Remember the exclusive “Simmons’ wedding” that was alluded to at last year’s reunion? Yup…that was mine!
I am so excited to be joining Season 2 of RHOD with this hilarious group of ladies, and I can’t wait for everyone to get to know me better in the following weeks. It’s going to be a journey with plenty of bumps along the way, but that’s life! And, I will always keep it real, and REAL honest.
In Dallas, the Simmons’ name is synonymous with philanthropy. My uncle, Harold Simmons, was a Dallas billionaire, and my father, Glenn, was the oldest brother of three in their family. My dad and his brother began working together before I was born, and made their money from a multitude of businesses including pharmacies, steel, waste disposal, and titanium. My family truly embodies the phrase, “To whom much is given, much is required.” The Simmons’ families in Dallas have given not only money to further causes in medicine, the arts, children’s causes and much more, but have also given their time volunteering as board members and advisors to this city and its charitable causes.
Hailing from a Dallas dynasty has allotted me many luxuries in life (you heard me mention the 75 pairs of shoes at five-years-old, right?), but it also holds a great deal of responsibility. On many levels, I am the public face and personality of my family, which means that a lot is expected of me. I have chaired so many galas and events in this city that I have lost count! I stopped updating my Charitable Resume a few years ago. I figure almost every socialite in this city has attended an event I have chaired, or have at least heard about one of them, and I am known by reputation as a serious fundraiser. I sit on numerous Boards, I attend fashion and philanthropic events around the city on a weekly basis, and not to mention, I still have two companies to run! I’m getting exhausted just writing about it all.
Kameron’s family and my family, the Westcott’s and the Simmons’, have been friends for many, many years. As LeeAnne noted, we are both from “legacy families” in Dallas. I love Cary’s Chris Rock quote from this first episode, where she notes the difference between “rich” vs “wealthy”. In Dallas, we also make that distinction with “old money” vs “new money.” Now, don’t get me wrong, old money in Dallas is certainly not the same as old blue blood money in New York. But, the Wescott and the Simmons’ legacies go back for more than a generation, and that is good enough in the former Republic of Texas. And my girl Kameron (Dallas’ version of PINK) lives right down the street from me! We actually decided to do the show together; what were we thinking?!
LeeAnne and I have been the best of friends for years. I met her at the circus, when she was packing up her puppets—just kidding! Before joining the show, the only person I didn’t know in our group of friends well was Brandi. Cary and I have been friends for nearly 10 years. LeeAnne was correct in noting that Cary was only in attendance at my wedding reception as the wedding was very intimate, and LeeAnne stood next to me as one of my Maids of Honor. LeeAnne practically saved my wedding day from various capers like an almost missing guest book, to an actual missing unity candle!
Stephanie and I have met through numerous events in the Dallas philanthropy scene. Most memorable, was when she and her husband, Travis, chaired an event for an organization that helps families suffering from domestic abuse. The event was honoring my uncle. My initial impression of Stephanie was that she was so sweet and bubbly (I guess that comes from all the Jesus Juice she and Brandi drink). Both of my parents came from nothing and worked hard for everything they achieved in life. I have them to thank for my work ethic and go-getter attitude, but that also comes with the pressure to uphold and grow that legacy. My mother and I are very close, in our relationship and our proximity, as she lives right down the street from me too! We not only have a mother-daughter relationship, but also a business relationship to balance, as we own and run our companies together.
My mother started Ultimate Living more than 21 years ago after conquering breast cancer. What started as a way to help others with good nutrition, boomed into a multi-million dollar business. Her success inspired me to start my own skin care company, Hard Night Good Morning, which is a natural, aloe vera based line that is vegan, cruelty-free, and contains no parabens, phosphates, sulfates, or phthalates.
What is it like running a company with your 76-year-old mother? Well,…it’s as challenging as it sounds! We are very similar in just as many ways as we are different (my dad called us “Pete and Repeat”, and said we are two peas in a pod), so we butt heads a lot and disagree. You will see the power struggle play out between mom and me, as I try to balance work while having a normal mother-daughter relationship. Trust me when I say it gets confrontational. We are both, in essence, control freaks. Just ask my “long-suffering” husband, Jeremy!
Speaking of tumultuous relationships, seeing the drama and heart break play out between Brandi and Stephanie is very sad to watch. I didn’t know the full story before we met, or the details that led to their split, so I’m watching it play out with the rest of you! I can see why Cary and LeeAnne would want to help reunite these two former besties because I know what caring people they both are. I know LeeAnne better than most, and I can tell you that with Brandi, she is coming from a place of protecting. She will always stand up for someone she sees as the underdog and feels other’s hurt as her own. However, I try to stay out of other people’s business…except for my mother’s. Besides, the “do good” messenger always gets shot, right?
I don’t really have time for this anyway, I’m in the middle of taking over an EMPIRE, and there is going to be a coup d’état very soon! I’m focused on my next military move. Good thing I’m married to a veteran!
Oh yeah, and I meant to say, “Bread Plate, not Butter Plate”…in case you were wondering!
Get a sneak peek at the next episode now: