Let’s be honest, our relationship with celebrities is an odd one – we are often simultaneously in both awe and envy of their high pay and glam lifestyles.
Many really aren’t worth reading about or thinking about.
But others…well, some of them are not only talented singers, actors, musicians or whatever. They also have some business sense and run successful companies on the side.
You would be surprised what some of them are in to as well!
But it shows that even if you have a busy life and a serious job, you can still set something up on the side that can be pretty successful in its own right. Of course it helps if you’re a celeb, but these ideas could give you a nudge to set up your own money-maker on the side.
1. Elizabeth Hurley
Elizabeth Hurley is an English actress and model, and best known for her role in the first Austin Powers movie and for playing the Devil in 2000’s Bedazzled (not many people can put that on their CV.) She has also worked closely with the Estee Lauder Company.
She has launched, perhaps not particularly surprisingly given her status as a model, beach products, including swimwear for children and adults.
More surprising are her organic products which she produced from her own 400 acre farm in Gloucestshire. She teamed up with Harrods to produce organic snacks that were all produced from her farm.
In 2009 she joined up with Prince Charle’s organic food company, Duchy Originals, and continued to sell meat and vegetables from her farm. In fact, most shocking of all, it is believed she did a lot of her own farming.
All good things must come to an end, however, and in June 2014 it was reported that she would be selling her farm, for a cool £6 million no less!
Venus Williams is an American professional tennis player, former world number one and considered to be one of the greatest players of all time.
For most people that would probably be enough, but not for Venus Williams.
She owns her own interior design company, V Starr, which she set up in 2002.
She did so without any experience in the interior design business, but compared the journey of starting from the bottom and learning as you go to that of her tennis career.
3. Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner is a familiar face to any film enthusiast, having starred in many iconic films such as ‘The Untouchables’, ‘Dances With Wolves’, ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’, ‘The Bodyguard’ and many more.
Somehow he has also found the time to involve himself with several business ventures.
He owns the Midnight Star casino in South Dekota and opened an educational attraction in 2004 about America’s westward expansion called ‘Tatanka: The story of the Bison.’
Most notably Costner, being a passionate environmentalist, began developing oil separation machines in 1995 based on a patent he bought from the US government.
He also purchased Ocean Therapy Solutions, which specialises in developing centrifugal oil-water separators (don’t worry, we’re not exactly sure what those are either), for $24 million.
His machines weren’t particularly used until the Deepwater Oil Spill in 2010, which saw six of the machines being tested by the government and, as a result, 32 leased by BP. Not bad, hey!?
4. Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba is an American actress who came to fame in the television series Dark Angel when she was just 19, and went on to appear in films such as Sin City, Into the Blue and Fantastic Four. She even has the accolade of being declared sexiest woman in the world in 2007 by FHM.
But Alba is certainly not just a pretty face, she is also an astute business woman.
Alba co-founded The Honest Company with Christopher Gavigan.
They were moved to set up the company because they wanted to find the perfect products for their babies – products that were safe, eco-friendly and affordable.
The company is going from strength to strength, with Alba taking a very hands on approach, and the company was expected to make an annual revenue of over $150 million for 2014.
Will.i.am (real name William Adams) is an American singer and rapper, probably best known for being a founding member of hip hop group ‘The Black Eyed Peas.’
He has also released four solo albums and has produced music with an impressive collection of artists including Rihanna, U2 and Michael Jackson.
If you’re not a fan of his music, you may recognise him as a judge on singing show ‘The Voice’ (the one with the swivel chairs). He’s even done a spot of acting – including the truly awful, but undeniably successful, ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine.’
Will.i.am also has several successful business ventures on the go. In January 2011 he was named director of creative innovation at Intel Corp. and he plans to start his own car company (IAMAUTO) and release accessories for the iPhone (including a camera enhancer he calls the ‘i.am+’) .
If you’re still not sure if Will.i.am has been quite productive enough, he also founded ‘i.am angel’ (you may be noticing a pattern in the naming) which is a non-profit foundation that aims to ‘transform lives through education, inspiration and opportunity.’ He has said that he hopes that the kids he inspires and teaches don’t only want to be singers because what the world really needs is another Bill Gates… hear, hear!
