Celebrities generally have some special talent that us average Joes do not have. That is why they make millions and we sadly do not. They can be amazing singers, actors, dancers or musicians. And sometimes, they are lucky enough to be talented in more than one area.
However, even the most talented stars sense that the clock is constantly ticking on their 15 minutes of fame. Furthermore, they are aware of the expectation that it is no longer enough to just perform and call it a day, stars have to be a proper brand. That is why many of them launch side ventures. It is pretty much an expectation that if you are reasonably famous, you should have at least one fragrance and a clothing line in the works.
Some people are skeptical of a lot of celebrity business ventures because they see them as mere vanity projects that stars simply lend their names to in order to make even more money, even if they claim that they are “100% involved in the design process.” However, some celebrity businesses are the real deal. Some stars have proven that their business skills are as strong as their performance skills, and some are actually even better at business than the showbiz careers they first became known for. They have gone on to build hugely successful empires that have silenced any critics who said they did not know what they were doing. These 10 celebrities were alright performers, but they proved to be excellent business people.
10. Jessica Simpson
Jessica Simpson has an impressive set of vocals on her. A quick YouTube search will remind you of that much. She made a name for herself in the late 1990’s with songs like “I Want To Love Your Forever,” “I Think I’m In Love With You” and “Sweetest Sin.” However, she was often overshadowed by Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Jessica reached A-list status on her show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, with then-husband Nick Lachey. She continued to sing and scored some acting roles in television and film. Remember the Dukes Of Hazzard? When she began a clothing line, some just saw it as an attempt to boost her career. However, Jessica is the one laughing now. Ten years on, her line is a billion-dollar fashion brand and includes women’s clothes, shoes, accessories, fitness gear, fragrances and clothes for tweens. She may not have had Britney’s album sales, but she probably doesn’t think about that when she is running her fashion empire.
9. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
Children of the 1990s loved Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as Michelle Tanner on Full House. It didn’t matter which twin was actually playing Michelle in a scene, you knew that she was great. After the show, Mary-Kate and Ashley had some great film roles in movies such as It Takes Two and How The West Was Fun, but it was their brand that really made them rich. There was Mary-Kate and Ashley clothing, makeup, books and more. They could have continued that brand well into adulthood, but Mary-Kate and Ashley proved that they weren’t one-trick ponies. They launched their high-end clothing line The Row in 2006 to critical acclaim. The brand regularly shows a presentation at New York Fashion Week. Plus, the twins expanded their fashion empire further with a sister brand, Elizabeth and James, as well as a perfume range.
8. Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow is an accomplished actress. She won an Oscar in 1999 at the age twenty-six for her role in Shakespeare In Love. She has starred in massively popular movies including the Iron Man franchise, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and The Royal Tenenbaums. However, her health and lifestyle website Goop has almost eclipsed her recent acting work. Do you remember Mortdecai? Gwyneth launched Goop in the fall of 2008 as a weekly e-mail newsletter. It has expanded to a website with daily, shoppable content, and the brand frequently collaborates with different designers on collections. Goop recently had a pop-up shop in New York. Don’t be surprised in a permanent bricks-and-mortar Goop store becomes a reality soon.
7. Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston will always be known for her role as Rachel Green on Friends. She has yet to find a television or movie role that is as successful, but she has done well for herself in the business arena. Like many celebrities, she has dabbled in perfume. Jennifer currently has three perfumes under her belt. She is the spokesperson for numerous brands including SmartWater, Aveeno and Emirates airlines. Jen is also the spokesperson and co-owner of haircare line Living Proof. You cannot get a more perfect partnership considering Jennifer is almost as famous for her haircut as she is for all her other work. Living Proof is currently sold at Sephora and available in over 850 salons in the United States and Canada.
6. Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, was an integral part of the Spice Girls, but she wasn’t exactly known as the group’s strongest soloist. After the Spice Girls parted ways in 2000, some of the girls enjoyed success with solo music careers. Victoria was the last girl to release a solo album. The self-titled album had a few singles, but received mixed reviews. When Victoria jumped from the world of music to fashion, many were skeptical, but Victoria has gone from strength to strength. Her namesake label now has its own store London and the line regularly shows at Fashion Week. Furthermore, she has expanded her empire to include a diffusion line, Victoria Victoria Beckham. Any critics have definitely been silenced now. They shouldn’t have doubted her, she was called Posh Spice for a reason.
5. Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba was great as Max Guevara on Dark Angel in the early 2000s and she was even nominated for a Golden Globe for her role. After the show, she went on to star in some alright movies including Honey, Sin City, and Fantastic Four, and some could-have-been-better films. Like many celebrities, Jessica wanted to expand her resume beyond performing. She started The Honest Company after she was frustrated about not being able to find the “perfect” products for her babies in 2012. The one-stop shopping destination features everything from diapers to feeding items to personal care products. The company may not have been around for long, but it is already a billion-dollar brand. Kind of makes not winning that Golden Globe seem like no big deal now.
4. 50 Cent
Forget that whole thing about 50 Cent, aka Curtis Jackson, being bankrupt. 50 Cent has followed in the heels of many rappers-turned-moguls like Jay Z and Sean “Diddy” Combs. 50 Cent’s music may not be constantly playing on the radio like it once was, but he has many successful business ventures. He invested in Glaceau, the makers of Vitamin Water, before they were bought by Coco-Cola, and he reportedly earned $100 million from it. 50 Cent also has a headphones company, SMS Audio (Studio Mastered Sound), like Dr. Dre. Furthermore, he has his record label G-Unit, and he signed a deal worth $78 million for men’s underwear line, Frigo, which sell for $100 per pair. 50 Cent may not have had a big hit like “In Da Club” in awhile, but he probably is too busy working on his next big business deal to be too concerned about it.
3. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez is still doing well in both the acting and singing departments. She has a role on the upcoming NBC police drama Shades of Blue. Furthermore, she released an album, A.K.A., in 2014, which included tracks like “I Luh Ya Papi” featuring French Montana, and “First Love.” However, her acting and singing weren’t garnering much attention before that. Do you remember the films Bordertown or Parker? On the other hand, her side ventures have kept her very busy. Jennifer was one of the earlier celebrities to get into the perfume biz. She launched Glow by J.Lo in 2002, and has gone on to release multiple scents. Her perfumes have made her millions, and her scents sold more than any other star’s at one point. In addition to fragrances, J.Lo has also dabbled with clothing lines and restaurants, and she has a small stake in the Miami Dolphins.
2. Antonio Banderas
No one will ever be able to forget Antonio Banderas as the voice of the beloved Puss in Boots in the Shrek franchise, but he has a lot happening besides acting and bringing feisty animated cats to life. Antonio has a collection of successful fragrances under his belt. They may not be as known here as they are in other parts of the world, but Antonio has a perfume empire to rival Jennifer Lopez’s. He has been working with Puig for over 15 years. He launched his first fragrance DIAVOLO for Men in 1998, and he now has 12 fragrances available for men and women. Furthermore, Antonio owns part of a winery, and he has his Anta Banderas collection.
1. Jaclyn Smith
Jaclyn Smith is most famous for her role as Kelly Garrett in the Charlie’s Angels television show. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as Jackie Kennedy in the television movie Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy in 1981. Plus, she has acted in a few other parts. However, do not think that Jaclyn’s career fizzled out. She has enjoyed a lot of success in the fashion industry. She recently celebrated 30 years of her namesake collection at Kmart. The collection includes clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry and footwear. She also has a home line. Since her collection’s launch, over 100 million women have purchased her range.