Side hustles are often born out of necessity. We either need some extra cash in the bank, or we’re desperate for a way to express our creativity.
As it turns out, celebrities are no different.
Take Gwyneth Paltrow, for instance. She told the New York Times she started her lifestyle website Goop only because “it was a way to have some freedom.” She wanted a place to share recipes and travel tips; she wasn’t seeking out a side business. But fast forward a few years, Goop is leading the celebrity lifestyle pack.
Of course, it’s not new to see a star shill something on the side; it’s been happening for years. But gone are the days when launching a fragrance or a book was enough. These days, celebs such as Jessica Alba are taking their side businesses all the way to the boardroom. They’re also discovering the pros and cons of that side hustle life.
“I was a fool,” Paltrow told Bloomberg about starting Goop. “I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But I have to say, it’s been incredibly rewarding, and I learn so much every day.”
That sounds pretty good to us. Ahead, we’re taking notes and seeking out inspiration by counting down the best celebrity lifestyle brands in the biz. Join us, won’t you?
1. Jessica Alba
After Valentine’s Day actress Jessica Alba became a mother to Honor in 2008, life changed in more ways than one. Alba soon realised how many harmful chemicals could be found in baby products and decided to disrupt the industry. In January 2012, she co-founded The Honest Company, which creates budget-friendly and eco-friendly baby products and household goods. The breakthrough business skyrocketed to success; by August 2014, The Honest Company was valued at $1 billion.
2. Lauren Conrad
When your long-running stint on reality television comes to an end, you have but two choices. You can either fade into obscurity or make something happen. Laguna Beach and The Hills star Lauren Conrad chose the latter. First, she launched her eponymous lifestyle site, where she and her team of editors discuss everything from fashion to food. Now, Conrad also runs The Little Market, an online marketplace selling fair trade products handmade by artisans around the world.
3. Kate Hudson
You can’t accuse Kate Hudson of being behind the curve. The eternally cool actress dived headfirst into the growing activewear industry way back in 2013 with the launch of Fabletics. The brand sells high-quality gym-ready basics that can be bought individually or as part of a monthly subscription. Hudson is regularly seen wearing Fabletics pieces out and about in Hollywood, proving she’s willing to put her money where her mouth is.
4. Lena Dunham
We’re not sure Lena Dunham knows the meaning of downtime. Now that she’s no longer writing for, acting in or producing Girls, it seems she’s taking pen to paper. After penning her memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, in 2014, Dunham apparently developed a taste for non-fiction. In July 2015, Dunham announced the launch of Lenny Letter, a weekly newsletter jam-packed with feminist-minded content.
5. Gwyneth Paltrow
Despite being the reigning queen of celebrity lifestyle brands, Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow would be the first to admit that her site, Goop, isn’t for everyone. After all, most of us can’t afford to holiday in the Hamptons, and we don’t necessarily have the time for a detox cleanse. But even if you can’t indulge in Paltrow’s recommendations, you can count Goop as your favourite guilty pleasure.
6. Olivia Palermo
Fans of New York-based reality show The City couldn’t get enough of Olivia Palermo’s impeccable style. Luckily, Palermo knew it. When The City came to an end, Palermo indulged her fans by launching an eponymous fashion and lifestyle blog filled with beauty how-to guides, outfit inspiration and book reviews. It turns out Lauren Conrad isn’t the only reality star to break through to the other side.
7. Reese Witherspoon
In 2015, Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon launched Draper James, a lifestyle website inspired by her Southern roots. Draper James, which is named after her grandparents, mostly sells clothing and lifestyle items – think cute gingham dresses and customised cocktail napkins. “It’s applying those ideals that my grandmother instilled in me and making them modern,” Witherspoon told WWD pre-launch.
8. Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore has done more in her 43 years on this planet than many of us could hope for in a lifetime. When she’s not acting or producing films, Barrymore is running two lifestyle businesses. First up is Flower Beauty, a cruelty-free makeup brand with a simple mission: to create quality products that every woman can afford. Then, there’s Barrymore Wines, a wine label inspired by shared moments with family and friends.
9. Zooey Deschanel
If you love quirky-cool actress Zooey Deschanel on New Girl, you’re just as likely to enjoy her website, Hello Giggles. Deschanel started Hello Giggles with her two BFFs, Molly McAleer and Sophia Rossi, in 2011. By 2015, HelloGiggles had been acquired by Time, Inc. The site is jam-packed with content – from manicure ideas to cute pet photos – designed to bring a smile to your face and help you forget about the daily grind. That’s okay by us.
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