The ‘Desperate Housewives’ veteran, with a food and travel series coming soon, adds Risa to her array of investments.
Actress Eva Longoria is starting a cookware label with Heyday in the e-commerce company’s first celebrity partnership as it pumps investment into new consumer brands to be sold on Amazon.com Inc.’s marketplace.
The brand, called Risa, will debut Nov. 1 with a selection of multipurpose, nontoxic pots, pans and kitchen accessories in three colors, including a $225 set. Longoria, who came to fame with the 2000s comedy-drama series “Desperate Housewives,” is a cofounder and will have an equity stake in the business. Additional financial terms weren’t disclosed.
Heyday raised $555 million in funding in 2021 to acquire, start and grow consumer brands to be sold on Amazon’s marketplace. Heyday was valued at more than $1 billion in that round, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.
The San Francisco-based company’s management sees the industry as a new digital version of consumer-packaged-goods conglomerates, like Procter & Gamble Co. or Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc. Investors include Raine Group, General Catalyst and PremjiInvest.
Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Rymarz said that Heyday currently has 20 brands on the market and is focused on three product categories: home, personal care and outdoor. An internal team courts entrepreneurs to gauge interest and feel out who might be a good fit as a partner.
“We’re building those inroads with entrepreneurs, partnering to incubate brands and to acquire brands,” Rymarz said in an interview.
Celebrities are getting more deeply involved in the brands they put their names on, and Longoria has been adding new projects in recent years. In 2020, she joined Natalie Portman as a co-owner of Los Angeles’s new National Women’s Soccer League franchise Angel City FC, and last year she started a tequila label, Casa Del Sol.
“Cookware just seemed so natural for the space that I’m in,” Longoria said in an interview. She’s built a significant following in the cooking sector since writing her first cookbook more than a decade ago and will host an upcoming food and travel show on CNN. “Everyone knows I’m the biggest foodie.”
In cookware, Longoria said she was approached by other suitors in the past who wanted to license her name and likeness for potential lines, but all offers were just “slapping my name on something.” The arrangement with Heyday allowed her into the design process.
“In cookware and kitchenware there’s always a new gadget, a new thing, a new fad,” said Longoria. “I’d love to grow the brand with the ideas of functionality and safety.”
(Updates with launch date in second paragraph. An earlier version corrected the headquarters location.)
Source: BNN Bloomberg ©2022 Bloomberg L.P.