Bethenny Frankel is a reality TV star, author, chef and mom. She’s also a successful entrepreneur — and now her new daytime talk show, Bethenny, is premiering Sept. 9. Of course, Frankel isn’t the only celebrity to dive headfirst into the world of business. These other inspirational celebrities have become very successful business leaders, too.
They might be successful actors, musicians or models, but all these celebrities caught the entrepreneur bug. These ladies are passionate about business and have started their own companies (or made investments in other ventures). Like Bethenny Frankel, these savvy entrepreneurs are redefining what it means to have it all.
There’s no doubt that Gwen Stefani knows her stuff when it comes to music and fashion design. She doesn’t just lend her name to fashion labels — she’s all in. Stefani is fully involved with her L.A.M.B. brand, which has clothing, accessories, fragrances and more. The line reportedly brings in over $100 million in sales annually. She also founded another brand, Harajuku Lovers, in 2005.
Yes, we all know that Sandra Bullock is one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. But did you also know that she’s a smart businesswoman? Bullock is the owner of Bess Bistro in Austin, Texas — a comfort-food restaurant with tasty burgers and homemade mac-and-cheese on the menu. She didn’t stop there. Bullock is truly invested in the community, also owning a bakery and deli down the street.
When her smiling face arrived on the Food Network back in 2001, Rachael Ray became a seemingly overnight success. Before you knew it, Ray had turned the gig into a popular media and merchandising empire with multiple Food Network shows, numerous cookbooks, a magazine, a syndicated talk show and tons of other products — from cookware to cat food. In 2006, she launched a charitable organization called Yum-o!, which empowers family relationships through cooking.
She started out as a pop singer, went on to help develop a popular fashion brand and from there built a media empire. Despite criticism about everything from her weight to her clothes to her love life, Jessica Simpson always rises to the top. The 33-year-old mother of two is very successful, as her brand is projected to break $1 billion in sales this year. That would be a first for any celebrity clothing line.
You can’t talk about celebrity entrepreneurs without talking about Oprah. Even though her income dropped by more than half after her talk show went off the air in 2011, Oprah is still on top of all the celebrity entrepreneurs. Her production company (Harpo Productions) continues to produce successful TV series and films, and it seems everything she touches turns to gold. Her TV channel, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, is produced by Harpo Productions in conjunction with Discovery Communications. Oprah is a billionaire a couple of times over.
Actress, author and former supermodel Tyra Banks is more than just a pretty face. She takes her business life very seriously, having enrolled in Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program in 2011. She runs an independent film and television production company, Bankable Productions, and is the creator and host of America’s Next Top Model and co-creator of True Beauty. We can’t forget that she was also a talk-show host, like Frankel, with The Tyra Banks Show — which aired for five seasons.