You know Ellen DeGeneres as a comedian, daytime television host and an actor. But did you know she’s also an entrepreneur who’s into designing furniture and pet products?
Ellen has a business called ED Ellen Degeneres, an American lifestyle brand. She was 56 when ED launched in 2015 as a joint partnership with Christopher Burch, the CEO of Burch Creative Capital.
ED’s products range from women’s clothing to home decor. Among its latest unveilings: a Spring ’17 collection of furniture in partnership with Thomasville, Loloi Rugs and Royal Doulton. ED also has a line of toys, carriers and other designs for dogs (Ellen and her spouse, Portia de Rossi, own three).
As one of the entertainment industry’s best-known personalities, Ellen has an enormous social media presence, deep financial resources and other advantages that most entrepreneurs don’t have. These assets enabled ED to grow quickly right from the start.
“ED is an extension of my lifestyle and is inspired by who I am as a person.” — Ellen DeGeneres
Yet her entrepreneurial experience also offers takeaways for any new business owner. One is to stay true to yourself when it comes to designing products that bear your name. “ED is an extension of my lifestyle and is inspired by who I am as a person,” says Ellen on her company’s website.
Another lesson is to choose a business idea that’s a long-term interest. You’re less likely to lose steam when the startup hits a rough patch (which it will).
“I’ve loved home design for as long as I can remember,” Ellen says in this article. “I know what I like, so designing it made sense for me.”