Cast Blog: #RHONY

No Good Deed for Sonja Goes Unpunished

Heather isn't surprised Sonja brought up the toaster oven debacle again at the reunion.

No good deed goes unpunished. . .

Well my first season on RHONY has truly come to a close with the airing of Part 2 of the Reunion.

I felt we got into more of the drama tonight starting with Sonja’s toaster project. Ugh. So here I go. . .

Early in the season Sonja came to me and asked me for my hand in redesigning her logo and her overall branding -- which soon also turned into a campaign for her toaster oven box. I agreed to help Sonja to create the logo to umbrella and encompass both her brands "Sonja in the City" and "Sonja Home" and further, I agreed to help her create a marketing campaign to put on the package of her toaster oven. I pulled together an team of experienced professionals and enlisted them along side me to help my friend, pro-bono. . .no cost to Sonja. Sonja has been going through difficult times and I believed in her toaster oven idea and felt that the successful launch of it could help see her out of some of her financial worries and toward independence with confidence!

There were many ups and downs during the process, including Sonja suddenly needing the toaster oven box immediately to house what she described as ensuing production?!? But I could never get any information out of Sonja. Questions regarding her business plans or even the vision for her said business went unanswered. I only ever heard Sonja say she had a change of heart about the working logo we chose when she insisted she had told us and we didn’t listen. There were many areas that made the process of helping Sonja arduous -- we were working in a vacuum with no constructive feedback or input from her, and I still delivered exactly what I said I would. And somehow Sonja feels I owe her more?

I cared more about building a brand for Sonja than Sonja cared about building her own brand. I spent countless more hours with James, (big guns), Bernard, and Gian Andre DiStefano conceptualizing and executing it the ideas with absolutely no effort on Sonja’s part. Yet Sonja has gone on to say in her blogs that I did this not to help her but to “showcase my marketing expertise.” And, that she turned down a “Martha Stewart executive” to work with me. Oh really? Where was this executive when I tried to pull myself out of the nightmare? I can only wonder how Sonja feels “showcasing my marketing expertise,” does any good to anyone here but Sonja? Yummie by Heather Thomson is not an advertising firm and I am not in the business of producing branded campaigns. The truth is that what I did for Sonja was for Sonja. I hoped that if I could help to set Sonja up in the right direction and she would fly, but instead Sonja is still spinning in circles.

Sitting on the sofa and having her pull out those cards with her “sexy j” was not shocking, and much as it was insulting. I have more respect and appreciation for Sonja’s young fan who took an opportunity to get her graphic work out there than I gained during my entire experience with Sonja. Sadly, instead of potentially showcasing a young talent, it only went to prove how much Sonja actually “missed” during the project.

In the time that I first sat down with Sonja to help her, I have been to market in front of buyers with four new Yummie and Yummie Tummie Collections that I design (not to mention a product launch into a new classification with the introduction of my new line of leggings! #holla), and I have managed the image campaigns, the photoshoots, and the marketing that coincides with each launch, including a billboard campaign, up and running in NYC thru the holiday season.

Sonja on the other hand, sits still with an empty prototype box, waiting for its toaster oven and is still singing about her a “sexy j.” Anyone with diligence and focus could have taken the packaging and the campaign we created, gotten in front of a buying team, if not several, for tons of feedback and launched that damn toaster oven six months ago. You could have one in your kitchen right now and Sonja could be off and running with the start of her brand. But as she drones on about placements and oven mitts and tongs (all sold in different departments than a toaster btw) she is left with her delusions of grandeur, and I am left with the reality that that her toaster oven and branded campaign (with a switched out logo or not), will never again see the light of day. I do have adoration for SJM, but she doesn’t know the meaning of hard work and that getting arrested would be easier for her than staying focused -- and that my friends, is a wrap!

I naturally bonded with LuAnn throughout filming RHONY this season. She is a strong, but kind lady -- but like the rest of us LuAnn makes mistakes. LuAnn came to the reunion with a plan and Carole in her sights and she did not like to see me “taking sides.” But what I said on the couch was the truth. There is a lot more to St. Barths and often times in filming there are things that are best left off-camera and this comment is directed to more than one of the ladies, and I will leave it at that.

