Celebrity Entrepreneurs and Brands, a Growing Cohort

Many famous creatives are pivoting to business. Here's a look at some of the celebrity brands they helm.

Collage of Selena Gomez, Bella Hadid, Justin Bieber and Nikita Dragun, famous founders of celebrity brands

Designed by Slam Media Lab

It’s not just corporate workers who have used momentum from the Great Resignation to switch careers and build the next big thing. These days content creators, influencers, actors and everyone in between are starting celebrity brands to build businesses on top of their creative careers.

From Emma Chamberlain to Justin Bieber to Nikita Dragun, more and more celebs and influencers are becoming entrepreneurs. They’re founding brands in beauty, beverages, and skincare, and even becoming value add investors.

We’re here for anyone turning their passion into a career-eclipsing side hustle (we’re looking at you, Rihanna). In this piece, we’ve rounded up celebrity entrepreneurs to know, including:

  • Emma Chamberlain, Chamberlain Coffee
  • Nikita Dragun, Dragun Beauty
  • Selena Gomez, Rare Beauty
  • Rihanna, Fenty
  • Justin Bieber, Drewhouse
  • Bella Hadid, Kin Euphorics
  • Harry Styles, Pleasing
  • Ariana Grande, r.e.m. beauty
  • Issa Rae, Sienna Naturals

Celebrity Entrepreneurs: Branding Celebrity Drinks and Beverages

From non-alcoholic mood boosters to celebrity-owned tequila brands, many celebrity entrepreneurs are getting started in the drinks space and seeing high returns. They include:

  1. Emma Chamberlain, Chamberlain Coffee
  2. Logan Paul and KSI, PRIME Hydration
  3. Bella Hadid, Kin Euphorics
  4. Blake Lively, Betty Buzz
  5. Nina Dobrev and Julianne Hough, Fresh Vine Wine

Currently, Emma Chamberlain is top of the list.

Emma Chamberlain: Founder of Chamberlain Coffee

Not only is Emma Chamberlain a social media star and Gen Z’s unofficial leader, she’s also the founder of a wildly successful brand for caffeine-lovers: Chamberlain Coffee

Chamberlain’s coffee obsession has been well-documented since her earliest days in the spotlight. She told Forbes that coffee has been her escape for a long time now, and that she’s dreamed of working with it in some capacity (barista, mogul, or otherwise) since she was a kid.

Chamberlain’s pivot to a D2C ecommerce brand is not only fulfilling a childhood dream, but also ensuring financial longevity. People will still be drinking coffee long after they’ve tired of vlogs. 

Chamberlain’s Coffee Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 530K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 54.7K

Logan Paul and KSI: Co-founders of PRIME Hydration

Content creators Logan Paul and KSI first came together as opponents in an amateur boxing match. The event was opened by a fight between the pair’s younger brothers, internet personalities Jake Paul and Deji Olatunji. In 2019, Logan Paul and KSI followed their amateur fight with a professional rematch. 

Thousands showed up to watch the fight, and sports streaming service DAZN reported that the match was their 5th most watched event the year it aired. 

Early this year, KSI and Paul buried the hatchet and came together as business partners, launching energy drink PRIME Hydration.

Just a few months out from launch, the brand is seeing massive success. It is currently the fastest growing sports drink brand in the U.S. and is slated to sponsor the car of NASCAR driver Tommy Hill at an upcoming race.

PRIME Hydration Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 1.3M
  • TikTok followers: 1.6M
  • Organic search traffic per month: 232K

Bella Hadid: Co-founder of Kin Euphorics

In 2019, supermodel, equestrian, and Real Housewives alum Bella Hadid also added “beverage mogul” to her long list of credits.

Hadid co-founded the brand Kin Euphorics with entrepreneur Jen Batchelor. Kin Euphorics are non-alcoholic drinks meant to boost moods and reduce stress. They’re not CBD-infused either. Instead, the line relies on adaptogens: herbs or plants believed to reduce stress on the body.

Batchelor said the brand doesn’t aim to replace other market options, but instead to create a whole new category

Kin Euphorics Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 147K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 51.6K 

Blake Lively: Founder of Betty Buzz

Blake Lively is joining this category with the launch of her sparkling beverage line Betty Buzz, designed to enjoy with or without alcohol. 

The actor wrote that—despite husband Ryan Reynolds' high-profile love of gin—she doesn’t actually drink. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t like to mix, and this hobby got her excited about creating her own mixer. 

