Eva Gabor's side business made her an estimated $30 million per year
The Green Acres actress made a lot of money selling signature wigs.
Eva Gabor made being unapologetically glamorous a trend during her acting reign.
She was a style icon many young women admired, and she used the word darling often in her vocabulary. Gabor's signature hairdo was so popular that everyone wanted a mop of soft, golden curls, so she decided to join the beauty industry and sell wigs as a side business when provided with the opportunity.
In an interview with The Los Angeles Times in 1988, Gabor spoke about her business journey.
She began the interview by telling journalist Beatrice Motamedi to get comfortable, drink tea and grab a crumpet. Then, she talked about how heavy the wigs she wore on set were. "I had done a lot of movies and played with costumes and wigs, and they used to be so ghastly," she said. "They used to weigh tons."
When the actress first started Eva Gabor International, she almost went broke after her idea of selling franchises failed. To recover, Gabor sold a part of the company and focused on making wigs that would be sold to salons and other individuals who would sell them to the public. That's when everything started to work out. "We got bigger and bigger, and now we're just the biggest, producing about 1.3 million wigs a year."
Although she decided not to provide how much she made in revenue, industry sources estimated it was around $30 million per year. The business was based in Los Angeles but had offices throughout the U.S and Europe, with production plants in Korea and China. Gabor's wigs were high-quality hair that could be washed and blow-dried. They were also inexpensive, typically ranging from $35 to $110, which allowed the business to target various people with different incomes.
One time, Gabor gifted a wig to a young girl who had undergone chemotherapy. "I sent her one of the wigs, and she was reborn, and I couldn't tell she was wearing it," she said after the girl thanked her for saving her life. Unlike most celebrities, the actress loved being involved in her business.
"I am extremely involved. But not day-to-day. I have a president and vice president. You couldn't just do business if you're an actress too. But I know everything. And I put my two bits into everything. I know what direction we go and what we have to do. I work very hard."