According to some studies, the average millionaire has 7 streams of income. So it shouldn’t surprise you that some celebrities are also prolific entrepreneurs, building side hustles on top of already successful careers.
For example, Jimmy Buffett’s Parrothead empire expands way beyond record sales and concert tickets. He’s got restaurants, hotels, t-shirts, blenders, beer, and more–and an estimated net worth of over $600 million!
And just recently, we’ve watched John Krasinksi start a YouTube show his own, called Some Good News.
Some of these celebrity side hustles are passion projects, some are investments, and some have even been so successful that they’ve eclipsed the initial career that made them a celebrity in the first place.
Here are some of the top celebrity side hustles.
Clothing & Apparel Celebrity Side Hustles
There’s no shortage of celebrities with clothing lines. Whether you’re looking for high-end luxe or accessible and affordable clothes, you don’t have to look far to find a celeb-branded line.
If you want to start creating your own clothing designs, you might consider a print-on-demand supplier like Printful. From there, you can syndicate your listings to an Etsy shop or even your own Shopify store.
Daymond John wins all the side hustle trophies. After struggling with undiagnosed dyslexia in his school years, John found himself working at Red Lobster in the early 90s, when his mom taught him how to sew. He took to it immediately, and created a line of products called FUBU.
His marketing tactics were inventive and effective; they included graffiti and networking his way into music videos. He continued the hustle, keeping his job at Red Lobster the entire while.
After about 3-4 years, he was making enough money through FUBU to feel comfortable taking his side hustle full time. At this point FUBU was already a nationwide brand.
Beyoncé’s empire isn’t solely built on her own music. She has a whole range of investments, some of which she goes in on with her husband, Jay-Z.
In addition to investments, she has her own company which houses several business activities. Her company — Parkwood Entertainment — has participated in movie music production. One of its latest projects was a relaunch of its Ivy Park activewear clothing line.
Selena Gomez also has her own media production company, July Moon Productions, which has worked with Netflix.
Like Beyoncé, she has more than one side hustle, too. Gomez has notably partnered with many retailers over the years to create clothing or fashion accessory lines. Past and current partnerships include:
- Kmart’ Dream Out Loud juniors line.
- Coach x SG handbag and subsequent clothing line.
- SG x PUMA Strong Girl and Rising Class clothing lines.
Jennifer Lopez is another heavy-hitting female pop star who holds ownership in a production company: Nuyorican Productions.
Around the same time Nuyorican launched in 2001, J. Lo launched her own clothing line. Today, it’s produced in partnership with Kohl’s. Through the entire journey the brand has been known not only for only producing clothing the star herself would wear, but for producing it in a way that fits all women, regardless of size.
In 2018, Cardi B launched a fashion line with Fashion Nova. It performed ridiculously well, selling out almost immediately.
When she launched a second line with Fashion Nova in 2019, it sold out on the first day to the tune of more than $1M.
The rapper is known for her ability to garner audience engagement — particularly on social media. Evidenced most recently by her fashion line, Cardi B has proven time and again that she can turn that engagement into sales.
Michael Strahan’s celebrity spans both sports and television. But in addition to all that, he’s got a clothing line as a side hustle.
Launched in 2015, the M Collection by Michael Strahan features casual and formal men’s wear. Since then, he’s expanded with partner JCPenney to a line of swimwear, bags, underwear and athleisure known as MSX by Michael Strahan.
Zendaya’s entire career has been a series of hustles, switching between acting, modeling, singing and dancing as the moment calls for.
But she has also had experience in the fashion industry. Her original line, Daya by Zendaya, was discontinued in 2018 when she was dissatisfied with how her manufacturer was failing to meet consumer demand.
She didn’t quit, though, and has since launched a clothing line with Tommy Hilfiger.
Fabletics started in 2013, as celebrity Kate Hudson was invited to take the helm. Fabletics was an online susbscription box service for years, delivering athletic wear to subscribers once per month for a monthly premium.
In the past couple years, though, Fabletics has moved into the world of physical retail, opening dozens of stores across the country. While you can buy product online without the VIP membership/subscription, the prices are slashed for those who do join.
Food Industry Celebrity Side Hustles
There are a large number of celebrities with side hustles in the food industry, too. This is a field where profit margins can be thin and turnover rate can be high.
Chrissy Teigen has an enormous social media following due to her fame as a model and engaging personality. She’s proven business smarts by using her platforms to launch a business venture. She uses her platform to give glimpses into her personal life — including her passion for cooking amazing food.
