Businesses You Didn’t Know Were Owned by Your Favorite Celebrities
There’s no doubt that celebrity sells products. After all, nothing makes you crave a hamburger or need another pair of shoes more than a celebrity endorsement. Stars often take their fame to the next level by founding their own brands and companies.
Some personalities — like media mogul Oprah and youngest self-made billionaire Kylie Jenner — are now more famous for their entrepreneurial spirit, others are low-key about their side businesses. Here’s your chance to explore 30 businesses you didn’t know were owned by big-name celebrities.
PINOT | Tituss Burgess
When actor Tituss Burgess landed a role on Tina Fey’s offbeat comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, he probably didn’t expect an Emmy nomination — let alone a line of pinot noir. Thanks to a tongue-in-cheek, in-show music video called "Peeno Noir," Burgess became a viral sensation.
Aviation Gin | Ryan Reynolds
Deadpool (2016) star Ryan Reynolds purchased Aviation Gin in 2018 — all because of a really good negroni he couldn’t help but order again and again. Reynolds soon realized it wasn’t so much the cocktail, but the gin that kept him coming back for more.
Handsomecharlie Films | Natalie Portman
Starting up a production company isn’t anything new for actors who want to try something new — and control their own projects. However, you probably didn’t know that Academy Award-winner Natalie Portman stepped into the behind-the-scenes game too. Handsomecharlie Films, which is named after her late dog, launched in 2008.
Reddit | Snoop Dogg
Founded by University of Virginia roommates Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in 2005, Reddit was acquired by parent company Condé Nast just a year later. In 2014, Reddit gained some well-known investors, although one backer landed firmly outside the usual Silicon Valley crowd — rapper Snoop Dogg.
Kode with Klossy | Karlie Kloss
In an article for Teen Vogue, fashion model and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss wrote that she has always been a math and science nerd. For her, there’s a meaningful intersection between fashion, technology and creativity. Around 2014, Kloss took a coding class just to satiate a curiosity, but it launched something huge.
BIRD Bakery | Elizabeth Chambers & Armie Hammer
Actress Elizabeth Chambers — with support from husband Armie Hammer — helms a delectable side business called BIRD Bakery. Based in San Antonio, BIRD offers up nostalgic, made-from-scratch treats based on Chambers’ family recipes.
Sauza 901 Tequila | Justin Timberlake
After a stint with Bud Light in 2013, pop star Justin Timberlake really got into the spirit by partnering with Sauza Liquors. In 2014, Timberlake relaunched his signature beverage, dubbed Sauza 901 after his hometown area code — shoutout to Memphis — and for the time of night when the partying kicks into high gear.
Funny or Die | Will Ferrell
The popular comedy video website and production company Funny or Die was founded in 2007 by Adam McKay, Mark Kvamme, Chris Henchy and, most notably, Will Ferrell. The Anchorman (2004) comedian also starred in the website’s first video, "The Landlord," which has received more than 84 million views.
Chicagoist | Chance the Rapper
Instead of announcing his latest business venture on the very news site he acquired, Chance the Rapper divulged the scoop in the 2018 song "I Might Need Security." The news site in question was the Chicagoist, a local Windy City-based publication.
V Starr Interiors | Venus Williams
If you combine her singles’ and doubles’ wins, tennis champion Venus Williams has an impressive 21 Grand Slam victories under her belt. But that’s not the only venture she has aced. In 2002, Williams started her Florida-based interior design firm, V Starr Interiors, to satisfy a passion she had wanted to act on since childhood.
A-Grade Investments | Ashton Kutcher
In 2010, Jobs (2013) actor Ashton Kutcher went method well before he portrayed Apple’s Steve Jobs on screen. With assists from entertainment manager Guy Oseary and investor Ron Burkle, Kutcher founded A-Grade Investments, a venture capital firm focused on bolstering technology startups.
Naja | Gina Rodriguez
More than a mere collaboration or a celebrity marketing campaign, Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez started her first venture in the fashion world with Naja in 2015. As co-founder, Rodriguez is particularly excited about the lingerie company’s ability to make a difference — for its employees and the environment.
SPiN | Susan Sarandon
In 2016, Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon got into the ever-growing celebrity-owned bar and restaurant game. However, Sarandon’s endeavor is more of a social club — and it serves up something completely different: table tennis.
Crystal Head Vodka | Dan Aykroyd
After becoming fascinated with stories behind the crystal skulls and frustrated that there was no additive-free vodka on the market, actor Dan Aykroyd conceived Crystal Head Vodka. In partnership with artist John Alexander, Aykroyd created unique bottle of quadruple-distilled, seven-times-filtered vodka that hit shelves in 2008.
