Celebrities have been peddling their own products since the beginning of moving pictures. Today, it represents an important secondary source of income for many A-list stars as they have ready legions of fans to snap up their offerings. Not all celebrities are successful in their business ventures, but some excel. Here is a list of four of the most winning stars and the products that make them rich.
There are few women in television busier than Rachel Ray. Ray came to fame in 2001 when she first appeared on The Food Network to show viewers how to make inexpensive and fast meals at home. Since then, she has hosted several other food-related shows and also has a daytime talk show. Ray has designed or developed many products over the years and it is estimated that much of her $15 million estimated with WestPoint Home. Though the television home sales channel, QVC, Ray sells an extensive line of cookware that she designed herself. In 2008, she presented a line of dog food based on the recipes she created for her own dog.
Martha Stewart has reigned over the airwaves for more than two decades. Her career began in earnest when her husband's publishing industry connections led to a book deal for Stewart to produce cookbooks based on her catering experience. That led to a magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and, ultimately, to a cooking and crafts show and a daytime talk show. Even a five month stint in federal prison in 2004 for insider trading couldn't slow down her growing empire. Listing off all of the products developed under the Martha Stewart name is daunting. They include craft supplies, bedding, kitchenware, flooring, wine and even houses.
She has come a long way from her days on the top of the charts as Posh Spice of the Spice Girls. Victoria Beckham set aside her microphone for a career in the fashion world. Beckham designed her own high-end denim jeans line for Saks Fifth Avenue, called dvb Style. She has also launched a collection of sunglasses in the United States, perfumes and several limited edition fashion lines. With an estimated net worth of $48.5 million, according to celebritynetworth.org, Beckham has parlayed her business sense into big bucks.
Former "Real Housewives of New York" star, Bethenny Frankel, decided to forego the fashion world for liquor. She launched her Skinnygirl brand of light pre-made cocktails in 2009. The line included Skinnygirl Margarita which has become one of the best-selling ready-made cocktails in the United States. Frankel's success with Skinnygirl resulted in a sale of the brand to Beam Global, the maker of Jim Beam bourbon, in 2011. Although the dollar value of the sale is not publicly available, Beam reported that sales of the Skinnygirl products are around 100,000 cases per year.
The Bottom Line
Not all stars are able to pull off successful product lines. It takes more than just a famous face and strong name brand. Celebrities that have winning product lines have to work hard at building both the brand and a successful underlying business. For those who do it well, it can result in extra millions of dollars a year in profits, and can even end up being the star's major money maker.
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