5 Celebrities under 35 turned mega-entrepreneurs

Mar 5, 2014 at 10:30 p.m. ET

These young stars have used their entertainment success as a platform to launch very successful businesses.

I’ve always been impressed by actors, singers and models who get degrees or invest their money wisely when they are at the top of their game. Not unlike professional athletes, so many young people get swept up in success and don’t think past their climax of popularity. Realistically, looks fade and fans are fickle, so a backup plan is never a bad idea.

There is a growing trend of young stars using their success as a platform to launch very lucrative businesses.

Here are five celebrities under the age of 35 who have parlayed their Hollywood success into business success, following in the footsteps of the likes of Paul Newman, Robert De Niro, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Gwen Stefani and Jay Z.

Jessica Alba (32)

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I have to say, Jessica Alba is one of my favorite celebrities-turned-entrepreneurs. They say necessity is the mother of all invention, and I believe it. Jessica Alba created The Honest Company to keep parents in the know. The company is dedicated to creating the safest, non-toxic, healthiest family and baby products around delivered directly to your home. They want to redefine the idea of the family brand.

I find it inspiring that, like many new moms, Alba wanted effective, unquestionably safe, eco-friendly, beautiful and affordable products for her family and when she couldn’t find it on the shelves, she went out and created it. Talk about being the change you want to see in the world!

Mary Kate and Ashley Olson (27)

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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen aren’t known for playing the adorable Michelle Tanner from Full House any longer. Now, they are all grown-up and savvy businesswomen. Talk about using your celebrity to springboard into other opportunities, the sisters started their business career soon after leaving Full House. They formed Dualstar Entertainment, a billion-dollar retail business which is owned primarily by the twins. It is a retail and entertainment production and investment company that makes straight-to-video movies, clothes and toys. More currently, they embarked on a fashion venture with a clothing line that generates $1 billion in retail sales. They also created StyleMint, a shopping website. These young ladies are about as business-savvy as you can get.

Kim Kardashian (33)

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Turns out Kim Kardashian is more than just a pretty face with great taste in clothes and a knack for living in the limelight. She’s gone from being famous for her sex tape to starting her own multi-million dollar clothing empire. Along with her sisters, she owns the DASH clothing boutiques and has also launched the K-Dash clothing line, as well as the Kardashian Kollection at Sears. Kim has also released five different perfumes and is the co-founder of ShoeDazzle. This new mom is busy building an empire. I don’t know how she does it.

Justin Timberlake (33)

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Justin Timberlake has also been busy doing more than just bringing sexy back! He has invested in three restaurants in California, a golf course and even owns a part of the Memphis Grizzlies. In 2012, he made a huge investment and became one of the primary shareholders in the new MySpace. As if that were not enough, the dapper Timberlake has designed a clothing label for Target and has developed his own brand of tequila, 901. Talk about a varied portfolio. Mr. Timberlake seems to have left no business stone unturned.

Jessica Simpson (33)

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I remember Jessica Simpson as the fun-loving, lighthearted newlywed of Nick Lachey. Who could forget her confusion about tuna being chicken of the sea? But she has grown up a lot since those days. The pop star has transitioned into a very successful businesswoman, and one day I won’t be surprised if people remember her as Jessica Simpson, that business mogul who used to sing, and not the other way around. Her fashion line, JSC (The Jessica Simpson Collection), caters towards midrange fashion consumers (like you and me). She hit $1 billion in sales in 2004. Since then Jessica has added an e-commerce beauty online retail store and has expanded her line to include lingerie, makeup and fragrances. I am convinced that there is absolutely nothing that this mother of two can’t achieve in the business world.