What happens to our Real Housewives once they've left a franchise? Each week, we're looking into the lives of past cast members after their exits. This week, former The Real Housewives of Miami star Cristy Rice.
She'd just divorced former NBA star Glen Rice when she starred in the first—her only—season of The Real Housewives of Miami in 2011. Back then, fiery Cristy Rice was best known on-camera for stirring up drama, especially at one of Lea Black's fundraisers, while off-camera, she was a single mom raising three kids—Brianna, Giancarlo and Giovanni—and running her children's boutique, Bri Bri.
These days, Cristy has moved her business and fashion instincts into a new arena by launching a colorful swimwear line called Cuban Rice, which counts celebs such as Gabrielle Union among its fans.
"I am always at the beach, with my children. That's really where I spend all my free time," Cristy told Racked Miami in February. "So then I decided to design something that I could wear that I actually live in, that I actually love and that's where bathing suits came into play."
Cuban-American Cristy—whose body is still as rock-hard as ever—designs the colorful bikinis, which are hand-made in Colombia, and is hard at work on her third collection. She says the notoriety she developed as an NBA spouse and a Bravo Housewife has been a big help when it comes to business.
"Fortunately, I have [had] my past life open many doors for me—my TV experience as a cast member of RHOM, my life and relationships made while traveling all over the globe and during the NBA days. I made a lot of connections so I have been very fortunate," Cristy, who was linked to Jamie Foxx in 2013, told Racked Miami earlier this year.
"I've been in business for a year and a half and I've done so much more than most people do in their first five years," she added. Too bad fellow swimsuit designer and current RHOM star Joanna Krupa only joined the cast after Cristy left—that would have been a fun rivalry to watch!
"The challenge for me now," says Cristy, whose line is available on her website and in South America and the Caribbean, "is to get into big [U.S.] stores and to all the boutiques that I want to be in."