6. Phil Vickery
If you’re a fan of daytime TV then you’ll probably recognise Phil Vickery (husband of TV presenter Fern Britton) as a regular celebrity chef on ‘This Morning’. He has also appeared on ‘Ready Steady Cook’ over 200 times and has written twelve books.
Vickery is also in the farming business, and has his own successful pig farm in Buckinghamshire. In fact, Vickery has become such an expert in pork that he co-wrote the book ‘Pork: Preparing, curing and cooking all that’s possible from a pig’ with expert butcher Simon Boddy!
7. Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher began his career as career as a model but soon made his move into acting. His film roster might not be quite as sterling as some other actors on the list, being famous for movies such as ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’, ‘The Butterfly Effect’ and ‘What happens in Vegas’, but there’s no denying the man’s success. He is also creator, producer and host of ‘Punk’d’ – a celebrity prank show which is in equal turn entertaining and headache inducing.
Kutcher is a savvy investor and business man who has invested in an Italian restaurant, Dolce, and Japanese-themed restaurant, Geisha House. He has invested in a lot of technology start-ups as well (including Skype) and was part of the management team for Ooma. He also launched his own Twitter client in 2011 with UberMedia called A.plus. Don’t let his repertoire of films fool you, Kutcher has a good business mind.
8. Clint Eastwood
Hopefully Clint Eastwood won’t be remembered by the younger generation for his cringeworthy ‘chair speech’ where he awkwardly spoke to an imaginary Obama, because Eastwood has made a tremendous contribution to film. He rose to fame in Sergio Leone’s ‘Man with No Name’ and went on to play the iconic Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry films. He also is a successful director and won Academy Awards for his films ‘Unforgiven’ and ‘Million Dollar Baby.’
On top of that, Clint Eastwood also has a few successful businesses on his hands. He owns the Tehama Golf Club in Carmel, California and, perhaps more bizarrely, Mission Ranch Resort which is also in Carmel. The ranch was one of the first dairy farms in California and was set to be sold to Condo developers until Eastwood, being a longtime Carmel resident, stepped in and saved it. It is now a popular tourist destination.
Not quite as exiting a popular Carmel dairy farm, but find out how you can make money fruit picking.
9. Carmen Electra and Kendra Wilkinson
Ok, this is technically two celebrities, but they both are doing more or less the same thing. Both Carmen Electra and Kendra Wilkinson made their name as glamour models, particularly associated with Playboy. Electra went on to appear in Baywatch and a number of (truly awful) parody movies. Wilkinson was one of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends and became a reality TV star in a television series following the life of Playboy girls. She recently raised her UK profile thanks to her appearance on ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity.’
They have both have set-up side businesses selling pole dancing poles, seemingly agreeing with the mantra that you should stick with what you know. However it is not as seedy as it may initially sound. The poles are sold as a way for women to exercise and keep in shape – in fact Kendra has a signature ‘Sports Pole.’
10. Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake made his name in the boy band NSYNC but went on to have a successful singing career – each of his albums sold more than 7 million copies! He then went on to have a successful acting career, starring in a string of good films including ‘The Social Network’ and ‘Friends with benefits.’
For most people that would be enough, but not for Timberlake. Not only has he made a range of successful endorsements but he launched the William Rast clothing line with his childhood friend. He also purchased a rundown golf course in his home town in Tennessee and turned it into the eco-friendly Mirimichi Golf Course for which he won the Future Award at the Environmental Media Awards. On top of that he and his wife, actress Jessica Biel, are minority owners of the Memphis Grizzlies (an American basketball team based in Tennessee.)
11. Jane Asher
Jane Asher is an English actress who was at one point engaged to Paul McCartney. She began work early as a child actress, appearing in 1952’s ‘Mandy’ and 1955’s ‘The Quatermass Xperiment’, and went on to have a successful career in film and television.
Asher is also a savvy entrepreneur. She has published three novels, is a shareholder in Private Eye and has a lot of charity involvement.
She is perhaps now best known for her kitchenware, which is sold in stores across the country, and her party cakes. There is a Jane Asher Party Cakes store in Chelsea and long before The Great British Bake-Off Asher was inspiring many Brits to take to the kitchen and get sugar-frosting.
Also, do you have a side business? Is it going well or is it struggling?
Tell us about it in the comments below. Maybe we can all help!