Celebrities have it made, don’t they? They act in one film, sing a couple of songs, and do other such things and make millions. They get paid to appear at parties or stores at times, even! The glitz and glam of the spotlight is alluring to many and once they achieve those high goals, it’s easy to assume that their dreams have come true and they’ll simply keep doing what they’re doing. However, not all of the celebrities in the spotlight today simply act, sing or do other things that we think of as A-list activities. Some, in fact, have side businesses that are very important to them. And, what’s more—they don’t have anything to do with being famous.
When Hollywood stars have time off, they travel to exotic locations and enjoy nights in paradise, right? They don’t take on another job, do they? Apparently, some of them do. And such jobs are rather unique while others are philanthropic. Whatever they have chosen, these popular celebrities certainly aren’t ever bored. Whether they’re balancing their work, their side jobs, or their family, they’re always bouncing around from one world to another. We admire their work ethic and wish we were half as lucky in any industry.
15 Jessica Alba started her own company
Jessica Alba has been an in-demand actress for years in the Hollywood circle, but she’s so much more than just a talented actor with a lot of scripts from which to choose. The mother of three decided to take a leap of faith and started her own company, The Honest Company, which is a lifestyle brand. The company produces child safe and eco-friendly products for the home including cleaning products and diapers with plenty in between. It has become a billion-dollar business and is perhaps why Alba isn’t in more films today. Between a husband, two children, and this venture, she’s got to be running around like crazy.
However, these celebrity side jobs aren’t always without complications. According to CNN, the Honest Company recently agreed to pay a $1.55 million settlement due to a lawsuit that claimed it misled buyers about ingredients in laundry detergents and dish soaps. The company denies wrongdoing, but bad publicity that came along with the suit certainly hurt the image of the brand. The name “The Honest Company” denotes that they are, well, honest, but when lawsuits like this come up claiming they have lied, it can’t be good for their bottom line or their overall image.
14 Justin Timberlake dabbles in lots of industries
Justin Timberlake has come a long way since his days in a boy band. Back when he first came onto the celebrity scene, people may have guessed that his star would burn bright and fast and then burn out. However, while some of his boy band brothers have faded away a bit, he has only gotten hotter. He’s a triple threat when it comes to entertainment. He sings, dances and even acts. But that’s not enough to keep this celebrity entertained.
Aside from his family life, he’s invested in restaurants, has his own clothing line and even bought the former social networking site MySpace, which he re-launched as a music site back in 2013. According to Forbes, Timberlake bought Mirimichi Golf course as well and has played a major role in every area where he invests his money. When Timberlake invests, those around him get time as well as capital. We’re unsure as to how he has time for it all. We all saw him at the Super Bowl halftime show and he does concerts all over the world. Add to that a wife and young child and it’s rather astonishing that he’s able to fit it all into his life at once.
13 Nick Offerman enjoys woodworking
Actors have private lives and hobbies outside of their work hours, as much as it seems like they are the characters they create to those of us who enjoy watching them. Nick Offerman, for example, is much more than the comedy he creates on Parks and Recreation. In fact, the star has a passion for woodworking and even has his own collection called Offerman Wood Shop. He includes products ranging from cutting boards to pencil holders.
This venture has been successful enough that he has even hired a manager for his shop and a small staff to help him handcraft his items.
He told Vanity Fair that he was ecstatic to find a way to keep his hobby alive amid a busy work schedule, but he feels most in his element surrounded by power tools and the scent of sawdust. For years, it was just him working on commissioned jobs between acting gigs, but once he started on Parks and Rec, he launched his shop and has enjoyed creating wood works of art on a larger scale. This isn’t something you would think about when seeing his grumpy, stoic character on TV, but he seems pretty relaxed around the shop in pictures on his site.
12 Rupert Grint is also a landlord
When you make loads of money by starring in a series of small films—you know, the Harry Potter series—and you’re still rather young, you have to find something to do with it all, right? Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, Harry’s best friend in the films, first took his money and bought an ice cream truck. Yep, that’s right. An ice cream truck. He said he’s always wanted to own one and he keeps it well stocked. However, he can’t make money off the gig because he doesn’t have a license to sell the stock. So he just gives items away in various villages when he drives around.
However, he did find another successful venture that works better as an investment. According to Simply Business, he’s a successful landlord with over £12 million worth of property in the UK. He established a company called Eevil Plan Properties (possibly named for everything his character went through in the Potter movies), which he manages with ease between acting gigs. With any luck, he keeps his properties up better than Hogwarts because that place definitely looked like it had seen better days. With a young age on his side, who knows what else he will do.
11 Erykah Badu doubles as a doula
Erykah Badu is a name deeply rooted in music. She has also expressed her spirit in other ways over the years. In fact, nearly a decade ago, Erykah shared her passion for helping to deliver babies and even became a certified doula and began working her way toward a midwife license. In an interview with the International Doula Institute, she said her job as a doula was like being the ultimate welcoming committee. Most people don’t think they have anything in common with a world-class, ground-breaking recording artist like Badu. But if you have ever had a baby, or seen one born, you do.
