Gilbert Carrasquillo-Jason Merritt-Karwai Tang/Getty Images
by Samantha Schnurr | Mon., Jun. 27, 2016 4:00 AM
Gilbert Carrasquillo-Jason Merritt-Karwai Tang/Getty Images
When it comes to making a financial splash in Hollywood, these women prove it does not hurt to dip into your secret hobby.
While we've come to know the following list of famous women primarily as actresses, singers, models and reality stars, they've managed to turn their side hustles into full-fledged businesses—many even more lucrative than the careers they first forged in their earliest years in the spotlight.
A Real Housewife turned diet cocktail queen, an action siren simultaneously running a domestic empire and an actress transforming female roles from behind the cameras—these are just a few examples of the kind of successful second acts American culture has witnessed from this group of impressive women at the head of the boardroom.
Topping the list of Hollywood's most prominent and powerful female entrepreneurs in a crossover industry is Jessica Alba. The world first learned her name as as an aspiring teenage actress and early Golden Globe nominee. However, in addition to a continuous career in front of the camera, the mother of two has also redefined cleaning supplies with The Honest Company, a consumer goods brand she co-founded in 2011.
Between formula, diapers, tampons, dish soap and detergent, the company aims to provide organic, non-toxic versions of many of the products people use in their daily lives.
"I made a deal with the universe: If I was able to manifest my dreams, then I would try to do good in some way," Alba, who was often sick and hospitalized as a child herself, told InStyle in June.
The company has also managed to manifest a major fortune for the star. Despite a few legal setbacks since its opening, the Honest Company is, according to Forbes, worth an estimated 1 billion dollars and has afforded Alba a $200 million fortune.
Perhaps the name is a good luck charm as the next lady on our list if Jessica Simpson, the reigning pop princess of the early 2000s who's turn with trendsetting fashion launched her into a brand new tax bracket.
The Jessica Simpson Collection, introduced in 2006, has brought the native Texan's name to clothing tags all around the country. Since it's launch, the brand has grown to include clothing, swimwear, shoes, accessories, handbags and fragrances.
"I just like to wear cowboy boots," she told Women's Wear Daily. "Somehow they kept walking,"
The brand's recent annual sales have exceeded $1 billion, as reported by Forbes. Now that's what we call a high heel budget.
Courtesy: Diane Bondareff/Invision for Skinnygirl Cocktails/AP Images
While she was pumping television ratings as one of the ladies on The Real Housewives of New York, Bethenny Frankel's mind was in the kitchen crafting what would become one of the most lucrative beverage brands of the new millennium.
By the time she reached 40, the chef had authored several diet and wellness books and had launched Skinnygirl cocktails, a line of figure-friendly mixes of classic alcoholic beverages like margaritas, sangrias and mojitos. The line has since expanded to include wine and flavored vodkas.
Frankel later sold the Skinnygirl brand to Beam Global. While the sale price has never been entirely confirmed (blame confidentiality agreements) Forbes reported "at least" $64 million with promise of future payout if the brand reached certain sales levels—which it did. A year after the transaction, profits reportedly soared and an approximate $25 million more went to Frankel's wallet.
Ian Gavan/Getty Images
She may be an heiress, but Paris Hilton has amassed a new fortune all her own.
Long gone are the days of the Simple Life, but the socialite has honed in on the same public appeal she harnessed in the early 2000s to build a global empire all her own.
She came to America as Posh Spice and dropped the spice for something even more nice—a fashion line setting the standard at New York Fashion Week for nearly a decade.
The formerly named Designer Brand of the Year is currently worth an estimated 60 million—in pounds.
With a resumé like Tyra Banks,' we'd head right to the bank. The American icon first rose to fame on the runway as a teenage couture model. After forging a legendary career in fashion, she converted her industry expertise into entrepreneurial pursuits like creating, hosting and executive producing one of the first reality television competitions, America's Next Top Model.
The show launched under Bankable Productions, the star's very own production company, which also hosted her talk show, The Tyra Banks Show, for its five year run.
Recently, she debuted her own cosmetics line, Tyra Beauty, which is now available for purchase on her self-titled website. So, how much is the entire Tyra empire currently worth? An estimated $90 million in the banks.
Kim Kardashian is the undeniable ruler of reality, but even someone who crafted the art of personal life for profit continues to push the financial boundaries with surprising new ventures—a cellphone game to start.
When it seemed like the mogul could not master another industry, she proved everyone wrong when she launched Kim Kardashian: Hollywood in the app store just two years ago.
If Kim is teaching a business class, we'll be in the front row.
At first, she played a shoe connoisseur on television, but Sarah Jessica Parker, the woman who made Carrie Bradshaw a household name, was harboring a love for stilettos in real life.
An HBO series and three children later, the acclaimed actress launched a shoe line, the SJP Collection. While no small feat, the works of toe art are now available for sale at Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom's and Zappos to name a few. At around $350 a pair, they cost as much of a penny as they are pretty and success seems to have followed in her footsteps. Since its debut, the line has expanded to feature handbags, a bridal shoe collection and possibilities for children's shoes.
While there is no value publicly attached to the project as of yet, with Parker's name along the soles of more and more fashionistas' feet, that alone sounds like a crossover success.
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Rounding out the list is Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon. While she's boasted a silver screen career worthy of acting textbooks, the Louisiana native still had one very important role up her sleeve—producer.
After suffering from the industry's complete lack of complex female roles as an actress, Witherspoon decided to take matters into her own hands and Pacific Standard was born. The book worm's early strategy featured buying the rights to novels she devoured and turning them into films. The company's initial projects, Gone Girl and Wild, resulted in over $400 million at the box office combined and three Academy Award nominations in total.
As Witherspoon already looks into developing content for television and mobile, it's clear this is just a successful start to what seems like a desperately needed industry-changing venture.
"I believe ambition is not a dirty word. It's just believing in yourself and your abilities," she said during the 2015 Glamour Women of the Year ceremony. "Imagine this: What would happen if we were all brave enough to be a little bit more ambitious? I think the world would change."
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