Starting a new business involves a lot of hard work, a lot of risk and a lot of sacrifices – and celebrities are more than willing to dive in head first. They charter into unfamiliar territories, thinking their athletic, acting or singing skills will translate into the business world. Some celebrity businesses are extremely successful, while others don’t have a very long shelf life. They say, “There’s no business like show business,” but these celebrities will tell you, “There’s no business like… business.” Here are ten bad celebrity business owners.
10. . Hulk Hogan – Pastamania!
After missing the boat on endorsing the George Foreman Grill, Hulk Hogan attempted to make up for that loss and opened up a restaurant inside the Mall of America. The restaurant, Pastamania! opened its’ doors in the mid 1990’s and sold Hogan themed Italian food, such as Hulk-U’s and Hulkaroo’s. After one year, the pro wrestler cut his losses and shut the doors of Pastamania! for good. The Pastamania! location is now an Orange Julius.
9. Flavor Flav – Flav’s Fried Chicken
In January 2011, rapper and reality star, Flavor Flav attempted to compete with Colonel Sanders and Popeye when he opened up the restaurant, Flav’s Fried Chicken. The fast food joint was opened in Clinton, Iowa and was closed three months later. Flavor Flav tried opening up two more restaurants in Las Vegas, Nevada and Sterling Heights, Michigan. Unfortunately, those locations shut down faster than Colonel Sanders could say, “Finger lickin’ good.”
8. Jennifer Lopez – Madres
Jennifer Lopez and her mother opened up the Puerto Rican inspired restaurant, Madres in Pasadena, California in 2002. The menu consisted of Latin food, with prices ranging from $30-$50 a plate. The restaurant received mediocre reviews and closed down six years later – which is a lifetime for celebrity owned restaurants. A sign on the restaurants’ door read, “Closed Until Further Notice.” No explanation was ever given as to why the eatery closed its doors.
7. Kanye West – Pastelle Clothing
Kanye West has always had an interest in fashion and in 2009, he attempted to launch his clothing line, Pastelle. Photos of the clothing line were revealed online and a mere two days later, it was all over. It was announced that the line would not launch. Many have speculated that West’s bad behavior in 2009, including the Taylor Swift incident, attributed to the demise of his own clothing line.
6. Nicky Hilton – Nicky-O Hotel
Nicky Hilton, heiress to the Hilton family, attempted to follow in her great grandfather’s footsteps by opening up her hotel chain, Nicky-O Hotel. The first location was set to open up in Miami in 2007, just in time for the super bowl. A 94-room luxury hotel with suite designs by Italian designer, Roberto Cavalli were the plans for the first Nicky-O Hotel location. Unfortunately, the project was plagued with too many delays and was never able to open its doors. After filing for bankruptcy protection, Nicky Hilton was sued by the condo developer for not keeping up her end of the deal. Apparently, great grandfather Hilton’ shoes were too big for Nicky to fill.
5. Natalie Portman – Te Casan Vegan Shoes
Before ‘vegan’ even became mainstream, Natalie Portman collaborated with designer, Te Casan in early 2008 to launch a vegan shoe line. The footwear was made without animal byproducts and without harming any animals but the price tag attached seemed too harmful to customers’ bank accounts. With a $200 price point and a lack of sales, Te Casan Vegan Shoes closed shop in December 2008, after being in business for less than one year.
4. Heidi Montag – Heidiwood
In 2007, The Hills star, Heidi Montag designed her very own clothing line, Heidiwood. The line was picked up by Anchor Blue stores and items were priced between ten dollars and sixty dollars. Critics condemned Heidiwood, describing the clothes as “flimsy” and “unwearable.” Seven months later, Anchor Blue pulled the plug on Heidiwood, when they opted not to renew Montag’s contract. Heidi should have taken a page out of her co-star Lauren Conrad’s book and stayed in fashion school.
3. Britney Spears – Nyla
At the ripe age of 21, Britney Spears had already conquered the music world. The pop princess then ventured into the food industry, opening up a Cajun themed restaurant in Manhattan in 2002. The restaurant was named Nyla, after the state abbreviations of New York and Louisiana. Unfortunately, Nyla faced countless hardships, including bad reviews, health code violations and high staff turnover. In an attempt to salvage the restaurant, the Cajun menu was completely replaced in favor of Italian food, but not even a menu overhaul could save the business. Less than six months after doors opened, Nyla was closed.
2. Kardashians – The Kardashian Kard
In 2008, reality stars Kim, Kourtney and Khloe launched their very own prepaid debit card. The financial product termed, The Kardashian Kard, quickly came under attack due to its high fees and its intended target market, young adults. People were outraged by the fees, which consisted of a cost of $99.95 just to own the debit card for one year. After the first year, Kard owners were required to pay a $7.95 monthly fee. On top of that, a $1 fee was charged every time money was added on to the Kard and it cost $1.50 just to speak with a Kardashian Kard operator. The sisters quickly exited their contract, claiming they were not made aware of the hefty fees. The Kardashian Kard was off the market after one month.
1. Kim Basinger – Braselton, Georgia
In 1989, Kim Basinger had the “brilliant” idea to purchase the town of Braselton, Georgia while stuck in a traffic jam. Basinger took seeing a sign that read, ‘Braselton: If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now,’ as a sign to buy the whole town. Basinger shelled out a whopping $20 million for the 1,691 acre town. Kim envisioned turning Braselton into a tourist attraction with movie studios and film festivals. The actress’s overzealous plans never came together and five years later, she sold the town for $1 million. Shortly after, she declared bankruptcy.