A-list Business Acumen
From fashion labels and skincare products to electronics and hotels, more and more A-listers around the world are successfully establishing a presence in business forums and seem just as comfortable in the boardroom as they are in front of the camera.
Here are some celebrities who have used their star power as the perfect platforms for business decisions that were innovative, profitable and gave back to the community in one way or another.
Organisation: The Honest Company
Celebrity: Jessica Alba
Inspired by the birth of her daughter, Jessica wanted to create a company that would produce toxin-free products for families with young children. In 2011, she went on to become co-owner and co-founder of ‘The Honest Company’, which creates environmentally friendly and allergen-free baby and body products. Within its first year of business, sales hit $10 million.
The company now boasts over 120 products with the biggest seller being diapers – more than 10,000 product orders are shipped daily. 2014 saw sales of $150 million and in 2015, ‘The Honest Company’ was valued at $1 billion.
Organisation: A-Grade Investments (54 investments in 46 companies)
Celebrity: Ashton Kutcher
While he may have essayed the role of Steve Jobs on the big screen, Ashton is hugely keen on technology in real life as well and co-founded ‘A-Grade Investments’ in 2010. Since then, the company has invested in several companies like Airbnb, Foursquare, Uber, Spotify, Shazam, Pinterest and more. Quite the branding and social media expert, Ashton has always been on the lookout for promising start-ups and has invested in them as well, with Zenefits being a prime current example. Donning many hats, Ashton is a strategic advisor to Airbnb and was heralded by Forbes as one of 2016’s Top Tech Investors. With 17.5 million followers on Twitter alone, a mention of any of these start-ups by the Hollywood A-lister and business extraordinaire is enough to spark considerable interest in them.
Organisation: Founder of Al Das Medical Center, Vanilla by Jelena Ladies Salon and Spa, Asya’s Nursery, Jelena by Jelena Fashion Design Studio, Milk & Honey Gourmet Grocer, Trading and Café.
Celebrity: Jelena Jakovijec bin Drai
A successful model and a sharp businesswoman, former Miss Yugoslavia (1998) Jelena has been a resident of the UAE for over 15 years. When she couldn’t find a nursery up to her standards for her daughter Asya, she decided to open her own and from the interiors and carpeting, to meals and more, ‘Asya’s Nursery’ is a step above the rest and the first nursery to open on the Palm Jumeirah. Jelena is also the founder of Vanilla Salon and Spa, MD of ‘Al Das Medical Clinic’, with a focus on business expertise combined with world-class healthcare, and founder of ‘Milk & Honey Gourmet Grocer’.
While it’s easier to think celebrities have it made when it comes to making smart organisational decisions, the reality employs a more calculated, business-like approach. They use their fame and established self-brands to reinforce their passions, business plans and growth models. Read more about this in our blog post on ‘Finding your passion’ and remember, it isn’t just the A-listers who can achieve great things in the business arena.
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