Everybody has to start somewhere. And generally that start means working from the bottom up. Many inspiring women have realised the importance of a strong work ethic early in their career, helping them climb the ladder to stellar success.
But the journey from bottom rung to top of the ladder isn’t something that happens instantly. To succeed, hard work is necessary and these empowering women celebrity entrepreneurs prove it all.
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1. OPRAH WINFREY
No list of successful celebrity entrepreneurs would be complete without her. The successful entertainer and entrepreneur built her walls of success from the ground up. At 17, she found her silver lining after winning Miss Black Tennessee, which catapulted her into a job in journalism. She started as an on-air anchor and today Winfrey is one of the most recognised names in television, with an iconic talk show, in the books and her own network called – OWN. Forbes states that she has annual earnings of around $82 million and a net worth of $2.9 billion.
2. PARIS HILTON
Besides being a model, actress, singer, socialite, television and media personality, Paris Hilton is also a highly successful businesswoman with an international branding empire with retail revenues of more than $2 billion in fragrance alone over the past thirteen years. She has certainly turned her passion for fragrance into a lucrative business, making her perfumes some of the most popular in the world. Not one to rest on her laurels, Paris is already working on creating her next fragrances – all in between managing her 17 other product lines, which range from fashion to shoes, and working as a successful DJ around the world.
3. JESSICA ALBA
In 2011, the hollywood star turned mogul, Alba cofounded The Honest Company, which supplies organic household products. Like most great ideas, The Honest Company was inspired by a need that wasn’t being filled. Her company promises transparency with its Honestly Free Guarantee to tell customers the origins of the products. She hit the Forbes self made women list last year with her company reaching a $1.7 billion valuation, its highest to date.
4. VICTORIA BECKHAM
The businesswoman, fashion designer, model and singer is estimated to be worth $300 million, while her fashion business under Beckham Ventures is estimated to be worth $84 million. Beckham’s life appears to be nothing short of flawless. She is at the helm of a thriving business, has a picture-perfect family life, and is married to former footballer David Beckham. She has the social-media following to match her success too with over 13 million Instagram followers. Victoria Beckham has also been awarded an OBE – the Order of the British Empire – for her services to fashion.
5. JESSICA SIMPSON
Indeed, the Jessica Simpson Collection comprises over 30 product categories, from her hugely popular shoe line to perfumes to sunglasses and jewellery. About ten years in, the brand rakes in about $1 billion a year at retail. “My business is the heart of who I am,” said Simpson. “I want to make every woman feel confident in what they’re wearing,” she says. Simpson strives to make her collection not just aesthetically pleasing for the everyday shopper, but comfortable too. Up next for the fashion mogul? A home goods line, and then a baby collection.
6. KIM KARDASHIAN
Kim’s resumé is seemingly endless. With her $45.5 million net worth from Keeping Up With the Kardashians along with her cosmetic and clothing lines, her app, and not to mention her personal appearance fees, it’s clear that Kim is slowly taking over the world. A lot of Kim’s wealth is mostly down to her sway over reality TV and the mobile gaming industry; the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood app has had over 45 million downloads in less than three years, and has reportedly generated an income over the same period of $150 million. Kim has also collaborated with her youngest sibling, the KKW X KYLIE collaboration was sold out within minutes of its release.
7. KYLIE JENNER
In 2016, Jenner started the super successful beauty brand, Kylie Cosmetics. What began as an online business selling lipstick for $29 each has earned Jenner’s makeup company Kylie Cosmetics $420 million in sales in only 18 months. It is projected to rake in $1 billion in lifetime sales by 2022, according to WWD. This year, Jenner became the youngest celebrity on Forbes list of the 100 top-paid celebrities in the world – having earned $41 million over the past year. Aside from Kylie Cosmetics, Jenner also has her paid app, merchandise sold exclusively through her online store “The Kylie Shop,” two apparel lines with sister Kendall Jenner, a book series and partnerships with retail brands like Puma and Quay Australia.
8. GWEN STEFANI
The singer found her own company – L.A.M.B. in 2003 and is fully involved with the production of her clothing line, which has expanded to include shoes, handbags, jewellery, sunglasses and a collection of fragrances. From the stage to the runway, the former No Doubt leading lady has won respect as both a musician and a fashion designer. A favourite among celebrities and sold at high end retailers everywhere, the line is estimated to bring in $100 million in annual sales.
9. SARAH JESSICA PARKER
Sarah Jessica Parker is best known as an actress, but she’s long been a businesswoman as well – and it should come as no surprise her products revolve around fashion. The “Sex and the City” icon launched a line of little black dresses, called SJP LBD. She also has a bag collection and shoe collection.
While Parker’s fashion business is expanding, she is very prudent and thoughtful about how fast her company grows. “Growth is interesting, it’s necessary, but we’re really thoughtful about the ways that are meaningful and actually connect to the origins of the brand,” she said in an interview from Vanity Fair’s third annual New Establishment Summit in San Francisco.
10. REESE WITHERSPOON
Other than an impressive Oscar-winning acting career as well as being a full-time mommy, Reese Witherspoon – overachiever – is also overseeing her lifestyle e-commerce website Draper James. Exhibiting her typical hands-on approach, the actress is not only a major shareholder in the business, but she’s also the vision behind the company overall. In fact, the name is dedicated to her grandparents and their southern influence on her style.
Sometimes difficulty can further determination. Instead of being a hurdle that stops you, it can push you higher and make you fight that much harder for the success you desperately want to achieve. Your hardships may not be as drastic as some of these women’s, but their stories can still be an empowering inspiration for your own career path.