Inside the Big Business of Being a Famous Parent: How Some Stars Will Cash in Without Even Trying

From famous moms like Jessica Alba who take their experience and go into business to those like expectant mom Amal Clooney who most likely won't—parenthood is still a selling point

By Rebecca Macatee Mar 27, 2017 3:00 PMTags
Pregnant Moms, Business, Beyonce, Amal Clooney, Lauren Conrad, CiaraMelissa Hebeler / E! Illustration

With Beyoncé, Amal Clooney, Lauren Conrad, Whitney Port, Ciara and presumably a few others we don't know about yet all pregnant, a Hollywood baby boom is in full force.

And as their due dates near, these stars—and their significant others—are also getting closer to a possible financial windfall.

Not to say these celebrities will be cashing in on their kids on purpose, but many famous parents can't help but benefit financially after having babies.

"Having a baby makes you more relatable," Jo Piazza, the author of Celebrity Inc: How Famous People Make Money, tells E! News. "It [also] makes you more likable, and relatability and likability inadvertently make fans want to consume your products more. When they like you, they want to go see your movies. They want to buy your CDs. They want to buy your books, and all of that matters."

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Kelly Brady, co-founder and CEO of boutique PR, marketing and branding agency Brandsway, agrees that celebrities often reap the rewards of starting families because of the whole relatability factor. 

"It can sometimes show a softer side where their fans can further identify and connect with them," she tells us, "and they're able to capitalize on [parenthood] in a way that I don't think stars of the past have been able to."

"What it does is that it opens up their personal brand to a new demographic, which can lead to new types of product endorsements," Brady continues. "[It can] also add a new life title to their resume and persona that they can kind of hone in on and be an expert on."

Celeb Baby Bumps

Case in point: Jessica Alba and her success with The Honest Company. As Piazza points out, the actress and mother of two "[has] become an entrepreneur based on her child product lines, on being a mom, on being a mom's advocate."

Courtesy of Stefanie Keenan/WireImage

Having "that massive platform" that comes with being a public figure is quite an advantage in the business world, notes Brady. "When [Alba] says that her products are great for her baby, it's a hard sell. It's a win-win."

Regular momtrepreneurs, if you will, often "try to align with a like-minded celebrity [to generate buzz] for their brand," says Brady. And having that fan base to begin with basically cuts out the middle man. 

That's why both Brady and Piazza foresee Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port's fame from The Hills and their recent lifestyle endeavors serving them well in the mommy market. 

"I'd think that we'll be seeing it probably in the next five minutes with both of them incorporating the concept of babies and motherhood into their brands," says Piazza with a laugh. "There are so many options—for lines of maternity clothes or endorsements for maternity clothes, baby clothes, beautiful baby accessories, beautiful nursery accessories, beautiful strollers—I think the sky's the limit."

But though we've seen plenty of famous moms turning a profit from their own experiences as a parent, the dad market hasn't quite taken off…yet.

Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

"They're not going to come out with their own clothing line, per se, but they could come out with a really cool jogging stroller, or some awesome gadget around baby products."

Brady agrees that it's only a matter of time before we see some famous fathers forging their way into this new frontier. "I was thinking like a Matthew McConaughey, a Mark Wahlberg or a Ryan Reynolds," she says of a potential poptrepreneur. 

But what about the most famous first-time dad (to be) of them all, George Clooney? He probably won't launch a line of baby products, but there's still a very good chance becoming a father will serve him well financially anyway.

Hollywood's Hottest Dads

"George Clooney is already one of the most likable celebrities on the planet, but [becoming a father to twins] is going to boost his likability even more, which will benefit him at the box office," says Piazza. "And we know that box office returns directly translate into what you're making for your next film."

Brady says Clooney having children will likely "[broaden] the type of acting roles that will be offered to him," and "it will open up a new demographic for endorsement deals."

Clooney is already a co-owner of Casamigos Tequila and has a multi-million dollar endorsement deal with Nespresso dating back to 2006. As he moves into the next chapter of his life, Piazza also expects to see "different kinds of brands [looking] to him for endorsements," saying, "You know, you see family-friendly luxury cars all of a sudden coming out of the woodwork, and [it's] not just in the States, but around the world."

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This brings us back to Beyoncé, who's estimated by Forbes to be worth $290 million, while husband Jay Z's net worth cha-chings in at $610 million. Outside of music and touring, their personal brands and other business ventures (including clothing, sports, spirits and countless endorsement deals) were successful even before the birth of daughter Blue Ivy Carter in 2012.

Unnecessary as it seems, it begs the question: Will the Carters' enormous earning potential increase even more when they have three children as opposed to one? The short answer is yes.

"It's hard to say, 'Hey, Beyoncé's gonna get even more famous than Beyoncé," says Piazza. "It's not to say that they become more famous, but you do acquire new and different kinds of fans. It softens you, and it makes you more likable, and those are all things that really matter when it comes to being sellable especially in the world that we're in today with so much different noise."

Brady points out how "everyone went nuts" when Beyoncé announced she was expecting twins. It also regenerated even more interest in the already interesting Carter family. 

"It was a way to have people start talking about Beyoncé again," says Brady. "So much so that my friend that just had twins, it prompted her to post a photo with her and them and say, 'Hey, Beyoncé, if I can do it, you can do it!' It really makes people identify with you."

And at the end of the day, don't we all like to think we have an inner Beyoncé? Most people can't relate to her lavish lifestyle, but fellow parents can connect over the quirks and struggles of pregnancy and the inimitable experience of raising a child. These things in common help fans see Beyoncé as a devoted, loving mother in addition to the queen of everything—and that can fire up the fandom for the superstar supermom, just when you thought she couldn't get any hotter.