Between 2016 and 2017, Cam Newton had a side gig as a food truck owner. Smokin’ Aces played off of his nickname ‘Ace Boogie,’ and served a fare of chicken and fish while it was in operation in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In 2019, he opened a cigar bar in his native Atlanta with his brother. Fellaship may bill itself as a cigar bar, but it also has a full menu — and not just for cocktails. You can get a full meal while you catch the game at Fellaship, too.
Scarlett Johansson is an actor who gets paid well for her work. She’s the highest paid of the Marvel heroines, and cracks the Top 10 for highest paid female actors overall.
For a short while, anyways, she was also in the food industry.
From 2016-2018, Johansson owned a popcorn shop in Paris, France. Yummy Pop was built around a trendy cultural fascination with the American snack.
You probably weren’t expecting the most millennial side hustle on this list to come from Tom Selleck.
But it totally does.
Selleck owns an expansive avocado farm in California, and he’s been doing it since before some millennials were even born. He purchased the farm in the late 1980s.
In another surprising twist of events, Selleck’s farm has gotten him into trouble with the law. There was some kerfuffle over stolen water in a region of the country where the resource is scarce, but the incidents were settled outside of court.
Sandra Bullock has been in the restaurant game since 2009. That’s when she opened Bess’s Bistro. In the year or so before it closed in 2016, it had started moving away from its original theme of French fare.
That wasn’t the end of Bullock’s days in the food industry, though. Across the street from Bess’s in Austin, she owned a deli/bakery/flower shop which she had purchased in 2009, too.
That shop, Walton’s Fancy and Staple, now also hosts happy hours, catering services and a gift shop. In 2018, Walton’s introduced a full dinner menu.
In 2015, Drew Brees and his wife invested in the Lousiana restaurant chain Walk-On. Today, he’s the most well-known owner.
The chain is known for great burgers and trying to make the term ‘Sports Bistreaux’ happen. It has been expanding rapidly since Brees joined the team, with new locations popping up all over the Southeast and Texas.
Celebrity Side Hustles in Literature
Whether they’re writing or reading, there are several celebrities that have a side hustle in the world of literature or editing.
Do you have a book in you? Self-publishing has definitely been one of my favorite side hustles–and once the book is out there, it can be a very passive income stream.
Oprah’s business acumen is flawless. She’s made money from many efforts over the years, most notably her TV show. Also central to her empire is her book club, which launched in 1996 as a segment of said TV show.
It has grown and evolved over the years, as Oprah released some tomes herself on diet and fitness and promoted countless authors. Most recently, she signed a deal with Apple where TV+ subscribers get access to conversations between Oprah the authors themselves.
Rita Wilson has a side hustle outside of Hollywood. From 2011-2017, she actively contributed to the Huffington Post as an Editor at Large.
She covered topics like grandparenting, friendship, and other stories full of inspiration.
Sarah Jessica Parker
You’re probably familiar with Sarah Jessica Parker’s line of shoes. It played off her Sex in the City character. The line started in Nordstrom’s, but is now available in numerous department stores.
But on top of shoes, handbags, and even sunglasses, Parker built an auxiliary career for herself in the publishing industry. The SJP imprint of Hogarth/Crown Publishing/Penguin Random House sought to highlight the stories of diverse authors.
There are only three titles, but Parker’s book recommendations continue to feature prominently on her popular Instagram account.
Did you know Madonna has a series of children’s books?!
The stories — based on stories from Jewish mysticism — teach meaningful and deep lessons in a way that’s age-appropriate for kids. They’re thought-provoking for adults, too.
Your favorite CSI doctor has a side hustle as a personal finance author.
Hill Harper’s The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in Its Place teaches people the basics of budgeting and personal finance. But Harper also uses his platform to fight financial fragility on a systemic level.
Harper is a serial entrepreneur, having owned businesses like coffee shops and Architect & Co. — a skincare business which could place him in our next celebrity side hustle category, as well.
Beauty Product Side Hustles
Yet another popular celebrity side hustle?
Beauty products. From makeup to skin care to hair care, there are celebrity brands all over the beauty industry.
When Rihanna created her Fenty makeup line, she did so with the explicit goal of including people of all skin tones. It’s been a massive success, featuring not just a wide array of tones for foundation, but also a bunch of fun, bright colors that can be difficult to find in other makeup lines.