She said her side career came from the same place as making music—a place of love. She loves the work she does in both areas and considers both to be creative work.
Being a well-known singer would be enough for most people, but welcoming newborns into the world sounds inviting as well. Doulas are becoming more sought after in recent years and can you imagine hiring one and having the one and only Badu show up at your home? Now that would be a birth to remember—not that every birth isn’t one to remember already.
10 Jeremy Renner flips houses
Jeremy Renner has made a career in Hollywood with plenty of A-list actors by his side, but when he’s not saving the world as an Avenger or another hero on the big screen, he is patiently and slowly working on homes. In the past 15 years, this celebrity has bought, remodeled and sold more than 20 homes as part of a house-flipping side job, according to Bloomberg. Some of the homes have been cabins while others are 1920s art deco mansions. He doesn’t discriminate when it comes to style. Renner says he enjoys many different styles of architecture and just tries to buy homes with promise and reimagine them based on today’s living standards.
When he isn’t getting into costume for a film, he’s holding a paintbrush and does much of the world himself. With his tips, like staying away from trendy colors and ensuring every home has a good entertainment space, perhaps he should get a job on a renovation show or be a part of a celebrity reality house-flipping program. It’s amazing to understand how stars with as much acting work as he has can possibly have the time to flip homes as well, but he seems to do it well.
9 Rita Wilson is an actor and editor-at-large
Rita Wilson has been working hard in front of the camera for decades. She’s been in hits like Sleepless in Seattle, Runaway Bride and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She began her career with a guest appearance on The Brady Bunch in 1972, according to Wikipedia. She hasn’t stopped flourishing and working ever since. Many people know her as Tom Hanks’ wife since they married in 1988 and had two sons. They also have grandchildren and step-grandchildren. But she has done a lot more in her long career than act and enjoy her family. In fact, she has used her creative side in other areas as an editor-at-large at Huffington Post. She talks about grandparenting, cancer, stories of finding love after 50 and intergenerational friendship, among other things.
Her creativity branches off-screen and into the writing world where she gets to express herself in a whole new way.
It shouldn’t be surprising that a creative actor also has creative interests elsewhere. What’s surprising is how she finds the time with an active career, a large family, a busy husband and so much more going on in her life. We envy her go-get-em attitude and appreciate her articles as well.
8 James Franco teaches, among other things
James Franco keeps himself busy acting in a plethora of comedies and other films, but he has other day jobs as well. Though he’s taken to writing books and singing, it is most interesting to hear that he sometimes picks up teaching gigs at esteemed colleges like UCLA, Columbia and NYU. LA Weekly interviewed a student who took his screenplay class, who was able to spend three hours a week for ten weeks with Franco as a professor.
The student interviewed said that a lot of people thought Franco would let his assistant teach the class, but rather he was there every week and was completely dedicated. Students found the class more experimental than they thought and reported that Franco has regular office hours and was passionate about teaching. It’s interesting to see a figure who seems so unique and out there to fit in with the college scene on the other side of the desk. We all know he fits into the college scene films when it comes to partying and so on, but as a professor? This is quite a juxtaposition. He gets good reviews, however, and keeps being asked to do classes so he must be quite good.
7 Madonna sings for adults, but writes for children
We already know that Madonna is a jack of all trades. She’s most well known for her singing, of course, but we’ve also seen her dance plenty and she can even act. She adopts children and shows up in the Hollywood world all over the place. She’s perfectly comfortable in the adult world. But did you know that she moonlights as a children’s book author? She has five books published, one of which is called The English Roses, according to Slate.
Madonna says this book is about tolerance for girls who are special, whether they are prettier, better at sports, smarter or otherwise.
Social status is sometimes a reason to pick on someone else as well. The book is from the point of view of four girls who hang out together and ignore another girl. The girls get together and become friends, giving a poignant message of tolerance for everyone, no matter why they are being shunned in the first place. With a heavy-hitting, well-known name like Madonna, it’s hard for her books not to sell. And why not add another title to her long-list? She has children now and they enjoy reading so this is something they can all do together as a family.
6 Tom Selleck farms when he's not acting
Tom Selleck is most known for his mustache and his brooding characters, like crime-fighting police professionals. However, that’s not all Selleck has done over the years. In fact, just a few years ago, he was in trouble for stealing water, of all things. Why did he steal water and how in the world does that even work? Well, according to Telegraph, Selleck owns an avocado farm that he cultivates alongside his acting jobs. He bought the 1926 ranch in Hidden Valley in the late 1980s, which was previously owned by Dean Martin.
He and his wife did quite a bit of work on the place and the 60 acres of land was the perfect place to grow avocados. However, during a drought, he took water from a public fire hydrant to use on his estate and had to pay $21,000 to cover the costs of a private investigator who looked into the case. When he’s not on the set, he can be found fixing roads and clearing brush himself, which keeps him humble and is a great counterpoint to his life on screen. While he doesn’t enjoy the fruits himself, he says they sell like hotcakes. That must help him supplement his income.
