With new start-up Pets Rock, Poison lead singer Bret Michaels gets into the pet-products business.
Singer Bret Michaels attends the Dodge Rock n' Roll Half Marathon and Mini Marathon to benefit the ASPCA
Bret Michaels, lead singer of the band Poison, is lending his style to cats and dogs. His new Pets Rock line, available at PetSmart this summer, includes collars, beds, toys, and other items decked out with faux leather, flame decals, and skulls. Coming up with the products was the fun part, says Michaels, who owns several dogs, horses, and rats. One of Michaels's favorite creations is a dog toy that's shaped like a tour bus and filled with miniature band members and roadies for dogs to chomp on.
Michaels says managing his music career for the past 25 years taught him a lot about marketing, negotiating, and choosing the right partners. "Music is the most rewarding career, but it's also the sleaziest business you could ever be in," he says.
Michaels has other products in the works, including a fragrance line, Thorns and Roses, and an energy drink he calls BMF—Bret Michaels Fuel. Michaels concocted the beverage last year after he underwent surgery following a brain hemorrhage. He felt lethargic after the operation, so he created his own healthy pick-me-up. The singer hired a mixologist to refine the formula and is in talks about company partnerships. "After my brain hemorrhage, I had short-term memory loss," says Michaels. "But I live to create. I'm always writing down new ideas."
Here are a few other classic rock bands that have spawned companies.
Alice himself opened a Phoenix sports bar, Cooperstown, in 1998. The place is best known for its Big Unit, a 22-inch hot dog served on a baguette.
Last year, Jon Bon Jovi opened the JBJ Soul Kitchen, a nonprofit restaurant in New Jersey. The menu is literally priceless—diners are asked to volunteer in the kitchen or make a donation.
Frontman Gene Simmons co-owns Rock & Brews, a restaurant in California. Simmons also licensed a Kiss-themed coffee shop and an indoor glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course in Las Vegas, complete with an animatronic Kiss band and a "Hotter Than Hell" wedding chapel.
Ex-frontman Sammy Hagar created two spirits: Sammy's Beach Bar Rum and Cabo Wabo Tequila. He also owns Cabo Wabo Cantinas in Mexico and Las Vegas.
CAITLIN BERENS writes about business innovation and entrepreneurs. Before Inc., she worked at Billboard, SELF, and Better Homes and Gardens. She attended Drake University, and lives in Brooklyn, New York. @CaitlinBerens