17 first-of-its-kind, so, They asked my sister and I to do it and my sister said there is no way I'm doing a reality show your crazy. My parents 07:27 do not do this. Like I've been just to frame it for like really buy a lot of accounts. That was the first reality show, right? So it's not like you 07:37 would seen a bunch of reality shows me what they do knew what you'd expect. You were really this was kind of the frontier of being on reality TV 07:46

sitting up here. Yeah. I didn't know what I was getting myself into but I'm so happy that I did do that 07:52 show because when I did it and I saw the numbers and how successful it was and you know continuing it on for Five Seasons 08:01 you ever think it would be on for Five Seasons? No best friend and I are in the coal Richie are going to go and 08:11 we're just going to be doing this show and getting paid a lot of money was like one of our first jobs And then I just saw what it was and I was like I 08:21

could actually use this platform to build a brand and that's when I thought to do my first fragrance, which is my first up a 19 product lines from 08:30 there. I suspend that just the whole journey. I love it. A lot of people here talk about products as a platform years is truly a little different spin 08:39 on your she took your platform and created Products off at which is which is truly amazing. Thank you. When was the what what's gave you the the idea 08:47 for the first product? How long was it between simple life ending and saying? Okay I can use this platform to do something else with it just right 08:56

away just with the show. I knew right away and then all the sudden I was getting approached by different companies or Brands getting blown out to 09:05 Tokyo and opening 200 stores and being on billboards everywhere and it just it literally put me on the map where I knew. You know 09:13 on the show. I was just playing this kind of dumb blondes spoiled. Brat who like to know what Walmart is. I know what Walmart has by the way, I do 09:23 hope I love her but I knew what it was but I was trying to be entertaining on the shelves. That's you know, I would say 09:31

certain things. I knew exactly what I was doing. It was all very planned and calculated. Yeah. Okay Vines. I don't want to spoil later but you can't 09:41 talk about creating these product just give us a sense of how involved you aren't actually developing new products. Whether it's the fragrance. Is 09:50 there something else that goes in New Paris Hilton store. I'm involved 100% of the way. I will not put my name on anyting just I need to be involved 09:56 from everything from with the campaign's going to be with the name is the design the market in the promotion from every stuff like at this point 10:05

in my life. I wish I had five clones because that I could actually get through everything I have to do but It's a lot of work, but it's so rewarding 10:15 that there's a lot that goes into it. So you were here you talk a lot about your fans. Could you talk about in a little bit how they inspire you 10:25 or how you have you been gone from your inspiration and Kratom products from from them? My fans I consider them like my little brothers and 10:35 sisters. They called themselves the little sins and the relationship we have is so amazing wife actually had them 10:44

some of them to come stay at my house before anywhere I go around the world. I always make sure if they're there or I'll fly them in just to spend 10:54 time with me. It gets a little lonely just always traveling and being by myself. So it's nice to have people around me that love me for me and 11:03 have no bad intentions. It's just all about like true love and unconditional love that. It's really hard to describe and 11:12 I love the I now with social media can stay in contact with them get advice from them and really go to them because you know with everything we do it 11:23

really matters like what your consumer is and who is your market and thank God I got I'm sick family with my fans. 11:33 I think you're truly one of the first celebrities to you. No use that to build products and actually turn it into a multibillion-dollar 11:43 Empire. I don't think I realized it except for when I first moved to LA when you walked into the club everyone just stopped and looked and so LA 11:52 Times originally said you are the original influencer nephew and I think if you actually think about it, it's it's interesting to think what there was 12:02

before that but it's been this nice virtuous Cycles you said with your fans because they've done incredible things to support you and then you involve 12:08 them in business decisions. You've made things you DJ. So you really, you know harness that power social media. I'm going to need a couple things 12:17 here. You were going to spend Saturday or credited with starting lot of first the first cell phones first cell phone selfie first influences what I 12:26 said and we would be remiss if we didn't bring up Kim Kardashian. She said in a quarter directly. I'll do anything for her. She literally gave my me 12:35