5 Soliel Moon Frye protects the environment and children
When you hear the name Soliel Moon Frye, you might automatically think of Punky Brewster since that’s the character she played as a child actor for so long on TV. She was also on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but in more recent years, she has embraced motherhood and her family life. In fact, she was so dedicated to her family that she took things a few steps further than most moms by opening an eco-friendly clothing store for kids in LA called The Little Seed. People Magazine reported that she wanted to make the planet a little greener because all of the products in the store are made from organic, non-toxic items.
She wanted to create a place for parents to find safe products for children that are also good for the planet.
Since Moon Frye opened the store when she was pregnant with her second child, she wasn’t getting a lot of sleep. New motherhood, pregnancy and excitement over a business venture can do that to a person. But her side gig has led to a new passion in her life and that’s never a bad thing. We miss her days as Punky Brewster and a reboot might be a nice idea.
4 Rob Lowe developed a skincare line
Do you think Rob Lowe ever gets tired of being asked why he never ages? And it’s true, right? This man looks much the same today as he did decades ago when he first started in the industry. What’s his secret? He must have some decent genes, to start, but everyone always wants to know what people who don’t age much do in order to stay in that young-looking zone. When we take a look at Lowe’s side job, perhaps we have the answer. Lowe has developed his own men’s makeup/skincare line, according to Fashionista. Men’s grooming products have been on the rise over the past years and there are a number of sophisticated lines coming out all over the world.
Rob Lowe launched a skincare line called Profile with five products that range from shaving gels to post-shaving serums. When he’s not entertaining, he’s promoting the brand after having developed it. The fact that he has aged so gracefully makes him a great spokesman for the anti-aging and great skin campaign. The products are reasonably priced, but Lowe probably makes plenty from it since he is so involved with the line in the first place. Is this what he has used all these years?
3 Carmen Electra created a unique workout
Carmen Electra is known as a Hollywood bombshell. She has a large body of work on TV, film, theater and comedy. She’s a versatile personality that fits into a lot of different roles well. As a professionally trained dancer, she started her own burlesque dance troupe called “The Bombshells” and was one of the original “Pussycat Dolls.” She has released books as well and continues to act and dance her way across the celebrity scene. But the most interesting of her career trends is her pole-dancing tutorials.
That’s not quite what it sounds like as the classes aren’t meant for people to dance for money, but rather to get into shape.
Looking at Electra, many women would want to have her shape and if this is a fun way to get into that kind of shape, it makes sense that it would be a smart business move for her to sell such secrets. Business Wire reports that the professional pole kit came out in 2008 and was available around the world. With Electra herself teaching classes and offering tutorials on YouTube and in other locations, it’s hard for a women searching for a unique workout to resist.
2 Clint Eastwood is important to things other than the movies
Clint Eastwood may be known as a man of few words, but he has a long list of jobs on his resume. The famed actor has turned into a popular director and producer and he’s also a father and even a Republican party supporter. It seems this man can do it all and, somehow, keep up with it all. He even oversees two side businesses as the owner of Tehama Golf Club and Mission Ranch Hotel and Restaurant in California.
How does he find time for it all? We’re guessing since he speaks so little and gets straight to the point, he’s able to move from project to project rather quickly with few words on each. In Architectural Digest, Eastwood admits that when he was drafted into the Korean War, he went down to Carmel and enjoyed the beauty of the area and promised himself if he ever figured out how to make a living, he’d go there. As the whole world can see, he’s managed to make plenty on his movies and get back to Carmel, where the residents even elected him as mayor in 1986. His caddying days are over and now he owns the entire golf club himself.
1 Venus Williams is a stellar designer
Venus Williams crushes it on the tennis court for the world to see, but between matches, she focuses on other ventures besides conditioning. Her side job is an interior design company called VStarr Interiors, which has become very popular over the years. In fact, she’s serviced both NFL and NBA stars, keeping in tune with her athletic side. But she’s also styled some well-known hotels in other projects. Architectural Design says that the tennis pro seems to be able to turn everything she touches into gold, including this side gig company she runs.
When she had to create a tennis lounge and hotel suite for a club renovation, her athletic side came into full force.
Though she stated that she also wanted a sense of relaxation to go in with the project. Her passion for tennis is obvious and her other passion for design and hospitality is becoming better versed among stars too. With any luck, she won’t have to match up against her sister in the interior design business like she does on the court. This could be her chance to shine in a way completely different from the rest of the family for something all her own.
References: forbes.com, cnn.com, vanityfair.com, simplybusiness.co.uk, bloomberg.com, telegraph.co.uk, laweekly.com, fashionista.com, internationaldoulainstitute.com, wikipedia.com, huffingtonpost.com, slate.com, businesswire.com, architecturaldigest.com, architecturaldesign.com, people.com