5 Celebrities Who Built Business Empires With Their Husbands

These women have used the fame and fortune of their relationships to build empires.

5 Celebrities Who Built Business Empires With Their Husbands getty

By Deanna Atkins

It often seems like our culture thrives on women who keep us entertained through guilty pleasure reality television shows. If the media would stop flooding its audience, we’d see celebrity gals with brains and million-dollar net worths who give women back the reputation we deserve.

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Below are a handful of leading ladies who chose to make the most of their fame by creating successful empires — with the help of their supportive and loving husbands.


1. Bethenny Frankel

As a reality star, entrepreneur, wife, and mother, Bethenny Frankel is certainly someone to admire. By combining her passion for healthy, natural foods with her business sense, she developed her signature Skinnygirl Cocktails.

She and ex-husband Jason Hoppy brought Skinnygirl to life over the seasons of Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York and their own show, Bethenny Ever After. Hoppy’s background in finance ensured that Frankel’s business ideas would flourish, and they did just that.

In 2011, she sold her company to Fortune Brands’ Beam Global for over $100 million. Now, they are divorced, but Frankel bounced back after their messy split and is dating Paul Bernon, a film producer.



A post shared by Bethenny Frankel (@bethennyfrankel) on Jan 1, 2020 at 10:50am PST

2. Tori Spelling

From actress to author to executive producer of her own show, it's no wonder Tori Spelling stays so thin, because she can't possibly have enough time to eat.

She’s come a long way since her role as Donna Martin on 90210. Now, she happily resides in Los Angeles with her husband Dean McDermott, and their 5 children. Spelling has written four books — her first, sTORI Telling, became a New York Times Bestseller.


Additionally, she operated a bed and breakfast with McDermott, and created a signature fashion and jewelry line. Today, she manages her own website, ediTORIal by Tori Spelling.



A post shared by Tori Spelling (@torispelling) on May 7, 2020 at 9:22am PDT

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3. Beyoncé Knowles

Bringing in a whopping $87 million a year is nice, but it's even nicer when you've got rapper, producer, co-owner of the NJ Nets, and entrepreneur Jay-Z to “put a ring on it.”

Their marriage has made their combined net worth over $800 million. This brilliant couple brings in the dough with their chart-topping hits, but Knowles also acts, designs, and models, placing her at #2 on Forbes’s 2010 list of 100 Most Powerful and Influential Celebrities in the World, and #1 on Forbes 2014 Celebrity 100 List.

Hollywood's hottest pair also showed off their business smarts when they trademarked their first child's name, "Blue Ivy," which is expected to soon become an empire of its own.



A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Jan 6, 2020 at 1:05am PST

4. Lisa Vanderpump

Even if you knew her dog Jiggy before you were aware of her husband, Ken Todd, there's still no denying that Lisa Vanderpump's bank account is as obscenely large as it is because of her adoring spouse’s help. Still, her own business sense has certainly helped, and together the couple has worked hard to be successful.


Born in England and later becoming a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, the Brit earned her $65 million net worth by co-owning 26 restaurants with her hubby of 30 years. Hard work paid off with a luxurious lifestyle, but Vanderpump still keeps busy by designing shoes and clothes, developing a skincare line, and writing for Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine.

Right now, they are struggling with their company because of the coronavirus pandemic and the effects of the restaurant business shutdowns, but they will get creative and make it through.



A post shared by Lisa Vanderpump (@lisavanderpump) on Aug 16, 2020 at 2:27pm PDT

5. Jill Zarin

Entrepreneur, businesswoman, and Real Housewives of New York City star Jill Zarin, and husband and businessman Bobby Zarin, own a home furnishing and fabric store on the Lower Eastside.


Zarin even expanded her business to the fashion world by creating Skweez Couture, a functional shapewear line for women. She has also launched her own jewelry and bedding line, Jill Zarin Home.

Bobby Zarin sadly passed away in 2018, but the business is still going strong. The couple's business was big enough originally, but Jill is constantly expanding their empire even further.

She said when she returned to the company after his death, "I didn't expect to be emotional when I walked in the door. He would have been 72 two weeks ago ... it's surreal. But he's here.”



A post shared by Jill Zarin (@mrsjillzarin) on Jan 4, 2020 at 1:50pm PST

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Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in July 2012 and was updated with the latest information.