my career and I totally knowledge it. So what I think is amazing is you mad you put yourself out there, you know, Bill great content help others like 12:44 Kim. You know, how do you do that? Well, you know protecting your brand protecting even just your personal privacy yet. You're so involved in engage 12:53 with your fans. I love can mend. We've known each other since for little girls and I'm so proud of what her and her family has accomplished and I love 13:01 being an inspiration to people and it makes me feel very proud to have created this whole new. You know. I know it's called celebrity genre 13:11

or blueprints but you know starting out in this business. It was such a new thing. It's exciting. I love being in a 13:21 Pioneer and just you know Paving the way and it makes me feel very proud. And I don't 13:31 even think about her. I'm very nervous up here a little shy I'm used to being like, it's Tomorrowland or 13:38 Ibiza performing on stage the thousands of people singing dancing and everyone's very serious here. I would I get it 13:48 before social media even existed you were you were arguably one of the most photographed 13:55

people in the world and we're all human and I've I've spent some time with your family. They're incredible people like as that was all 14:04 starting even free simple life. Like what was the advice sure your mom and your family gave you The one he's advice. I always listen to from my mom 14:14 was the night before the simple life aired and she said the Paris. When does Arizona FOX tomorrow your entire life is going to change 14:23 and I always want you to remain the same sweet down-to-earth Paris that you are and never let this go to your head and that's something that always 14:33

stuck with me. I've always felt. I listen to Let It by PSY never let anything that's my head. And I think that's so important because I have been in 14:43 this industry a very long time and I've seen so many people coming in and it just they just turn into someone else and they forget where they came 14:51 from and I always think it's important to always just we're all human doesn't matter what you do. I think it's just so important to stay true to 14:59 yourself and I'm very lucky that I have such a supportive and amazing family. And yeah, thank you mom. 15:08

How do you decide what you kind of share then what you keep private cuz it must be hard to kind of know where to 15:17 draw the line. Unless you're just going through so much in life and growing up and realizing so much about myself. I think as we were 15:27 talking about simple life. I was playing this character for so long as I feel that the public and everybody assumed that I was you know, this spoiled, 15:37 you know blond kind of girl. I don't know how to describe it. But in real life, I was always so different and I think cuz I'm a naturally very shy 15:47

person that it was almost like a mask to hide behind and now that I really I finally, you know, 15:57 even with the past year. I just I have my new phone coming out in the next few months called This is Paris and it's a documentary. We really really 16:07 dig deep into everything and I really trusted the director Alexander Dean. She's incredible and she we just had the 16:16 sisterly Bond drive really trusted her and she asked me Questions that no one's asked me before and I really like found myself almost during this 16:26

film. So now I really value my privacy of my personalized. So, of course none of her business and being a brand I love to share 16:34 my products my Brands and all the exciting adventures and the trips I go on and my music and everything I do but I feel like it's time that I really 16:43 keep my personal life private because it's something that's very precious and special to me. I think you said something really really valuable 16:53 especially people in the room who are Venture capitalists can agree, you know, the answers you get a function of the questions you ask. So I think for 17:00

a long time you probably been asked the same questions that are not interesting or not fair and now you're going to get you know, you're getting a 17:09 chance to kind of answer more more interesting questions and put out who you really are. I love this headline from the Forbes article ditzy blonde. No 17:15 more Paris Hilton reinvents herself as a serious entrepreneur and crushes it and that was all the way. In 2014. I think it's been a long time since 17:23 I'm since people people really knew so they do think they know you what is something that people don't know about you the Forbes article. 17:32