Is it me, or do most of these ladies have double standards? One set applies to them and another to everyone else. Ramona judges herself and Sonja differently than she does Aviva. Aviva makes allowances for her dad but plays the high moral card on Samonja. Luann lives in her own paradigm and if anything contradicts it, she doesn’t like it.

I can tell you, I tried to play it straight. Throughout the season I wanted to always live true to my own constitution. I certainly have my opinions on things and certainly took the liberty at taking swipes at some ladies in my monologues, but I tried never to "judge" the women. I tried to be true to myself and not say anything to the camera that I wouldn’t say in front of them. My goal was to be honest to both the ladies and to myself. I am very "what you see is what you get." So, I am curious, how do you think I did overall? Did I hold up to my own standard as Season 5 is complete?

Yes it is over, but we don’t have to say goodbye!! You can still talk to me on Facebook and Twitter at @iamHeatherT because I will continue tweeting to you so please holla at me and let me know how you all are doing! This has been such an amazing experience and I have enjoyed sharing pieces of my life with you all. I love hearing from you, meeting you on the streets, and laughing together on Twitter! It’s all been #yumsatstic!

A final thank you for all the support and all the love! Until next time, my parting words. . .

Please, remember to visit DonateLife.net to sign up to become an organ and tissue donor. Keep checking our Yummie site for all the new great products we are adding at YummieLife.com. and remember you can receive 10 percent off your orders by using the promo code Iamheathert10 created just for this blog at check out. Stay Yummie! I will see you soon and you can Holla that!

Love,
Heather

Q&A: What Has Kelly Been up To?

Kelly tells us what she's been up to since we last saw her and what it was like seeing Bethenny again. 

Bravotv.com:  What have you been up to since we last saw you? Tell us everything!

Kelly Killoren Bensimon: After retiring from RHONY, I modernized my first and favorite Assouline book In The Spirit of the Hamptons, which is the first of the ever popular Assouline series. I also decided to wrap a bow on my past, which includes modeling, publishing, editing magazines, writing books, designing jewelry, and beauty consulting by getting my MBA in international marketing.

Presently, I am a partner in a fund that invests and finances fashion and accessory brands to take them to the next level. I also write a column for amNY where I get to interview New York mavericks and pioneers who are game changers in this new era. You never know what will trigger someone to be better, so I decided to interview those who are changing the world. I started a new blog #kkbloves which launched in Paris, France. #kkbloves is an organic extension of everything I love: fashion, travel, and insider information on who, what, when, where, and how. I launched an exclusive candle line called BAISER ROSE available at craftingboutique.com and continue to make vintage necklaces exclusively for KitsonLA.

My teenage girls are navigating their teens well and are constantly challenging me. As a single mother 365 days out of the year, I took a huge leap of faith to do this on my own. I’m so proud of my girls and how they are growing up in New York City. They always laugh that I’m raising them like a suburban mom living in an urban city: whatever works.

Last but not least, are you ready for my first NOVEL, which is almost finished? If you're curious about New York women who have lived through their twenties and are ready for a new chapter, Get Ready. It’s steamy, feisty, aspirational, and colorful. My girls and I continue to be advocates of FOODBANK4NYC, Generosity water, and Madison Square Garden’s Garden of Dreams. Fluffy says, “Hi,” and the horse I ride, Houston, says “Neigh."

Bravotv.com:  Were you hesitant to see all the ladies again when Luann invited you to her girls’ night out?

KKB: Luann and I were at a book party at Omars, a private club downtown, and she asked me to come and have a drink, for she knows I don’t get out much. Luann honestly thought I would have fun, which I did. It was great seeing Ramona in such good shape after everything she’s been through. I admire her integrity and ability to raise an amazing daughter.

Bravotv.com: Who of the ladies have you stayed in touch with, if any?

KKB: Luann and I are very good friends, and we see each other all the time. She’s an incredible mother and has navigated the world of TV beautifully, AND has maximized on it incredible way. Go LU!

Bravotv.com:  Did it surprise you to hear that Bethenny was unnerved at seeing you again after all these years?

KKB: Bethenny has endured a lot since we last filmed almost four years ago. I understand if she was upset, since she didn’t know I was coming. I was happy to see her looking so well after all she’s been through. We got off on the wrong foot, and I hope one day she can see past as the past.

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