As a woman in a male-dominated industry, Barbara Kavovit is used to blazing her own path — but did you know she's actually been doing it for decades?
The Bronx-born Real Housewives of New York City friend got her start in construction at 21 years old, handing out business cards to housewives in Westchester County connecting them to handymen, in turn acting as a general contractor, though “I didn’t know it at the time," she told PEOPLE in a recent interview.
“From there I built one of the largest female-owned construction companies in New York City,” Barbara said.
In addition to her company success, Barbara also developed a nationally distributed line of tools marketed toward women, DIYVA, and has designed homes for celebrities. One of these stars may ring a bell for Vanderpump Rules fans: supermodel Amber Valletta, who is the half-sister of Robert Valletta, whom Scheana Shay infamously dated on Season 6. Small world!
Barbara has also already written two books and her third, a novel called Heels of Steel, comes out on June 25. According to Amazon, the novel tells the story of a builder named Bridget Steele, who works hard to stand out in her boys-club-type industry. Sound familiar?
Catch Barbara on RHONY Wednesdays at 9/8c. Preview, below.