Betty Buzz debuted in 2021, a year after Reynolds sold his brand, Aviation Gin, to Diageo for $610 million.

Betty Buzz Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 189K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 9.2K 

Nina Dobrev & Julianne Hough: Founders of Fresh Vine Wine

Over more than a decade in entertainment, Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Love Hard) and Julianne Hough (Safe Haven, Dancing with the Stars) formed a close friendship. The pair bonded over leading active and healthy lives, while still incorporating a fair share of fun and wine. 

In 2019, they turned this shared passion into Fresh Vine Wine, a brand offering thoughtfully crafted, gluten-free wines, from Rosé to Cabernet.

In 2021, their company went public. Helmed by CEO Janelle Anderson, it is one of just 6% of female-led companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Fresh Vine Wine Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 142K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 3.9K

The Best Celebrity Makeup and Beauty Brands

Celebrities have collaborated with brands to launch and advertise products since the Golden Age of Hollywood. While this trend continues, we’re also seeing a rise in celebrity-owned makeup brands. More and more stars are taking control of the products they sell. 

We’re dropping some high-impact celebrity-owned beauty brands below, founded by celebrities such as:

  1. Millie Bobby Brown, florence by mills
  2. Harry Styles, Pleasing
  3. Ariana Grande, r.e.m. beauty
  4. Hailey Bieber, rhode skin
  5. Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Ireland, Summer Fridays
  6. Jessica Alba, Honest

Millie Bobby Brown: Founder of florence by mills

We’ll save the Strangers Things puns, because Millie Bobby Brown’s beauty line florence by mills is anything but a strange move (sorry). With a focus on clean skincare, florence by mills’ mission statement promotes:

  • Proven ingredients that enhance cleanliness and health
  • NO products tested on animals
  • NO ingredients containing animal byproducts
  • NO environmentally unsafe ingredients

Surprisingly, the actress started the beauty line as a way to learn about makeup, claiming she “didn’t know anything about beauty.” So far, it’s working: florence by mills has grown by 250% in the past year and is only just getting started.  

florence by mills Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 3.3M
  • TikTok followers: 2.9M
  • Organic search traffic per month: 257K 

Harry Styles: Founder of Pleasing

You don’t have to look far to find Harry Styles these days. He’s on your HBO Max, your Spotify Wrapped, your Daily Mail–the man is a walking 24-hour news cycle. It should be no surprise that he is also a founder of his own beauty line, Pleasing

Founded in November 2021, Pleasing styles itself as a “life brand,” offering everything from exfoliating serums to nail polish to apparel. With an eye on inclusivity, Styles promotes his brand as a way to highlight beauty rather than mask it. 

With an estimated $82 billion value by 2024, the male grooming industry is booming. Styles’ gender-neutral Pleasing is jumping into the market at the perfect time.  

Pleasing Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 1.4M
  • TikTok followers: 771.4K
  • Organic search traffic per month:  67.3K

Ariana Grande: Founder of r.e.m. beauty

Keeping with the trend of eco-conscious and animal-friendly products, pop superstar Ariana Grande founded her makeup line r.e.m. beauty. r.e.m. beauty boasts four key principles: 

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Recyclable

So why r.e.m. beauty? Grande borrows the name from her own song, “R.E.M.” off her album, Sweetener. Referring to R.E.M. sleep, we could say Ariana Grande giving away her makeup secrets is what dreams are made of. 

Borrowing from sneaker culture, r.e.m. beauty releases its newest products as drops–called “Chapters”–and the latest drops sell out as fast as Off-Whites. r.e.m. beauty is also name-checked as the reason for beauty retailer Ulta’s glow up in the last year. 

r.e.m. beauty Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 1.4M
  • TikTok followers: 858.9K 
  • Organic search traffic per month: 74.7K

Hailey Bieber: Founder of rhode skin

Justin Bieber’s better half, Hailey Bieber got into the beauty game in June 2022. Lending her middle name to the company, Bieber founded rhode skin

After a health scare in March of 2022, Bieber prioritized health and wellness, and rhode skin is the proof. More than just makeup, Bieber’s products promote healthy skin improvement over time.

