Secret Celebrity Startup Founders
From actors and actresses to reality tv stars and musicians, celebrities of all kinds are dipping their toes into the world of entrepreneurship — some of which may surprise you. These are the startups that you never knew were founded by your favorite celebrities.
1. Just Water
- Founder: Jaden Smith
- Founded: 2015
At just ten years old, Jaden Smith decided to do something about the plastic polluting the Pacific Ocean. With the help of his celebrity parents, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, the ambitious youngster founded the now wildly successful startup, Just Water.
Read the full Just Water origin story to learn how Jaden Smith launched a successful company at such a young age.
- Founder: Cameron Diaz
- Founded: 2018
Avaline is a California-based wine startup that crafts “clean wine” you can feel good about pouring into a glass. However, this isn’t the only thing the brand can boast about — it is also founded by successful actress Cameron Diaz with the help of her co-founder Katherine Power.
Read the full Avaline Wine origin story to learn more about how Diaz and Power launched their wine startup.
3. This Saves Lives
- Founders: Ryan Devlin, Kristen Bell, Todd Grinnell, and Ravi Patel
- Founded: 2013
This Saves Lives is a social food startup launched by an all-star founding team. With every purchase made from This Saves Lives, a malnourished child receives much-needed foods in a matter of weeks.
Read the full This Saves Lives origin story to learn more about the impact of this celebrity-owned startup.
- Founder: Shay Mitchell
- Founded: 2020
Inspired by the surf style of the ‘90s and a die-hard love of sparkling tequila, Onda was launched by actress Shay Mitchell in 2020. Each drink is crafted using all-natural ingredients and real, blanco tequila from a woman-owned distillery in Jalisco, Mexico.
Read the full Onda Sparkling Tequila origin story to discover more about Mitchell’s surf-centric tequila company.
- Founder: Vanessa Hudgens
- Founded: 2014
Caliwater isn’t just an innovative business model; it is also owned by “High School Musical” star Vanessa Hudgens. Caliwater sells cactus water, and its products contain five naturally occurring electrolytes. Better yet, the company donates $0.05 of every can purchased to fighting child hunger.
Read the full Caliwater origin story to learn more about the story behind this charitable cactus water startup.
- Founder: Ty Burrell
- Founded: 2014
Alcohol companies of any kind, particularly bars, in Utah face unique business challenges. Bar-X, one of Modern Family star Ty Burrell’s successful bars in Salt Lake City, breaks the mold by providing a prohibition-style bar experience in a less-than-friendly environment for businesses selling alcoholic beverages.
Read the full Bar-X origin story to get the scoop on how and why Burrell launched his Salt Lake City bars.
- Founder: Susan Sarandon
- Founded: 2009
Celebrities and ping pong are a pairing that may surprise you; however, Susan Sarandon’s SPiN ping pong lounge has been wildly successful since its inception in 2009. With eight (soon to be nine) locations across the US from New York to Seattle, the ping pong startup aims to provide space for community, fun, and an atmosphere that will help guests hone in on their ping pong skills.
Read the full SPiN origin story to learn more about how Sarandon launched this successful ping pong startup.
- Founder: Robert De Niro
- Founded: 1994
Robert De Niro is famous for his successful acting career; however, his accomplishments don’t end there — De Niro is also a founder of NOBU. The critically acclaimed Japanese-Peruvian restaurants have been in operation since 1994 and have since expanded to 39 locations as well as eight luxury hotels across the globe.
Read the full NOBU origin story to learn more about how De Niro transitioned from actor to successful entrepreneur.
9. Love Wellness
- Founder: Lo Bosworth
- Founded: 2019
Love Wellness is an innovative wellness company that offers many supplements for sleep, skin, and more. The company was founded by Lo Bosworth, known for her time on MTV’s Laguna Beach and The Hills, and has recently expanded to be offered in Target stores across the country as well as online.
Read the full Love Wellness origin story to learn more about how reality star Lo Bosworth created a wellness empire.
10. Pursued By Bear Wine
- Founder: Kyle Maclachlan
- Founded: 2005
After Twin Peaks, Kyle Maclachlan’s arguably most iconic role, the actor returned to the Pacific Northwest to launch his wine brand, Pursued by Bear Wine. The brand focuses primarily on red wines (with the exception of rosé), all grown and crafted in Eastern Washington.
Read the full Pursued by Bear Wine origin story to learn more about Maclachlan’s journey into winemaking.