Tyra Banks's Next Chapter: Focusing on Her Beauty Startup
Tyra Banks likes to keep busy. Before she ends a project, she tries to figure out "what is that next thing" and how to "do that seamlessly," she said yesterday at the WSJD conference in Long Beach, Calif.
Last week, Banks broke the news on Twitter that her reality competition series America's Next Model is ending after 12 years and 22 seasons.
Speaking onstage in a grey t-shirt with the words "I'm an entrepreneur, bitch," Banks suggested that when Top Model wraps she will pour her energy into Tyra Beauty, her cosmetics line that launched last year.
She hasn't previously taken outside investment. "Mine is a 100 percent entrepreneurial venture, no licensing," she told Allure last October. "There’s no person that’s paying me. It’s all 100 percent self-funded.”
But this will likely change: “Based on our growth, I’m not going to be able to afford to carry it forever so we’re going to be raising some money next year," she said at the conference.
Banks, a Harvard Business School graduate, hinted that she will make Tyra Beauty a higher priority; she has reached out to business executives, including Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, for advice and will form a "legitimate board" for the company next year.
Celebrity-fueled entrepreneurial ventures have a mixed track record. There are notable successes – such as the Jessica Alba-backed eco-friendly consumer goods startup The Honest Company, recently valued at $1.7 billion – but also high-profile flops, including Jay Z's struggling music streaming service Tidal and Blake Lively's now shuttered "lifestyle" site Preserve.