Bieber also knows about consumer-friendly sales: almost all of rhode skin’s line is under $30. You might have to get in line, though; the waitlist for hot items like her peptide glazing fluid is 100,000 names long.

rhode skin Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 645K
  • TikTok followers: 140.3K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 34.2K

Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Ireland: Co-Founders of Summer Fridays

As original beauty influencers, Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Ireland know skincare. But after years of searching through products, they were still left largely unsatisfied by market options. Hewitt was always jet lagged and left searching for a product to make her feel more awake. Ireland was pregnant and searching for products with clean ingredients. These needs brought the duo together to found Summer Fridays and create their first product: Jet Lag Mask.

Summer Fridays now offers a dozen skincare products and is committed to:

  • Ease of use
  • Clean ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty free formula
  • Quality, recyclable packaging

The pair maintains that much of their success came from carefully planning ahead. For example, Hewitt and Ireland had a goal of selling in Sephora, so they created a box for display before ever reaching out to the beauty giant. 

It paid off: Summer Fridays is a Sephora staple and in 2021, the brand was the number 5 skincare brand in the U.S. 

Summer Fridays Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 581K
  • TikTok followers: 36.1K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 38.2K

Jessica Alba: Founder of Honest Beauty 

After worldwide success as an actress, Jessica Alba made the decision to step back from the industry and focus on her health as a mother. In 2012, she founded the Honest Company, a newborn care brand built on a commitment to clean ingredients.

In 2014, the company raised $70 million and approached a valuation of $1 billion. At the time, the brand was focused on natural baby products (from diapers to shampoo). The same year, they launched a partnership with Target. 

Today, the Honest Company maintains their newborn-focused vertical, and has also ventured into other sectors, including bath, body, and beauty. The brand pillars include:

  • Ingredient quality and transparency
  • Sustainability
  • Social impact

Honest Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 607K
  • TikTok followers: 19.9K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 162K 

Famous Founders of Celebrity Clothing Brands

Rather than rolling out a line in partnership with a department store, many influencers are opting to design their own celebrity clothing brands and lines. If they leverage their following right, they can benefit from a close relationship with consumers and strong brand visibility. 

Below are some successful celebrity entrepreneurs, featuring:

  1. Alexis Ren, Ren Active
  2. Amanda Steele, Steele
  3. Justin Bieber, Drewhouse
  4. Revolve
  5. Hila and Ethan Klein, Teddy Fresh
  6. Kate Hudson, Fabletics

Alexis Ren: Founder of Ren Active 

Since a photo of her went Tumblr-viral at 15, Alexis Ren has:

  • Competed on Dancing with the Stars
  • Been named Sport Illustrated “Rookie of the Year”
  • Appeared in an Ed Sheeran music video

She’s also made decisive business moves, including founding Ren Active and creating an “NFT wellness community” with writer Allie Michelle.

Ren Active Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 55.6K

Amanda Steele: Founder of Steele 

A decade ago, Amanda Steele was a 6th grader posting makeup tutorials, hair care tips, vlogs, and hauls to YouTube. In 2014, she hit 1 million subscribers. 

After years of modeling, continuing to post to her channel, and amassing 16 million Instagram followers, Ren founded the model-off-duty inspired celebrity clothing brand, Steele.

Steele has capitalized on audience interest in entrepreneur-influencers’ creative process. The influencer still posts behind-the-scenes videos about the process of designing new drops for her brand.

Steele Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 59.3K 
  • Organic search traffic per month: 4K

Justin Bieber: Venture capitalist and founder of Drewhouse

Pop’s on-again off-again favorite, Justin Bieber, also got his start on YouTube with covers of Lil Bow Wow, Sarah McLachlan, and other stars. Since then, he’s released six studio albums and quietly founded the House of Drew

According to the site, House of Drew is not only a clothing brand specializing in casual street wear (sweatshirts, tees, etc.) but also “a community, a place where you can be yourself and [feel] loved, encouraged, safe and valued.” 

Beyond his entry into the world of celebrity fashion brands, Bieber is also a budding venture capitalist. According to PitchBook, he’s invested in seven early-stage ventures. Most recently, MoonPay, an app for buying and selling crypto.

Drewhouse Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 1.6M
  • TikTok followers: 19.2K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 153K

Revolve: A home for celebrity brands

It’s almost impossible to name a celebrity or athlete that doesn’t have a collab with shoes or fashion. Puma x Neymar Jr., Travis Scott’s Nike line, Billie Eilish’s Air Force 1s–collabs are the gateway for celebrity brands. REVOLVE Clothing taps into celeb founders the same way: the premium lifestyle brand gives celeb designers a platform to share their work with less risk. 

