It's common to see celebrities dabble in side-careers like singing or film production. But if you've been noticing - celebrities diversifying into legitimate businesses unrelated to their careers has become a recurring theme amongst the fraternity. Many celebrities are now choosing to turn int entrepreneurs. With their wide appeal, social media presence and capital, celebrities are often at an advantage when they decide to build a brand. As a study by Ad Age suggests, a brand that inks an endorsement contract with a celebrity or an athlete observes results as soon as the news goes public - sometimes by sales rising as much as 20% immediately.
Celebrities are not oblivious to this fact - and while some may have decided to cash in on this phenomenon for themselves, many just happen to have other passions that they began to pursue as soon as their careers enabled them. In this post, we bring to you the story of 7 celebrities-turned-entrepreneurs who aimed big and established successful business empires.
Business: Kylie Cosmetics
Net worth: $900 million (2020)
The paparazzi favorite, Kylie Jenner was only 21 years old when Forbes gave her the title of the youngest-ever self-made billionaire. Here's what she's been engaged with on the business end:
- The reality show star and makeup mogul founded Kylie Cosmetics in 2015. She has now diversified and entered into the skincare segment well.
- Her star appeal, social media marketing, extensive distribution network and pricing helped her sell over $630 million worth of makeup in just two years after 2015, including an estimated $330 million in 2017.
Shah Rukh Khan
Business: Kolkata Knight Riders IPL franchise, Red Chillies VFX
Net worth: $600 million (2020)
The king of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, is every bit a successful businessman as he is a popular actor, with a diversified portfolio that he's built over the years. With a production company, cricket team franchise and theme parks, Khan has dabbled into more ventures than most celebrities.
- His first company, Dreamz Unlimited, was founded in 2002. He now owns Red Chillies Entertainment which has few more subsidiaries such as the Red Chillies VFX. It is amongst the largest visual studios in India.
- He also owns a 55% stake in the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise in the Indian Premier League.
- SRK holds a 26% stake in KidZania - a novel theme park that is a combination of education and entertainment.
Net worth: $1.3 billion (2020)
Musician and Grammy-award winning celebrity, Kanye West has surpassed Jay-Z to become the highest-paid star in hip-hop. However:
- It is his footwear and apparel brand, Yeezy, that helped the rapper rake in $150 million in 2019. It is a perfect mix of the good product, positioning and targeting that have made it Nike Air Jordan's biggest rivals.
- As per a Forbes report, Kanye gets a royalty of 15% on the wholesale price and full ownership of his brand.
Business: Wrogn, Chisel
Net worth: $93 million (2020)
With a stellar record in cricket, the Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has already got himself smart business investments.
- His diversified portfolio includes sports ventures, apparel line and a chain of gyms.
- The Indian captain is the co-owner of the International Tennis Premier League franchise UAE Royals and majority stakeholder in club FC Goa.
- Kohli's fashion brand, Wrogn, sells across all major retail outlets across the country and also has 70 offline stores.
- His first fitness venture is a chain of gyms called Chisel. The product differentiator is technology-enabled workouts.
- His second venture is a start-up, Stepathlon Kids which looks to increase awareness regarding health issues among the youth through pedometer-inspired virtual race
Business: Happy x Nature
Net worth: $90 million (2020)
The Hollywood actress has parlayed her workout game into a successful business model. With an extensive distribution network reaching several brick-and-mortar retail locations, Kate Hudson has built a bustling business empire.
- She owns a popular fitness apparel brand, sustainable, ready-to-wear brand Happy x Nature and the digital shop Fabletics which she launched in 2014
- The label, which produces budget workout wear through a membership model, saw triple-digit growth within a few years of launch.
Dwayne' The Rock' Johnson
Business: Athleticon, Project Rock
Net worth: $320 million (2020)
Dwayne has one of the most inspirational stories in Hollywood. From famously having just seven bucks in his pocket to being a pro wrestling sensation and forming his Seven Bucks production Company, Dwayne Jhonson has indeed come a long way. His other business ventures include:
- A business partnership with Under Armour called 'Project Rock', which gave a fillip to the company's sales with merchandise such as bags, sneakers, and more.
- Johnson also released an alarm clock app as part of Project Rock that received over one million downloads in its first week of release.
- In 2016, he also launched his YouTube channel.
- That's not all. In 2019, he announced his competitive bodybuilding show named Athleticon, set to air October 2020 onwards.
Business: Just Water, Fancy.
Net worth: $300 million (2020)
Famous Hollywood actor and rapper Will Smith is also a big name in entrepreneurial circles. A sizable portion of his estimated net worth of $300 million (as of 2020) is attributed to his successful business ventures:
- He is a stakeholder in Fancy; an e-commerce site also referred to as "the Pinterest of fashion."
- He has also co-founded the eco-friendly company Just Water in 2015 with his son Jaden Smith. The water brand packaging is specially designed to help cut down on plastic pollution in the ocean.
- In 2019, Just Water's valuations hit $100 million.
Celebs Are Now More Than Just Entertainers
As entertainment consumers, we've admired these celebrities for their unique art, but after a look at their 'alternate careers', they certainly seem inspirational in more ways than one. Running a successful business venture requires a wide variety of skills and efforts, and these celebrities have leveraged their business acumen and star power to very effectively scale their brands and succeed. Celebrities of the 21st century are now more than just the face of a specific brand. Their primary careers may have a short shelf life, but the successful business models that these celebs have created will endure.