17 Celebrities Getting Rich from Their Side Jobs
by Mackensie Graham
For many people, the side gig is must—for celebs, it’s just another way to market their brand and rake in the dough.
He may not have acted it on That 70’s Show, but Kutcher has a smart sense for the next “big thing.” A-Grade Investments was co-founded by Kutcher in 2010 and the venture capital firm invests in startups in need of cash flow and helps them grow their businesses. Spotify, Uber, Fab, and Airbnb are just a few ventures the company has backed with capital, high hopes, and a stamp of approval.
Longtime actress and comedian, Goldberg has added a new item to her resume—medical marijuana entrepreneur. This celebrity side business will be focuses on offering medical marijuana to women suffering from menstrual cramps. Whoopi & Maya (the name of the venture), will offer four products at California medical marijuana dispensaries (for the time being). The balm, tincture, sipping chocolate, and bath soak will all be infused with marijuana. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Goldberg cited her adult granddaughters who deal with severe cramps as part of the reason behind her new role as a ganjapreneur.
Queen Bey wasn’t content with just selling over 160 million records. She is now also setting the sartorial standard with her activewear line, Ivy Park. It’s the artist’s first collaboration with Sir Philip Green, a British businessman and the Chairman of the Arcadia Group (think retail Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Outfit). The 200-piece collection is likely just the beginning for the lead singer with a keen eye for fashion and fit. In an interview with ELLE, she explained the objective for the line. “My goal with Ivy Park is to push the boundaries of athletic wear to support and inspire women who understand that beauty is more than your physical appearance. True beauty is in the health of our minds, hearts and bodies. I know that when I feel physically strong, I am mentally strong and I wanted to create a brand that made other women feel the same way.”
To open the restaurant and bar, Wahlburgers, actor Wahlberg teamed up with his two brothers: classically-trained chef Paul and actor/former New Kid on the Block Donnie. In 2011 the first location opened outside of Boston, in Hingham, Massachusets. However, the Wahlberg brothers weren’t just in the back kitchen for this business; they are front and center on an A&E reality show (of the same name) that captures the challenges and decisions that go into opening and running a restaurant. Since opening, additional locations have opened in Toronto, Las Vegas, and New York City (just to name a few), and that doesn’t include the huge expansion planned for 2016 in seven different states.
As the mother of two girls, actress Alba is vehement about keeping your family safe from toxic products and consumer goods, which is one of the reasons she co-founded The Honest Company in 2011. She told the Wall Street Journal about her personal experience of an allergic reaction to a baby-oriented detergent. “I found out that there are all these toxic chemicals in products that are not only geared toward babies, which is horrifying, but in everyday cleaning products all around your house… I wanted to create the safest and healthiest environment and there wasn’t one trusted brand that I could rely on.” The business’ wide profile of consumer products include diapers, nipple balm, vitamins, and detergent (to name a few) and are found online and over 4,400 retail locations like Whole Foods and Target. It seems that people cannot get enough of the high quality products; in 2015 sales exceeded $150 million and the company is valued at over $1 billion.
Back in 1997 Smith, writer-director and superhero enthusiast, discoved the owners of his favorite comic shop were planning on selling and moving. He took the matter into his own hands, bought the place in Redbank, New Jersey and renamed it to the funky Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. Along with comics, the shop stocks apparel, books, DVDs, and toys. It is also the setting for the AMC unscripted reality series, Comic Book Men.
The tennis star has a mean serve and an even sharper sense for an appealing aesthetic. Williams enrolled in fashion school when she was 18, in 1999, and found another passion beyond tennis: design. She wrote on V-STARR Interiors’ website, “Like design, tennis is always moving and changing. Your opponent constantly changes, as well as the courts, conditions, and the tactics. The same can be said of design. Each client is different; each design solution is challenging and distinctive.” From swank presidential suites to luxury apartments, this is one celebrity side-business we want to stay in!
The leading lady learned nutrition at an early age from her mother, who raised her to be wary of chemicals and pesticides. Bullock told Oprah, “If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t be putting it in your body or in your environment.” Bullock took her environmentally-friendly perspective on the importance of good, healthy foods and decided to share it with the world (or at least Austin, Texas). In 2006, Bullock first opened the eatery, Bess Bistro. She then went on to own a bakery-deli-flower shop hybrid, Walton’s Fancy and Staple, of which her pastry chef sister, Gesine, designed part of the menu. Unfortunately the Bistro closed in the fall of 2015, but Walton’s is as popular as ever.
The reality star and daughter of Lionel Richie established herself as an amazing designer in 2008 when she founded House of Harlow 1960. (The line was named after her daughter, Harlow.) She didn’t stop there. She also has her own handbag collection, fragrance, and a magical maternity line called Nicole. This is one celebrity side business that turned into a major fashion brand!
The famous actor is a longtime resident of the beachside town, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California and he came into his side buisness in a heroic act of saving a historic former dairy farm from a pending fate of bankruptcy condominium development. The actor bought Mission Ranch Hotel and Restaurant in 1986 and renovated it into the handsome hotel and resort it is today. Eastwood also served as mayor of Caramel from 1986-1988… Talk about a star of many side gigs!
When Carell purchased the historic Marshfield Hills General Store in Marshfield, Massachusetts in 2009 it was no laughing matter, unlike many of his starring roles! He and his wife grew up in the state and spend their summers in the town, making the General Store a shop close to their hearts. Carell is personally involved in the operations of the shop, proven by the shop’s website photos featuring the actor and smiling visitors!
Sarah Jessica Parker
SJP’s signature style on Sex and the City was all about the shoes. The Carrie Bradshaw in Parker led her to create the SJP line of footwear (and handbags!). Heels of all sizes and colors, from bright blue to lovely nudes, make it the perfect fashionista side gig.
Former SNL actor, comedian, and musician co-founded something worth toasting to: Crystal Head Vodka. The top-shelf liquor is not cheap, but is assured in its quality. This means the cool, clear, top-shelf vodka is filtered seven times; three of which are through semi-precious crystals called Herkimer diamonds, mined from New York state.
Let’s be honest, Jay-Z is a mogul; his celebrity side-businesses include a clothing line, a record label, a streaming service, and many other gigs. In the Manhattan Flatiron district lives one of his projects, the 4040 Club. The club opened in 2003 and features an opulent interior, sports bar-esque vibe, multiple membership levels, and even a “Jay-Z Lounge.” “I love sports and wanted to create an environment that is conducive to match my lifestyle, while watching the games at the same time,” Jay Z said on the club’s website.
Hudson has always known how to rock a strong body in her films, and in 2013 Hudson wanted to empower others to get fit with her. She co-founded Fabletics, a retailer for women’s activewear that operates on a subscription basis. Hudson told ELLE in an interview, “I’m just one of those people where it’s not necessarily about a result as much as it is about how I feel in my skin. And when I feel strong I feel strong; mentally and physically. Fabletics is about shifting your patterns and just wanting to be more active in your life in whatever capacity that is.”
We all know the former NSYNC member and current solo-star invested in MySpace in 2011, earning the title of “creative director.” His lesser known side business involves BBQ. Southern Hospitality is a NYC-based restaurant serving up fresh Memphis meaty tastes. Timberlake joined forces with two friends to create the in-demand venue resulting in the four locations there are today.
Everyone knows the favorite comedic and parody video platform, Funny or Die. But not everyone knows it was co-created by Ferrell (with director Adam McKay) for a 2007 launch. The site kicked-off with the hilarious sketch, “The Landlord,” which received over 83 million views (to date), and the site is showing no sign of slowing, especially after the 2008-established partnership with HBO.
Image Credits: Ivy Park