The glitter of showbusiness eventually fades, and these business-minded celebrities seem to know that too well. So it comes as no surprise that they’ve wisened up to invest or open a business as their sideline — and maybe when their stars fade, they have something to fall back on.
Celebrities have parlayed their fame into other outlets such as starting a business. True, many of the celebrity-backed businesses have notoriously gone down the drain (despite the A-lister banner, or it’s more because it’s too ritzy and pricey). But the following ventures you’re about to read have become successful — we guess it takes more than a mere celebrity name to make a business click.
1. Paul Newman
Many of us (especially the older ones) know that the late Paul Newman was once a popular Hollywood heartthrob on account of his boyish blond good looks and piercing blue eyes. But nowadays, he’s more known for his company, Newman’s Own, which he established with author A.E. Hotchner in 1982. It is a non-profit company which makes food products like salad dressing, drinks, pasta sauce, popcorn, and frozen meals, among others. Thanks to Newman’s philanthropic philosophy, its after-tax profits are given away to charity. Even after Newman’s death in 2008, the company’s charitable principles still haven’t changed.
2. Phoebe Cates
Phoebe Cates was every man’s fantasy way back in the 80s as they were watching her films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High. But she hasn’t acted since her last cinematic appearance in 2001, and nowadays she’s been devoting more time to being a wife to Oscar-winning actor and comedian Kevin Kline, a mother to their two children, as well as a businesswoman. In 2005 Cates opened her boutique named Blue Tree, on the Upper East Side in New York City. You may see her personally when you drop by at the store, as Cates manages the store herself.
3. Robert DeNiro
One of the most successful celebrity entrepreneurs is Oscar-winning actor Robert DeNiro. There are many business ventures under his belt, which include the film studio TriBeCa Productions, as well as upscale food joints TriBeCa Grill, Nobu and Ago (which have numerous locations in the US and abroad), and Greenwich Hotel.
Besides being a successful rapper and producer, Jay-Z has also proven himself to be a successful entrepreneur as well. He began extending his interests to business way back in the 1990s, and has since owned a number of ventures that range from clothing to real estate. In 1993, he co-founded the clothing brand Rocawear; in 2004, he sold it to Iconix Brand Group to the tune of $204 million. Jay-Z is also the co-owner of the 40/40 Club, a trendy sports bar which has its roots in New York City but has since spread to other locations.
5. Francis Ford Coppola
When you hear the name Francis Ford Coppola, you automatically think of his greatest masterpieces like The Godfather films and Apocalypse Now. Nowadays though, you may be seeing him less and less at a movie set and more often in a vineyard. In 1975 he used some of the profits from his first Godfather film to open a winery named Inglenook Winery in Napa Valley, California. He also owns the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, a more family-friendly winery in Sonoma Valley.
6. Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba’s entrepreneurial passion was inspired by an allergic reaction she experienced during her childhood. In 2011, Alba launched The Honest Co., which sells a line of non-toxic, hypo-allergenic and organic-based home products from sunscreens to detergents. By 2015 the company is valued at $1.7 million.
7. Dr. Dre
Sometimes, adding your own name to the brand can boost your company’s image. Such is the case of Dr. Dre (born Andre Romelle Young), a rapper/producer who is also famous for his line of headphones and audio products called Beats by Dr. Dre. The company was co-founded by Dr. Dre and Geffen A&M Records chairman Jimmy Iovine, after they both felt disappointment by Apple’s flimsy plastic earphones. Beats by Dr. Dre became successful and even transformed itself into a cultural phenomenon. Nowadays, the company is now called Beats Electronics and is now a subsidiary of Apple.