10 Startups You Didn’t Know Were Owned by Celebrities

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It is no secret that celebrities routinely dabble in entrepreneurship. Commonly, using their name to market and establish their brand image, celebrities bring star power to brands like Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Skin or Lauren Conrad’s clothing brand by the same name.

However, there are several other startups founded by celebrities that will surprise you. From cactus water companies to ping pong lounges, these are the startups you didn’t know were celebrity-owned.

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.

2. Avaline

  • 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.

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.

4. Onda

  • 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.

5. Caliwater

  • 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.

6. Bar-X

  • 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.

7. SPiN

  • 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.

8. NOBU

  • 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.

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.

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.

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