20 Female Celebrities Who Are Also Kick-Ass Entrepreneurs
by Faith Brar
Being a superstar is likely everybody’s dream, but stardom doesn’t cut it for some powerful celebrity women. These 20 ladies are literally changing the game, leveraging their fame to rule the entrepreneurial world.
Jessica Alba – Honest Company
Actress and model Jessica Alba didn’t truly find her purpose until she became a mother. She wanted nothing more than to provide her children with the best but found that it’s not always as easy as it seems. That’s why Alba created the Honest Company, an all-natural product line, to sell parents peace of mind. Today, the company creates 120 baby products that have grossed over a billion dollars since it was established in 2012.
Beyoncé – House of Deréon
Who runs the world? Well, Beyoncé. Obviously. As though her 20 Grammys weren’t enough, the megastar wanted to add “entrepreneur” to her resume. So, in 2006 she paired with her mother to create House of Deréon, a ready-to-wear clothing line. The tag line, Couture.Kick.Soul, represents three generations of Knowles women, whose personalities and styles are reflected in the clothing line.
Sofía Vergara – Latin World Entertainment
The Colombian-American TV superstar is more than just a pretty face. In 1994 Vergara cofounded Latin World Entertainment, which is now considered one of the leading Latin talent management firms in the world. Most of the company’s success can be attributed to Vergara’s invaluable marketing strategies, according to Forbes. The firm is expected to reel in about $27 million each year.
Venus Williams – EleVen
We all know Venus for her record-breaking tennis skills, but fewer people know that the athlete has a degree in fashion and design. It was her love for art and watercolor that inspired her to create the unique sports clothing line EleVen.
Victoria Beckham – Victoria Beckham
The former Spice Girl kick-started her career as an entrepreneur when she opened her fashion boutique in London in 2009. In just five years, the small business grossed Beckham a whopping $30 million. Management Today, a British business publication, anointed Beckham with the title of top entrepreneur in 2014.
Jennifer Aniston – Living Proof
Leave it to Jennifer Aniston to make sure no woman ever has a bad hair day again. In 2012, Aniston became the co-owner of Living Proof—a hair care company that prides itself on fighting frizz with science. The actress brought new marketing and design strategies to the company, enhancing its success and helping it gross $30 million in investments in 2013.
Jessica Simpson – Jessica Simpson Collection
The pop-star-turned-fashion-designer has grossed over $1 billion with her department store retail collection. Having launched over 30 products, Simpson claims that her business is the heart of who she is. Her shoe collection is by far the most popular. Let’s be real—we all get a little giddy when we add a pair of Jessica Simpsons to our closet.
Kathy Ireland – Kathy Ireland Worldwide
The famous Sports Illustrated swimsuit model was a household name back in the 1980s and 1990s. But her modeling career wasn’t fulfilling enough for her. She experimented with the film industry for a bit but was quickly disappointed. In 1993 she put $50,000 in stocks that helped launch her business. Today, Kathy Ireland Worldwide, a design and marketing company, grosses over $1 billion annually.
Oprah Winfrey – Oprah Winfrey Network
No one deserves to be on this list more than Oprah. The billionaire actress, producer, director, and TV personality is ranked #5 on Forbes‘ list of America’s Self-Made Women this year. After her long reign as a world-famous talk show host, Oprah launched OWN in 2011. In just four years, the TV network has managed to reach 70.3 percent of all American households with television.
Gwen Stefani – L.A.M.B
The singer-turned-designer launched L.A.M.B, an acronym for Love Angel Music Baby, in 2004. The label experienced 300 percent growth in sales in just two years. Stefani’s unique and trendsetting sense of style inspired such a successful clothing line that it has even gotten phenomenal reviews from the likes of Anna Wintour.
Stacy London – Style for Hire
After the end of What Not to Wear, TLC’s spunky fashion guru Stacy London continued to inspire women with styling advice. She created Style for Hire, an online start-up company, to help all women get a grasp on their personal style while saving both time and money.
Angelina Jolie – Robert Procop
In 2011, the actress and philanthropist joined forces with famous jewelry designer Robert Procop to create the Style of Jolie Collection. Naturally, all proceeds go to children living in regions affected by conflicts and natural disasters.
Lauren Conrad – LC Lauren Conrad
It has been refreshing to watch the Hills and Laguna Beach star evolve into an intelligent and cultured fashion professional. Her website LaurenConrad.com and her clothing line LC Lauren Conrad have helped her establish a strong footing in the world of fashion and design.
Tyra Banks – Bankable Productions
One of the original Victoria Secret angels, Tyra Banks leveraged her fame as a supermodel to start her own production company, Bankable Productions. Her company produced both The Tyra Show and America’s Next Top Model. In 2011, the model-turned-mogul saw her first novel, Modelland, top The New York Times Best Seller list and she launched the beauty and fashion website typeF.com. And in 2014, she launched her own cosmetics line, TYRA Beauty.
Nicole Richie – House of Harlow 1960
Nicole Richie shocked the world when she went from being Paris Hilton’s sidekick in the Simple Life to a successful entrepreneur after starting House of Harlow 1960. Her work on the jewelry line, named after her daughter, earned her the title of best female entrepreneur at the 2010 Glamour Women of the Year Awards.
Reese Witherspoon – Pacific Standard
In 2010, the Oscar award–winning actress paired with Australian producer Bruna Papandrea to create the production company Pacific Standard. The mega hit Gone Girl was the first film produced by the company. Later, they released Wild, another hit starring Witherspoon herself. The company aims to buy the rights to novels with empowering roles for women.
Whitney Port – Whitney Eve
The former reality TV star also has the title of entrepreneur and CEO. She launched her clothing line, Whitney Eve, in 2009. Port has also written a book, been on a panel of judges for Britain’s equivalent of Top Model, and is now being considered as a social media entrepreneur.
Sarah Jessica Parker – SJP
We all know her as Carrie Bradshaw from the hit HBO series Sex and the City. But in 2014, the actress joined forces with Nordstrom to bring Carrie’s shoe line to life. The shoes cost between $195 and $500, making them accessible to SJP’s millions of fans. She launched her first bridal collection earlier this year.
Gisele Bündchen – Sejaa Pure Skincare
She is the highest-paid supermodel in the world and married to NFL superstar quarterback Tom Brady. It doesn’t really get much better than that. But the Brazilian goddess is also a natural skin care entrepreneur with her own line—Sejaa Pure Skincare. The line was inspired by Bündchen’s love for the earth and nature, which is why the line prides itself on creating products with as little impact as possible on the environment.
Christy Turlington – Every Mother Counts
The former supermodel and social entrepreneur became a mother, and that changed her life. In 2010, she directed and produced the documentary No Woman No Cry with the hope of raising awareness about the thousands of women around the world that die in childbirth. This led to her founding Every Mother Counts, a nonprofit promoting safe childbirth for every woman. Turlington was named one of Time Magazine‘s 100 most influential people in 2014.