I didn't get this far being a dumb blond. Just pretending to be we're all being played. Yeah. 17:41 I tricked you all but things that people don't know about me. I think these people are so used to seeing me as a party princess 17:50 on red carpets in the pink and the sparkles in the Chihuahua and a baby last night, you know, this is like like I feel a 18:00 lot of people may be in the room during this is actually my real voice. It's actually very low and I kind of have a helium voice for a very long time 18:10

before that. 18:19 Your voice and that's one part and I think a lot of people don't know. I'm actually a huge undercover seek. I'm obsessed with 18:29 anything to do with technology. That's like like Inspector Gadget like killing it and I'm also a huge tomboy. I was 18:38 on my ice hockey team in high school which no one will probably believe me. But if you Google that you will see me not photoshopped. It's actually me 18:48 there. I Skydive I have to go fishing surfing. I know I actually enjoyed doing more outdoorsy things, 18:56

but I think obviously the media is not there when that's happening. So they mostly just see everything else although The Glitz & Glam, but 19:06 that's not really my vibe more more low-key like making lasagna Yellowstone together, 19:15 you know. Obviously women earn incredible entrepreneurs and 19:22 those of us in this room. I think are keenly aware of it. We're all doing more to make sure we in a back female entrepreneurs. I'm very proud to say 19:31 that are at our phone number 13 so far 40% of our portfolio companies are are female ladder or co-founded which which entrepreneurs really inspire you 19:40

and why For so long. I've always looked up to Oprah and Martha Stewart. I think they're really 19:50 in women and I love what they've done with their brands and someone since I'm a little girl. I always have loved and admired is Princess Diana just 19:59 so beautiful so strong and the fact that she would use her name to do such an amazing things for people is just something that 20:09 I just admire and respect so much and I think it's it's such an exciting time right now. It's 2020 and I've 20:19

never knew that gave ya and it's it's just so exciting to see so many female leaders and CEOs and women running 20:29 companies and I just feel like it's Such a time where women are really coming together as like the sister tribe and I know a lot of boys in 20:39 here too, but I think you guys know that women rule the world without us there would be no no kids and things like that 20:49 big things and really exciting things and I think it's just one right now and especially with 20:57

Knology and even someone who is a stay-at-home mom that could make a huge business a brand or even a Fortune 500 company from the comfort 21:06 of their home just because of Technology where we don't have to deal with anything because it's basically with your phone with all the technology all 21:16 these platforms. You could build a business from your house and it's an exciting time for everyone right now. 21:26 I hear all right. I'm glad you brought Princess Diana though, because you know, she always exuded, you know, certain qualities 21:41

and as we as we've got to know each other better if if someone who didn't see this came up to me on the street and said what's Paris Hilton like I 21:51 would actually say the first to address to come to mine or Grace and humility and I'll be honest I would have ever thought those would be the first 21:58 two adjectives. But I've I've seen you never seen those come to fruition in real life. I have never been around someone who gets asked to take more 22:05 pictures and have people come to him and say just ridiculous things and even what little I'm around you, I I'm annoyed yet. You never say no to anyone 22:14

for a picture you always let someone kind of, you know, say whatever they want to say to you. It's just it's just amazing to me and you know 22:23 specially with just the Hilton DNA in your family. You don't even have to do any of this right? So what what is it the kind of helps you to have that 22:32 Grace and humility What makes you want to do it? I love the feeling of seeing someone smile like a genuine like 22:40 happy smile and making people feel like they're the only person in the room making everyone feel special no matter how tired I am if I'm jet-lagged 22:50

from in a bad mood. I have never said no to a photo selfie anything people ask for me because it means a lot to someone 22:59 and I I've seen a lot of people especially in this industry were they have their bodyguards pushing people away and they're being mean and hurting 23:09 someone's feelings and I could never be that way and even when I am sometimes and I'm on a job and in some places there could be a lot 23:18 of guards with me if they are rude to someone that gets me very upset and I will be upsetting outside, please. These are my fans be nice like be cool. 23:28

I don't mind I can parrots are grabbing you or nothing like I don't care. these are my people and I want everyone to feel special and I think that's 23:37 why I've been in this industry for so long is because I have a kind heart and I genuinely love it and I think it 23:46 I just love making someone's day and I just I don't know. I just feel like there's a reason that God put me here and I think one of the reasons is to 23:56 really just bring love and light happiness and excitement. I don't know just a lot of things and I think it's good to be a good person. 24:04

