We had to live with Bethenny Frankel not being on Real Housewives of New York for three long seasons. Now, imagine her not being on it at all—because that almost happened.
“Everybody told me not to do it," she reveals to AdWeek. "But I just felt like it's not that easy to get on television, and if the show doesn't do well, no one will know about it; but if it does well, then it will be great. It was a gamble."
When Bethenny returned this season, she knew that she had been off TV long enough that viewers were probably ready to see what the Skinnygirl mogul has been up to.
"I felt that I had been off of reality TV for so long that they didn't really know me anymore," she says. "So many women have gone through what I've been going through... and [going back on the show] would be a great way to connect with them."
In past few years Bethenny has not only gone through a lot of personal hardships, but also has kept busy with work—and notes that being on TV hasn't affected her brand outside the series. "They know that's who I am," she says, referring to her business relationships. She adds, "If we stop moving product as a result of me being on the show, then I won't do it."
While the RHONY star has turned down a number of business-related opportunities, she did reveal that there are plans underway for single-serve coffee pods to add to her roster of products. She also expressed an interest in branching out into frozen desserts, breakfast foods and fitness apparel. "I'm not going to do anything that I don't feel organically connected to," she said. "The Skinnygirl Margarita proved one thing, that I do understand what women want."
And as her empire continues to expand, Bethenny shared that she is doing one thing to make sure that it doesn't get too big—and that means that her online presence will be consolidated and she's hiring PR and sales teams. "I really want to keep it cohesive, so I'm taking back a lot more control," she says.