There are so many things I love about watching The Real Housewives franchise that it’s impossible to name them all. (Well, it is possible, but I have a job and a social life that I’d like to get back to at some point.) Besides the goldmine of drama that presents the perfect contrast to my boring life, and the insanely rich lifestyles and fabulous wardrobes that have me crying tears of jealousy, my favorite thing about watching the Real Housewives is seeing them go to embarrassing lengths to
make a buck chase their dreams. Whether it means pretending they can sing in front of an audience of millions (they can never sing), or slapping their name on the nearest bottle of alcohol, it’s always fun to see what these women will come up with to grab a little more cash on top of their Bravoc checks. I mean, you gotta have a fallback plan once Andy Cohen gets bored and fires you! And since we can’t all be SkinnyGirl, you’ve probably forgotten about most of these cash grabs businesses—which is why I’m here to remind you, in all their glory.
Pop Of Color By Kristen Taekman
Kristen Taekman was only on RHONY for two seasons, but she wasted no time diving into the beauty business, launching her own line of nail polish called Pop of Color (inventive name). And by launching her own line, I mean her husband Josh bought her a business. And by bought her a business, I don’t mean paid for her start-up fee for some MLM company, unlike every other girl from your high school who pushes her nail polish wraps on Facebook. In classic Housewives fashion, Kristen’s business venture caused drama, when Bethenny called her dumb for not trademarking the name of her company. I mean, was she wrong? If anyone knows about being housewife with a successful business, it’s Bethenny.
Gretchen Christine Collection
Gretchen Rossi was an all-star OC housewife for five seasons, and she made sure to kickstart her personal brand before getting booted from the show. What started out as a handbag line that was definitely just a manufactured plot line for the show has become a lifestyle brand featuring jewelry, cosmetics, and hair tools. Gretchen Christine Collection was recently acquired by a global portfolio of luxury brands, so hopefully she cashed a nice check to make up for Slade not having a job. She shared the news on her Facebook page, giving full credit to God for the line’s success: “So today and always I will say thank you Lord for blessing me and my business because I remained faithful even during the difficult times.” Yes, God definitely ignored the needs of the poor and sick to help your handbag line become successful. These days, Gretchen spends most of her time Facetuning her baby, and desperately wishing Bravo wanted her back.
Melissa Gorga’s Singing Career
Melissa Gorga was not the first Bravolebrity or housewife to attempt a singing career (@Scheana and @Countess) and she certainly wasn’t the last. Melissa’s impending music stardom was a plot line for like, two whole seasons of RHONJ, and it’s wild to remember that she literally performed for Ryan Seacrest. What a time to be alive. The most interesting part of this storyline was actually Joe’s insistence that Melissa not leave the house, prompting him to build her a recording studio in the basement. It’s like Beauty and the Beast, but with sh*tty dance singles instead of books. Low-key, I still listen to “On Display” more than I’d like to admit, so I’m always hopeful we’ll see Melissa return to the studio… which is theoretically still in her basement?
Adrienne Maloof’s Zing Vodka
There have quite literally been too many Bravolebrity alcohol brands to count, but not all of them are created equal. For every SkinnyGirl Margarita or Vanderpump Rosé, you’ve got half a dozen brands that once served as a plot line, never to be heard of again. Take, for example, Adrienne Maloof’s red velvet-flavored vodka, the thought of which makes me throw up in my mouth. Marked by an extravagant launch party, at which Adrienne’s soon-to-be-ex Paul dressed up as one of the naked tree statues (2012 was crazy), no one ever really expected this to be a hit. But the final nail in the coffin for Zing Vodka? Chris Brown was the creative director. Lol, I’m f*cking done.
SHE by Shereé
The RHOA alum’s athleisure/jogger/sweatpants collection has basically been in the works since Kim Kardashian was married to Kris Humphries. From hosting a “fashion show with no fashions” to clarifying the launch date as “September/Spring/Summer,” we’ve been waiting on SHE by Shereé for a full decade, and there’s no end in sight. Currently, her website just features a homemade video of Shereé and some models wearing athleisure, and an about page that claims the line is coming “by 2022.” Basically, this sh*t doesn’t actually exist, and it probably never will. Her “Who Gon’ Check Me Boo” t-shirt (which is actually a Hanes shirt, lmao) is listed on the Nordstrom website, but it’s sold out. Classic.
Sonja Morgan’s Toaster Oven
Amelia Earhart, the lost island of Atlantis, the death of Jeffrey Epstein. These are just a few of the world’s greatest mysteries, and Sonja Morgan’s toaster oven might be the most curious one of them all. On the show, we saw Heather Thomson help her with the branding and logo, we saw a photo shoot that involved a prototype, and in 2016, she even told Forbes it was still in the works! Personally, I have my doubts, and I’m not the only one. The RHONY ladies were pretty relentless in asking her about the toaster oven progress, but never really got a straight answer. Let’s just agree that it’s never coming out, and move on with our lives. Sonja has always been a hustler, with other business including her clothing line, her event planning company, and the controversially-named Tipsy Girl Prosecco debuting to varied levels of success. Whatever, she’s delusional, and we love her for it.
Honestly, Alexis Bellino is an icon, and watching her launch a dress line with absolutely no fashion knowledge was a f*cking delight. Sure, she had no design background and couldn’t even give a solid definition of the word “couture” on the show, but she did the damn thing anyway. Actually, I’m not sure that the company ever really got off the ground, but she sure talked about it a lot. Alexis Couture was even less successful than her painful Fox 5 hosting segments, which is saying something. God, I love this woman.
Milania Hair Care
Teresa Giudice has always been a hustler, and she’s on stranger to slapping her name (or one of her daughter’s names) onto a product that makes no sense. Her hair care line was one of many products that screeched to a halt when she got indicted for fraud, but not before she got sued for copyright infringement by a company called Milani Hair Care, which just happened to be run by Alexis Bellino’s friend. It’s all one vicious cycle. Other *chef’s kiss* businesses from Teresa include her failed Italian restaurant with her brother, her many cookbooks, and of course, her her alcohol brand Fabellini. A mogul.
I could literally go on for days about these failed business enterprises. I mean, just the alcohol brands could be an article by themselves—looking at you, Ramona, Vicki, Brandi Glanville, and plenty of others. And who could forget an endeavor like Kathy Wakile’s line of at-home cannoli kits? Everyone, that’s who could forget. As long as these desperate women stay on TV, they’ll keep coming out with these low-effort, high-embarrassment business ventures, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what comes next.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (7); Bravo