You've talked on your grandfather, but I know you're really close to him. He recently passed away. We just tell me what a little bit of the things you 24:13 guys talked about before that happened cuz it kind of relates to your work ethic and what you're trying to do my grandfather and I were so close and 24:20 as I said before he was such an inspiration and a mentor to me and we would always have so many discussions and one of the things we always 24:32 talked about was he would say Paris, you know, I used to be known as Barron Hilton, but now I'm known as Paris Hilton's grandfather 24:42

and we would laugh about it and then he said to me, you know Paris. I'm so incredibly proud of you you 24:50 work harder and travel more than anything to you. I know and I'm just so proud that you're my granddaughter and that's 25:00 something that's always stuck with me. And I think that's another thing that just gives me the drive and especially after losing him. It's been so 25:09 hard, but I know that he is up there with my grandmother in heaven and they're looking down on me and they're so proud and that's why when I continue 25:18

on with their legacy and also doing my own thing. But you guys talked about doing more at the Hilton Foundation. Yeah a little bit about 25:27 that. That's another thing we talked about my great-grandfather Conrad Hilton start at the Conrad Hilton foundation, and they do Incredible work for 25:37 people all around the world and now I am prioritizing my time to make that a big priority especially now 2020 and the coming year 25:47 to really see the face a bit and help make a difference and you know take time off from other projects. I have to do that because 25:57

I think it's something that's always been instilled in me and something very important to get back and choose what your video that we was everyone. So 26:07 before we came out there was a lot of shots of you with kids. I know you do a lot with them Children's Hospital that way your huge animal lover you 26:15 just touch on those animals have lots of pets and I'm excited her. I love children and 26:23 I just breaks my heart. That's any child should ever have to suffer and I want to do anything. I can to help or 26:34

alleviate that pain or bring happiness. And that's why I always make it a huge priority anytime I go to any country where ever I am I sick make 26:44 time in the schedule. I want to go to a children's hospital and orphanage something for Animals. Just whatever. I can to make a difference bring 26:54 happiness raise awareness raise funds donate and just basically do what I can to Just help out in some ways, you know, we can go everywhere for work. 27:04 And that's great. But doing that fulfills me more than even if I signed a huge deal for something like that's what really brings me happiness. I like 27:14

the quote to to Those whom much is given much is expected. And I think it's like you said you are naturally a shy person and you remind me in some 27:24 ways of one of one of our 10:30 investors Richard Branson who is a very shy person yet. He kind of you don't have to put on this public Persona in in 27:31 a world where everyone having less, you know, I are elephants are in Real Life Connections. You're out there doing it, which is amazing. So we have to 27:40 wrap up here shortly, but just give me a sense of what you're excited about in the future and going forward and your interest in Tech cuz you said you 27:49

were texting her huge compliment. I love Richard Branson. I've known him for many years and I think he is just a 27:56 just a brilliant force of nature everything like what he's done with his bra. And I didn't know he was shy though like me but that's very 28:06 interesting. He doesn't seem that way, but I guess I don't seem that way either but I think it is important to really go out there and 28:15 really be with your fans and your brand new consumers everything that you're involved in your business and I like myself. I think he is 28:24

no human Brands is not a product or anything else. We do our products me a business ventures, but there is a lot more to it. 28:34 And that's why I put myself out there all the time and I have so many other exciting projects and very excited about getting really involved in the 28:44 text-based. I have my new Glam app, which is the Uber a beauty Services as a man Roxy, which is the ultimate party up. And 28:53 then today I just find the papers and I just invested in what is M13 projects call Daily Harvest Which I'm very excited to be a part of 29:03

visiting. It's so important to be involved with things that are healthy and sustainable and I 29:13 can't say them yet, but I'm 13 you guys. Do you guys know what's up 29:20 a selfie claim out back here after after this 29:28 Just For Old Times Sake. Can we get one more? That's hot? 29:37

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