Incredible women who found success later in life

-Mar 13, Hannah Hargrave, Living -

woman who found success later in life
If you’ve ever woken up and thought about changing your career or finally fulfilling your passion, there’s every chance you’ve also thought: “I’m too old for that” and plopped your head back down on the pillow. But who is to say you’ve missed your chance just because you’re the wrong side of 40, creeping up on 50 or have surpassed 60?


Conquering new territory later in life can be scary but it’s absolutely possible and these super successful women have all proved that being a late bloomer can well and truly pay off.


Vera Wang founded her empire when she was over 40


Vera Wang wasn’t fresh out of fashion school when she became perhaps the world’s most famous bridal and fashion designer. She was actually a professional figure skater and a journalist.

Vera, now 68, worked at Vogue as senior fashion editor for 15-years after earning a degree in art history. She then worked briefly at Ralph Lauren, but it was while planning her own wedding at the age of 40 that she began considering going into bridal design. The rest is history.

Susan Boyle became a famous singer right before her 50th birthday


When Susan Boyle took to the stage on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ in 2009 and belted out “I Dreamed a Dream” she was 48-years-old and had never sung professionally. She immediately became a Youtube sensation and while she came second in the competition she went on to become a singing sensation.


Julia Child became a famous author at 49 years old


The iconic chef and author didn’t even learn to cook until she was 36-years-old. Julia Child initially wanted to be a novelist and playwright but when she moved to France with her husband in 1948 she decided to attend culinary school. She then created the groundbreaking cookbook ‘Mastering the Art of French Cuisine’ and was credited for bringing French cuisine to the American public. The book wasn’t published until she was 49-years-old. Julia also went on to land her own TV show ‘The French Chef’.

J.K Rowling’s an inspiration for single mothers worldwide


J.K Rowling’s rags-to-riches story is infamous. It took her seven years to write the first Harry Potter book and during this time she was a single mother on welfare suffering from depression. She was 32 when ‘The Philosopher’s Stone’ finally came out. She is now one of the richest women in the world. But most importantly: we love her work and clearly – so does she. 

Carol Gardner found her fortune when she was over 50


Carol Gardner was 52, broke, depressed and going through a divorce when she started a card company that would go on to be worth millions. She got herself a 4-month-old,  60-pound bulldog who she called Zelda and won a local Christmas card contest with a funny card featuring her. She ended up getting the attention of Hallmark and went on to create the company Zelda Wisdom, whose products – included cards, calendars and books – are sold worldwide.

Martha Stewart became a mogul in her mid-forties


She’s now got a net worth of £450 million but Martha Stewart wasn’t raking in the cash as a domestic goddess from an early age. She actually started out as a model and paid her way through university by working for Chanel. She then went from being a stockbroker to starting a catering business from her basement. Her real success didn’t really come until the age of 41 thought when she published her first book ‘Entertaining’. ‘Martha Stewart Living’ was launched seven years later followed by ‘Martha Stewart Omnimedia’ when she was 56.

Jane Lynch found stardom in her 50’s


The ’40 Year Old Virgin’ actress only really became a household name from roles she landed in her 40s and it wasn’t until she was cast as Sue Sylvester on the hit show ‘Glee’ at the age of 51 that her career catapulted her to the dizzy heights of stardom.

On finding fame later in life she said: “I think if this had happened for me younger, I would be so unstable in my energy—fearful that it would all be taken away.” 


If you enjoyed this reading this article then you might also like Emma Thompson at 58: “Being Old is Heaven” and How to Stay Young Forever: 5 Ageing Myths Debunked


Healthy Beauty 24|7

Sign up to our weekly newsletter