Fenty has expanded beyond makeup. In addition to a high-end women’s clothing line, Fenty recently expanded into lingerie with the Savage x Fenty line.
Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty line was originally available exclusively at Walmart when it launched in 2013. Today, you can get it at Ulta or directly from the company itself.
From day one, Barrymore’s branding for Flower Beauty has revolved around female empowerment through affordable makeup.
It took off in spectacular fashion. Today, you can purchase beauty products, vitamins, feminine products, diapers, diaper bags, laundry supplies, baby wipes, all-purpose cleaner, and more.
Tracee Ellis Ross
Tracee Ellis Ross’s haircare line — Pattern — is all about empowering women through their natural hair. It launched in conjunction with Ulta in 2019.
The line includes shampoos, conditioners and serums. Pattern also sells accessories and branded merch.
Rob Lowe’s skin care line launched in 2015. PROFILE makes men’s skincare products, including face scrubs, cleansers, toners and shaving creams. The original line is geared toward a slightly younger audience.
In late 2019, PROFILE launched its Cobalt line, which is for men trying to combat the signs of aging. For the first year, Lowe is donating a portion of each sale to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Alcohol & Marijuana Celebrity Side Hustles
Celebrities also seem to flock to wines and spirits when it comes to side hustle choices. In recent years, as weed has been increasingly recognized as a form of medical treatment, you’ve also seen celebrities investing in the marijuana industry.
Minaj is no stranger to the side hustle. Over the years, she’s had a clothing line with Kmart and become a co-owner of TIDAL with Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
She also has a side hustle in the liquor business. MYX Fusions started with a moscato line, and now includes a sangria line.
Jim Nantz decided to turn his grape hobby into a full-fledged business in 2009. The Calling is a winery located in Sonoma County. Wine lovers can even sign up for a subscription service, which goes out three times per year.
Nantz views The Calling to be his legacy to his family.
Drake launched his whiskey — Virginia Black — in 2016. He took the company public in 2018.
Most recently, Virginia Black scored an international deal where it’s featured in the Dubai Airport. Be careful, though — you need a license to drink in that Emirate!
In 2013, George Clooney decided to launch a tequila business with some friends. Their goal? Produce a hangover-free spirit.
Four years later, their Casamigos tequila brand sold for $1B! Clooney remains involved in the brand but ownership has shifted to a UK company.
Aviation Gin has been around since 2006, but Ryan Reynolds joined the ownership team a couple years ago.
During the 2019 holiday season, Aviation ran a savage campaign in response to a Peloton advertisement, of all things. The Peloton ad showed a woman receiving an exercise bike from her husband.
As a gift.
The Aviation ad had the same woman sipping on a glass of gin after the breakup. It was shared far and wide on social media by Reynolds himself.
Snoop Dogg is a big name in the growing marijuana industry. He’s partnered with Canadian marijuana manufacturers on branded strands.
He’s also powerfully invested in the industry at large. His venture capital firm, Casa Verde Capital, invests not only in those that produce and dispense the actual product, but also in all the businesses that provide infrastructure like marketing, accounting, and other auxiliary services those in the marijuana industry need to thrive.
Wiz Khalifa has his own line of marijuana-related products. Khalfia Kush is currently available in Nevada and Arizona, and there are other products in the line available in Canada.
He also has an app called Wiz Khalifa’s Weed Farm, which teaches players business concepts via a Farmville-esque grow house setup.
Celebrity Side Hustles in Interior Design
There are several ways for celebrities to get their foot in the door when it comes to interior design. Some hustle as interior designers themselves, while other spread their design influence through housewares lines.
Since 2002, Venus Williams has been on top of the world of interior design. While the star is famous for her ventures in tennis, interior design was what she passionately studied in college.
Her firm, V Starr, primarily designs high-end residential properties, but has also done hotels and other more public spaces.
Lenny Kravitz is another star in the interior design game. His firm — Kravitz Design — opened around the same time as Williams’s in 2003. While the firm does do commercial and product design, it may be best know for residential interior design.
Ellen has her own lifestyle brand called ED. It spans a lot of the same products a department store would: Clothing, accessories — there’s even pet gear!
ED has an expansive home decor line, as well. Ellen brands it as a way for her fans to have a personal connection to her in their everyday lives.
Diane Keaton has published a few books on design over the years. In her most-recent, she admits she is Pinterest-obsessed. Keaton used her Pinterest addiction to enlist the help of architects and designers to transform her home.
