15 Celebrities Who Became Successful Entrepreneurs

  •    Meredith Wood is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera, an online marketplace for small business loans.

These days it seems like our favorite celebrities never stick to the original career path that made them famous. While it is common for actors to dabble in singing or for singers to take a swing at acting, more and more celebrities are turning to a completely new field — entrepreneurship.

Let’s take a look at 15 celebrities who crossed into the business world and started their own businesses.

1. Victoria Beckham

Many years ago, Victoria Beckham was one-fifth of the major British girl group, the Spice Girls. However, since ending her time as an international pop star, Victoria Beckham has dabbled in the business world. In 2009, Victoria opened her first boutique in London. Since then, she’s grown into a major fashion name in the U.K. and around the world.

2. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were no stranger to the spotlight growing up. Not only did they begin their career as a baby, but they were running their own empire while other girls their age were in elementary school. The twins have left acting behind to focus on fashion, starting their own company The Row in 2006.

3. Jay-Z

Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, is one of the many rappers who has turned their music career into something more. One of the most successful individuals in the hip hop industry, Jay-Z is also one of the co-founders of the Roc-A-Fella empire. This includes everything from films to clothing. He is also the owner of Tidal, a music streaming service.

4. George Clooney

Many of us know George Clooney as the silver fox who appears in many of our favorite movies. However, he does a lot more than just act. In fact, George started his own tequila company, which he recently sold for $1 billion.

5. Jessica Alba

You probably know Jessica Alba from her most popular movies, like Fantastic Four and Honey, but acting isn’t the only thing she does. In 2012, Jessica entered the world of entrepreneurship with her all-natural product line, Honest Company. By creating awesome baby products using only natural ingredients, Jessica Alba and Honest Company were able to become an instant success.

6. Nicole Richie

In the early 2000s, Nicole Richie was known for being Paris Hilton’s best friend. The two spent most of their time partying, appearing on reality TV shows, and being young socialites. However, Nicole Richie left that scene in the dust by becoming the founder of her jewelry line House of Harlow 1960.

7. Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon is another actress who has taken her talents to other areas of the film world. In 2010, Reese co-founded the production company, Pacific Standard. With the goal to create movies from novels, Reese and Pacific
Standard have produced major hits, including Gone Girl and Wild.

8. Tony Hawk

Tony Hawk is probably one of the most recognizable names in professional skateboarding. However, he’s also been an entrepreneur for quite some time. All the way back in 1992, Tony started his own skateboard manufacturing company, Birdhouse Skateboards. In addition to Birdhouse, Tony also helped create multiple skateboarding video games in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

9. Venus Williams

Venus Williams is a star both on the tennis court and off. As the CEO of not one, but two companies, Venus is a sensational entrepreneur. She not only leads a clothing line, EleVen, but also V Starr Interiors, an interior design firm where she works on celebrity condos and resorts — all in addition to dominating in women’s tennis.

10. Lauren Conrad

Lauren Conrad began her time in the spotlight as a high school student on the reality TV show Laguna Beach. As she grew older, she continued her time with reality TV before branching off on her own to start something new. Today, Lauren Conrad owns a website, a clothing line, and has authored a few books, both fiction and nonfiction.

11. LeBron James

LeBron James is another athlete that has taken his talents off the court. While he may be one of the best basketball players of our day, he has also created his own sports marketing agency. Back in 2006, he created LRMR alongside Maverick Carter.

12. Mark Wahlberg

Most know Mark Wahlberg as the early-90’s rap icon who transitioned into one of the most recognizable actors of our time. But did you know he's also a restaurateur? That's right. In 2011 the actor formerly known as “Marky Mark” opened a restaurant called Wahlburgers with his two brothers, Donnie and Paul. Since then, the chain has spread to many locations across the U.S., from their home state of Massachusetts to Las Vegas, and even New York’s Coney Island.

13. Sophia Vergara

Sophia Vergara is another actress who has been in the entrepreneur world for many years. She created Latin World Entertainment to represent the Latino community within the United States entertainment industry. Since founding the talent management firm back in 1994, Sophia has become a powerhouse both on and off the screen.

14. Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston is one of the most popular actresses around. From her time on Friends to starring in major films, it’s surprising that Jennifer finds time for anything else. However, Jennifer jumped into entrepreneurship in 2012 by becoming co-owner of Living Proof, a haircare company that offers a number of solutions for beautiful hair.

15. Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson has had many different roles throughout her years. From singer to reality TV star to actress, she’s always been in the public eye. However, she’s seemingly been most successful as a fashion designer. While her shoes are the most popular, Jessica Simpson also has clothing and cosmetics in her collection.

Celebrities are no longer sticking to just one specialty.

While these fifteen celebs have entered the world of business and become entrepreneurs, they are just a few of the successful individuals coming from Hollywood. Hopefully these stories will inspire you to pursue your own dreams and find success.