When we think of celebrities we tend to envision vast sums of money, lavish lifestyles, some form of artistic or athletic talent, and not much else. While we love watching celebrities, from actors to athletes, as a society, we do not normally think of them as savvy businessmen and women. However, quite a few of today’s superstars have an entrepreneurial side. Here are a few of the most successful.
An actress who rose to fame after the television show Dark Angel, Jessica Alba went on to have a series of popular roles in film, including Sin City, Honey and Fantastic Four. After earning her place among Hollywood’s brightest stars, this mother of two’s entrepreneurial side did not emerge until she had suffered an allergic reaction to laundry detergent. This began Alba’s crusade for non-toxic household products across America. Despite her star power, she did not find immediate success. According to Alba herself, the idea for a non-toxic household product company took some time to catch on. “It took three years of people not getting it. It was too big of an idea,” said Alba during an interview at an SXSW festival. However, once the idea caught on, it took off! Alba’s Honest Company is valued at $1.7 billion; there are even rumors that she is in talks with Unilever—owners of Dove cleaning products, Hellmann’s food products, and several other brands—to sell Honest Company for an estimated $1 billion.
Popularly known for her role on ABC’s hit sitcom Modern Family, Sofia Vergara is a force to be reckoned with. According to a report from Inc.com, Vergara made an estimated $37 million from 2013 to 2014. While that is impressive enough, Ms. Vergara did not rest on her laurels. With the help of music promoter Luis Balaguer, Sofia Vergara founded Latin World Entertainment. While the company name may not have reached the public, it is certainly a major player in the entertainment industry. According to a report from ABC, Latin World Entertainment made an estimated $27 million in revenue in 2011. The company specializes in curating Hispanic talent for the entertainment industry, while also offering producers insight into appealing to a Hispanic audience, among other things.
Known as one of the most influential artists in the hip-hop genre, Dr. Dre has been making music for over three decades. He is credited with helping popularize “gangsta rap” and has jumpstarted the careers of multiple hip-hop artists, such as Eminem, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar. However, he made headlines a few years back for his business-savvy entrepreneurial endeavors. Dre, along with IGA chairman Jimmy Iovine, founded Beats By Dre in 2006. The company started out making large, high-quality headphones with a heavy focus on flashy looks and deep, pounding bass. Dre and Iovine, using their connections in the music industry, managed to get several high-profile artists to use and promote the headphones, causing the company’s popularity to skyrocket. Later, the company diversified its portfolio of products by making high-quality, portable speakers. Eventually, the company was purchased by Apple Inc. in 2014 for a whopping $3.2 billion. This deal made headlines as it pushed Dre’s net worth to an estimated $830 million.
These are not the only celebrities that have managed to use their business savvy to forge successful companies. However, not every celebrity can make it big in entertainment and business. Celebrities are human beings like everyone else, and sometimes, they can fail. Take, for example, the Kardashians. You may be surprised given the family’s multiple successful ventures, including a clothing and makeup line and even a mobile video game that pulled in a whopping $100 million. However, they’ve made some serious blunders, namely their attempt at entering the credit card industry. Dubbed the Kardashian Kard, the entrepreneurial endeavor between the three eldest sisters (Kim, Khloe and Kourtney) didn’t even last one month before being canceled. According to a report from CNN, the Kardashian Kard came under fire from a variety of people, namely Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Blumenthal cited the card as, “troubling because of its high fees combined with its appeal to financially unsophisticated young adult Kardashian fans.”
You do not have to be a celebrity to become successful. Success comes from hard work and determination. Sometimes your great ideas will blossom into a fantastic opportunity. Other times, they will fail. Regardless, never give up and always move forward.