REVOLVE’s designer team numbers in the hundreds, including celebrities like:

  • Aimee Song, Song of Style 
  • Camila Coelho 
  • Kendra Scott
  • Serena Kerrigan, Let’s Fucking Date
  • Venus Williams, Eleven
  • Victoria Beckham

With a huge roster of celebrity brands and an online store valued at $1.85 billion, REVOLVE is an early look at the future of celeb founders.

REVOLVE Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers (REVOLVE): 5.5M
  • Instagram followers (REVOLVE designers): 50M+
  • TikTok followers: 468.2K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 1.9M

Hila and Ethan Klein: Co-founders of Teddy Fresh

Not only did husband and wife duo Ethan and Hila Klein launch the successful Youtube channel-turned-podcast H3 together (2.96 million subscribers), but they also joined forces to roll out the colorful, wearable clothing line Teddy Fresh.

Teddy Fresh is helmed by Hila Klein, who serves as the brand’s CEO and principal designer. Klein started the brand to bring fun to adult clothing. 

“I was looking for colorful stuff, and when I’d look at kids' clothing everything looked so epic,” she said. “I wanted to bring those fun vibes for adults and at a consumer price that is approachable for everyday people.”

Since it’s 2017 launch, the brand has sold out after drops and seen collabs with:

Teddy Fresh Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 607K 
  • TikTok followers: 50K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 261K

Kate Hudson: Founder of Fabletics 

Landing a role in 2000’s Almost Famous is what earned Kate Hudson a Golden Globe and rocketed her to stardom. Since, she’s amassed dozens of acting credits and co-founded crowd-favorite athleisure brand Fabletics with Adam Goldenberg and Don Ressler. 

In 2021, Hudson took a step back as the face of Fabletics to assume a role as strategic advisor.

Business Journal estimates that the company brings in $650 million in annual revenue. 

Fabletics Digital Snapshot

  • Instagram followers: 1.9M
  • TikTok followers: 117K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 934K

Asian, Black, and Latinx Celebrity Brands

Representation in business is more vital than ever, especially as Gen Z makes up the most diverse generation in American history. To see women and minorities that were once ignored or shunned now dominate celebrity brands is inspiration for future generations. 
Here are the Asian, Black, and Latinx celebrity founders carving a path for the next wave of Gen Z creators, featuring:

  1. Rihanna, Fenty
  2. Selena Gomez, Rare Beauty
  3. Nikita Dragun, Dragun Beauty
  4. Issa Rae and Hannah Diop, Sienna Naturals
  5. Ciara, OAM
  6. Jasmine Tookes and Josephine Skriver, JOJA
  7. Desi Perkins, DEZI and DEZI SKIN
  8. Jen Atkin, The Ouai 

Rihanna: Founder of Fenty 

We can’t talk about celebrity brands without talking about Rihanna.

Although she started out as a grammy-winning pop star, Rihanna—net worth $1.7B—has largely pivoted from music to her high-returning brands, Savage x Fenty and Fenty Beauty. 

Widely recognized as one of the best celebrity makeup brands, Fenty Beauty is especially celebrated for its extensive (50 shades!) range of skin tones. Both Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty are leaders on inclusivity and diverse model representation. If the numbers are anything to go by, consumers are resonating with it.

Fenty Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 11.8M
  • TikTok followers: 1.5M
  • Organic search traffic per month: 715K

Selena Gomez: Founder of Rare Beauty

Selena Gomez has been in the public eye since she was a young cast member on Barney & Friends. Since then, she’s grown into a prolific actress, chart-topping musician, and outspoken advocate for mental health awareness and action. 

In 2019, Gomez founded Rare Beauty, a line of “makeup made to feel good in, without hiding what makes you unique.” Rare Beauty is committed to donating 1% of all sales to their Rare Impact Fund, which works to increase mental health care access in educational settings. The fund’s partners include organizations like:

Beyond the brand’s social impact promise, it’s also doing well in sales, generating $60 million in revenue just six months out from its launch.

Rare Beauty Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 3.5M
  • TikTok followers: 1.1M
  • Organic search traffic per month: 239K

Nikita Dragun: Founder of Dragun Beauty

The tipping point of Nikita Dragun’s success came with a video she posted in 2015: “I am TRANSGENDER.” What followed was a public journey through her transition. Since then, Dragun has amassed 3.5 million Youtube subscribers, 9 million Instagram followers, and founded her own brand: Dragun Beauty

It’s makeup made with a mission: to allow people of all sizes, genders, and identities to make their fantasies come true.  

