You may know her as the actress who took home the Oscar for Shakespeare in Love, but Gwyneth Paltrow is also an investor in several companies, a beauty product designer, and founder and chief creative officer of lifestyle brand Goop.
While some people have mocked the Hollywood star for her forays into the lifestyle space–Martha Stewart once went so far as to say, “If she were confident in her acting, she wouldn’t be trying to be Martha Stewart”–Paltrow resists the idea that she can have only one career. “I’m a big believer in the ampersand,” she says, adding that “it’s our tendency to want to put women in one little category. That’s where we like them.”
Paltrow, who slowed down her acting career to spend time with her children and took a break from acting in 2015 to focus on Goop, says her career path has been inspired, in part, by her mother, the actress Blythe Danner. “I do think women very much have different chapters of their lives where they focus on one thing and then circle back around–I mean, my mother is a good example: She worked all the time, and then when we were little she did less film work, and now people are talking about her for maybe an Oscar nomination this year. I grew up with a very powerful, engaged, creative working mother who ebbed and flowed with different aspects of her life–and I think I’m just following her example a lot of ways.”
Paltrow considers Goop “really my principle business,” though she realizes that varying amounts of time she spends on her other entrepreneurial projects can sometimes add up.
When I read to Paltrow a list of all of her business ventures, she laughs. “Oh, my God. That was exhausting, hearing that list.” But all these efforts, she insists, remain secondary to Goop. “Something like The Arts Club [Paltrow is an investor and advisor to the upscale private social club], it requires a minimal amount of my time,” Paltrow explains, although when the new L.A. outpost nears completion, “I’ll be involved in design and helping them kind of put it all together.” Meanwhile, Paltrow says her involvement with Tracy Anderson’s business “differs from year to year.”
“I know that it seems like I have a million things going on,” she says, but “really, Goop is my main business.”
“Being who I am, sometimes I can have a very small equity percentage in something and they make a big deal out of my involvement and sort of infer that I have a massive day-to-day role in the inner workings of the company, which I don’t at all. That’s true for all the businesses except for Goop,” she says, with the possible exception of Tracy Anderson’s fitness empire, which is “a project I’ve worked on for eight years and so it’s very close to my heart.”
Scroll through the slideshow above for a tour of Paltrow’s mini empire.