Afterwards, she published a book highlighting the entire process: The House that Pinterest Built.
Lauren Conrad capitalized on her popularity as a reality TV star by building a lifestyle brand. Her blog features beauty, design and family activity ideas.
The brand also includes a clothing line with Kohl’s, along with a housewares line.
Celebrity Investing Side Hustles
Some stars have so many side hustles going on that they’re involved in multiple industries. When things rise to this level, we usually start calling them investors or entrepreneurs.
Serena Williams has an investment firm called Serena Ventures. The firm invests in companies with diverse ownership, and has been in operation since 2014.
Some companies Serena Ventures has funded include:
- Daily Harvest
- Flora Vere
Will Smith has proven himself versatile across the entertainment industry, and his investments are no less diverse. He and wife Jada Pinkett Smith co-own a few companies, including the one that produces Red Table Talk.
Smith is also co-founder of Dreamers VC, a venture capital firm that connects Japanese investors with US startups.
Ashton Kutcher is a founding partner of a couple venture capital firms. He is known in particular for his investments in technology. His portfolio past and present includes:
Carmelo Anthony is another celebrity making waves with his investments in tech. He’s the cofounder of M7 Tech Partners, a firm based in NYC that invests in startups.
Music made Jay-Z a millionaire, but entrepreneurship made him a billionaire. Remember, “I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man.”
Through the years, he’s started, bought or invested in several successful businesses:
- New Jersey Nets
- Armand de Brignac
- Roc Nation
- 40/40 Nightclub
50 Cent’s investments and business ventures include Vitamin Water — which he is credited for popularizing — a clothing line with Mark Ecko, and the headphone line SMS audio.
Clint Eastwood is known for investing in golf courses — most notably a massive investment in Pebble Beach a few years ago.
Eastwood also has investments in the food industry. He owns Mission Ranch Hotel & Restaurant in California.
Unique Celebrity Side Hustles
Then there are those celebrity side hustles that are unique.
Sometimes even off-the-wall.
But they’re also some of the most interesting to learn about.
Did you know ping-pong clubs were a thing?
As a long-time ping-pong hobbyist, Susan Sarandon did. She opened her very own ping-pong club in NYC in 2009. The club, SPiN, now has nine locations across the country.
Erykah Badu views spreading love as her mission in life. She does so through her music.
But she also does so via her doula side hustle. Badu has been a doula for the better part of the past two decades, welcoming new babies into the world and helping women through their transition into motherhood.
We all loved him as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation. The character is different from the actor in a lot of ways, but one theme holds true: Swanson and Offerman both have an obsession with woodworking.
He’s not just a hobbyist, either. He owns a legit workshop called Offerman Woodshop where he employs a small team. You can even order pieces via the shop’s website.
Carmen Electra had a side business selling stripper poles for a few years, there. Partnered with company PEEKABOO, the poles didn’t get good reviews as they weren’t sturdy enough to make customers feel safe using them.
Kevin Costner bought Ocean Therapy Solutions after watching the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in 1989. His company had the tech ready to go when the BP Oil Spill of 2010 happened. What they didn’t have was a logistical plan to get the tech to the Gulf Coast in a hurry.
The machines Ocean Therapy Solutions built were supposed to essentially vacuum oil off the water. However, dispersants which make the oil sink had already been applied to the spill. When the machines arrived, it was too late.
Because the oil wasn’t on the surface, Costner’s machines couldn’t be used when they did arrive.
Shaquille O’Neal is a prolific entrepreneur and investor in his post-basketball career. Among his interests are dozens of car washes, more than 100 Five Guys burger franchises, and 40 24 Hour Fitness locations.
In the side hustle space, he’s an advisor for the Steady app, which pulls together lots of flexible work opportunities.
Celebrity Side Hustles: Your Turn
To be sure, there are a couple big advantages celebrities have when starting a business. First, they’ve probably already got more money than they need, so the risk of failure isn’t a huge hurdle. And second, they’ve got a built-in fan-base they can market to.
Still, those aren’t required ingredients to start a business. Almost all the side hustle ideas we cover on this site can be started on a shoestring budget, and grown organically over time.
The most important thing is to pick something and take action!
About the Author
Brynne Conroy is the owner and creator of Femme Frugality — a popular women’s finance blog. She is also the author of “The Feminist Financial Handbook,” which has been called “revolutionary” and “a unicorn among finance books.”