"I'm not really interested in being in front of the business as the face all of the time," says Kate Hudson, the Golden Globe-winning actor and serial brand founder. "The one thing I know is I am not a CEO. I do not want to run a business."
Hudson told me on Inc.'s What I Know podcast that despite constantly working on ideas for new products and companies, she's found she prefers to partner with experienced founders to handle day-to-day operations. ("I'm an Aries. I get bored. I gotta keep moving," she says.) She's done that with Fabletics, the membership-fueled activewear brand she co-founded and endorsed from 2013 to 2021. She's done it with King St. Vodka, a brand she helped launch in 2019. And she's done it with her latest venture, InBloom, a plant-based supplement company she helped debut in August 2020.
But Hudson stresses that she's no hands-off influencer, just hawking products on a feed after a few photo shoots. That can come as a surprise to new partners, who typically ask her to be as involved as possible, perhaps not expecting much based on her already crammed schedule. "I am the opposite... you need to ask yourself if you're comfortable with how involved I am," she says. She is particularly interested in R&D, product formulations, pricing, and marketing strategy. "There's no product that's gonna go by without me having my hands all over it."
Perhaps some of Hudson's experience as an in-demand actress influenced her desire to partner only with brands that excite her enough to get her hands dirty. She says when she'd be approached for straight sponsorship deals, "It always made me feel kind of icky because it didn't feel authentic."
These days, her focus with New York-City-based InBloom is to make wellness via vitamin- and herbal-supplements accessible to a mass-market, but also not wildly damaging to the planet. With those two ideals often at odds, she explains, building the business with sustainable practices and products becomes a game of tight margins.
"I think every company should have a responsibility. I think every company these days does have a mission," Hudson says. "It's just that some people are more willing to cut their margin than others. For me, I would rather have a smaller margin, make a product more affordable, and make less so I could build more. I look more long-term than short-term."
For my full interview with Kate Hudson, click on the player below or find What I Know in Apple Podcasts, or anywhere you listen.