Kathy Ireland has become the highest paid model in the world.

The former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover girl has beaten the likes of Gisele Bundchen and Cindy Crawford to take the top spot, thanks to her company Kathy Ireland Worldwide which sells everything from ceiling fans to carpets.

Kathy is personally worth $350 million with a retail empire valued at $2 billion, according to Forbes and Kathy praises her religious values for helping her become so successful.

Kathy, 48, said: ''We have a long way to go,'' she said adding that her ''first and last meeting of every day is with God''.

Kathy's core clientele are busy moms but she says she doesn't like to hold store openings because they become overrun with men who want her to sign old copies of Sports Illustrated.

She explained: ''It's heroic for a busy mom to go to a store. If she goes to a retailer and she has a bad experience she's mad and rightly so.

''We've tried it, and it doesn't work. What happens is the store gets cluttered with guys who are there with 500-year-old copies of Sports Illustrated. How does that help a busy mom? These people are just in her way.''