Here Are The Surprising Ways World’s Richest Women Made Their Fortune

By : Jennifer Browne |


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Celebrating America’s most successful, Forbes has come out with its second Richest Self-Made Women issue.

The list is made up of 60 of the richest women in the U.S, and the cover features nine of them – combined, the nine women are worth $9.7 billion (£6.7bn).

With an average of over $1 billion (£691 million) each, it draws the question – how the hell did they make so much money?

While some of the list’s richest women are already well-known and made their wealth through fame – Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Madonna – other female entrepreneurs have taken a more unusual path to building their mega-fortunes.

Here are four women who amassed their fortune in more surprising ways:

Sara Blakely

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The CEO of shapewear brand Spanx, 45-year-old Blakely began as a door-to-door fax salesperson before founding the company at aged 29 with just $5,000 (about £3,500) in savings – all because she wanted to come up with something to wear under white slacks. She’s now worth $1 billion.

Sophia Amoruso

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She’s still a millennial, but at 32, the author and fashion company Nasty Gal founder made it onto Forbes’ list with a net worth of $280 million (£193m). Unlike many new to wealth, Amoruso was carfeul not to spend money after making her first million in 2010. She told Business Insider: “A big no-no is increasing your spending as soon as your income increases. I have always been careful to avoid this pitfall.”

Kathy Ireland

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Interested in modelling? Apparently the way to make a fortune is lend your name to a bunch of products – that’s what Kathy Ireland did.

After enjoying a successful modelling career and appearing on a few Sports Illustrated covers, Ireland lent her name to a variety of products ranging from handbags to branded office furniture, The Independent reports. She now has a net worth of $360 million (about £250m).

Diane Hendricks


Hendricks co-founded a roofing business with her late husband in 1982. As a distributor, Hendricks brought ‘distribution to the nation, to every roofer out there – not just the big guy but the little guy.’ Her business grew rapidly and sales have doubled in the past 10 years to nearly $6 billion (£4.1bn). Now worth an estimated $4.9 billion (£3.3bn), Hendricks is the richest woman on Forbes’ self-made list. All thanks to roofing.

So, basically, if you want to get rich, become a model, invent something, or get into roofing. Next thing you know you’ll be a millionaire – hopefully…


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