JUST Water | Jaden Smith
When Jaden Smith was 12-years-old, he wanted to create a more sustainable replacement for plastic bottles. With a little help from his parents, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Jaden’s dream became a reality in 2015 in the form of JUST Water.
Whoopi & Maya | Whoopi Goldberg
In 2016, actor and TV personality Whoopi Goldberg partnered with "canna-businesswoman" Maya Elisabeth to launch Whoopi & Maya, a medical-marijuana company. Unlike competitors, this business aims to help women and people suffering from menstrual cramps.
The Honest Company | Jessica Alba
Hollywood star Jessica Alba decided to shift gears in 2008, following the birth of her first child. After struggling with childhood illness herself — and struggling to find baby products free of petrochemicals and synthetic fragrances — Alba took matters into her own hands with The Honest Company.
Workout Videos & Pole-Dancing Kits | Carmen Electra
Former Baywatch star Carmen Electra told Hollywood Life that she’s still "all about the cardio," with dancing remaining a favorite form of exercise. Back in the early 2000s, fans could also dance — in a manner of speaking — alongside Electra, thanks to her popular workout video Aerobic Striptease.
Marshfield Hills General Store | Steve Carell
Comedian and The Office star Steve Carell revealed on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show that he’s a bit of an average Joe. In fact, the Acton, Massachusetts, native owns a general store — not in his hometown — in Marshfield Hills, another Massachusetts gem.
Chong's Choice | Tommy Chong
The Chong’s Choice website fondly dubs founder Tommy Chong "America’s Sweetheart of Cannabis." Based on what you probably know of comedy duo Cheech and Chong — who launched the "Stoner Comedy" genre — this is a fair assessment. For years, Chong has worked to destigmatize the herb, and now fans can benefit from his decades of expertise.
Crowdrise | Edward Norton
Founded in 2010 by actor Edward Norton, producer Shauna Robertson and the founders of Moosejaw, Crowdrise is a for-profit crowdfunding platform. Instead of kickstarting film projects, however, Crowdrise raises charitable donations.
Newman’s Own | Paul Newman
From salad dressings and salsas to Oreo-adjacent Newman-O’s, Newman’s Own food company has been creating delicious products since 1982. Sure, you may know about this one. After all, Paul Newman’s face is all over his various food product lines, but other wealthy folks could learn something from Newman’s endeavor.
Ocean Therapy Solutions | Kevin Costner
Ocean Therapy Solutions isn’t a fancy sensory deprivation tank that will help you meditate better. It’s a company owned by actor Kevin Costner that specializes in developing centrifugal oil-water separators — also quite a mouthful.
Bionic Yarn | Pharrell Williams
Musician and producer Pharrell Williams is making waves in the fashion industry — and it doesn’t have anything to do with his famous hats. Williams is promoting Bionic Yarn, a company that makes sustainable textiles.
App & Amazon Store | Jeremy Renner
Actor Jeremy Renner may be most well known these days for playing Hawkeye in the Avengers franchise. But in the same way Renner’s superhero alter-ego has been dubbed the "worst Avenger" by the internet at large, his latest business ventures have also been at the center of some serious scoffing.
22 Days Nutrition | Beyoncé Knowles
Beyoncé gave fans a beyond epic performance in Homecoming. Last year, she revealed that part of the reason for her recovery was her dedication to a healthier lifestyle — namely, the 22 Days Nutrition program developed by trainer Marco Borges.
ShoeDazzle | Kim Kardashian
Founded in 2009 by reality star Kim Kardashian (and Brian Lee, Robert Shapiro and M.J. Eng), ShoeDazzle is an online fashion subscription service. Each month new shoes, handbags and jewelry debut on ShoeDazzle — and personalized picks are displayed in a virtual showroom.
HipCamp | Will Smith & Jay-Z
If you thought "glamping" — bougie glamour camping — was just a fad, think again. Hipcamp online marketplace helps users discover and book camping experiences suited to their interests. They can search for campsites based on elements such as amenities and landscape, for example.
CÎROC | Sean “Diddy” Combs
CÎROC, a brand of eau-de-vie vodka, is manufactured using grapes from France, which makes it sound super fancy — or at least fancier than a handle of Smirnoff. In 2007, the brand was struggling to sell a mere 40,000 cases, so rapper-turned-brand ambassador Sean "Diddy" Combs partnered with the maker in what was dubbed an "equal-share venture."
Goop | Gwyneth Paltrow
Okay, chances are you’ve probably heard of this last one, but how could we make a list of celebrity-owned businesses and just ignore the Goop in the room? The self-described "natural health company" is owned by Academy Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who initially launched it as a "lifestyle brand" in 2008.