Dragun Beauty Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 656K
  • TikTok followers: 15.8K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 12.3K

Issa Rae and Hannah Diop: Co-founders of Sienna Naturals

Issa Rae is a force of nature. From award-winning actress to head of her own music label and production company, calling Rae a celeb founder almost feels too simple. It was only natural for the hyper-talented creative to jump into the beauty industry with her line, Sienna Naturals.  

Collage featuring Benoni Tagoe, Issae Rae, Mr. Beast, and Nicki Minaj
Issa Rae's Production Company Raedio explores new avenues for creative entrepreneurs than just music.

With a knack for finding talent to run her brand, Rae co-founded Sienna Naturals with creator Hannah Diop. Black-owned and operated, Sienna Naturals boasts the “first dermatologist-tested products specifically designed for textured hair.” Broadening the product line to include those with more complex hair needs, Rae and Diop are building a celebrity brand on inclusivity and representation.

Sienna Naturals Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 46.5K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 1.9K

Ciara: Founder of OAM 

The team behind singer-songwriter-model-founder Ciara’s OAM (On A Mission) skincare line might not look like your usual beauticians. The celebrity entrepreneur employs chemical engineers, doctors, dermatologists, and research scientists to build her makeup line with the goal of providing high-quality products for all skin types. 

With the help of medical professionals, Ciara’s OAM revitalizes while it beautifies. OAM implements vitamin C in its products to add healthy, non-irritating doses of vitamins to your skincare routine. 

OAM Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 23.3K
  • TikTok followers: 1996
  • Organic search traffic per month: 25

Jasmine Tookes and Josephine Skriver: Co-founders of JOJA

Celebrity beauty brands get all the attention. Model and former Victoria’s Secret Angel Jas Tookes knows a strong skincare routine is only a piece of the wellness puzzle, which is why she co-founded fitness clothing brand JOJA with fellow model Josephine Skriver. 

Incorporating fan feedback into their designs, the model team built JOJA with friendship-centric fitness as its mission. The celebrity brand goes beyond high-end bodysuits and butterfly tank tops; the duo also shares workout regimens and health tips on the company’s Insta

JOJA Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 695K
  • TikTok followers: 80.3K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 1.1K

Desi Perkins: Founder of DEZI and DEZI SKIN

Celebrity means more than popstars and actors these days, and beauty influencer Desi Perkins is a perfect example. Posting her makeup tutorials and review vlogs to YouTube, Perkins skyrocketed to fame, gaining nominations for People’s Choice and Shorty Awards. 

As more influencers become entrepreneurs, Perkins provides the blueprint by building her success into brands, founding DEZI and DEZI SKIN. Luxury–but affordable–eyewear and skincare products promote Perkins’ mission statement of creativity and confidence. We are confident the influencer is on to bigger things with her growing brand.

DEZI Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 349K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 13.1K

Jen Atkin: Co-founder of The Ouai

Maybe not a household name like her clients, you’ve almost definitely seen Jen Atkin’s work. Dubbed “the most influential hairstylist in the world,” Atkin has worked with stars like Chrissy Teigen, Bella and Gigi Hadid, and the Kardashians. It’s only right that such a talent would found her own hair care line, The Ouai

The Ouai (sounds like “way”) is as much a beauty line as it is a scalp and hair care product. Atkin values her customers’ opinions as well, expanding her brand to include perfume, skin care and lotions by request.

It’s easy to dismiss celeb endorsements as marketing stunts, so why not go to the stylist celebrities trust? Atkin makes that decision easier with her proven product line. 

The Ouai Digital Snapshot:

  • Instagram followers: 2.2M
  • TikTok followers: 43.5K
  • Organic search traffic per month: 109K

What We Like About Celebrity Brands 

Celebrity brands are a great example of how individuals can capitalize on their creative momentum to start a business and build the next big thing. Beyond earning them more money, these brands are giving stars more control over their careers and setting them up for longevity, no matter how many auditions they land.

At Worklife, we’re committed to supporting the companies of innovative founders and making it easy for anyone to start their own thing.

If you’re actively raising, we make investment decisions in 24-48 hours.

Read more of our favorite founder and self-made stories below:

Latest Blog Posts