For Bethenny Frankel, building a $100 million business was personal | Imposters
I wasn't a business person. I wasn't a brand that wasn't a mole. I was an entrepreneur. I didn't know anything about anything. I've learned that I'm good at the concept, not the contract. It wasn't like I had this big you know, foreshadowing about creating the first ever being the first person to monetize a liquor brand in that way, to create a category and a space to change the game for everyone, including the Kardashians, everyone on reality television. You know, I didn't think of any of that Welcome to Imposters. The show where I have revealing conversations with world class athletes and entertainers about their personal challenges and how overcoming those challenges has shaped their careers and lives for the better.
And I hope that it helps you along your personal journey. I'm your host, Alex Lieberman, co-founder and executive chairman of Morning Brew. Before we get started, make sure to subscribe and click the bell so you get notified every time. Morning Brew drops a new video let's dove in.
My guest today is Bethenny Frankel. Bethany is a self-made businessperson, TV producer, multiple New York Times bestselling author, philanthropist, and mother. You were probably introduced to Bethenny when she was a cast member of The Real Housewives of New York, where she revolutionized what it meant to be a reality show member. We'll get into more of that in this episode.
But beyond her on camera life. She's just released her first business minded book, Business is Personal, which kind of encapsulates what this podcast is all about in three words. The book is full of anecdotes, personal stories and advice on how to succeed as an entrepreneur. There is insights from Bethany's conversations with Hillary Clinton and Mark Cuban, as well as an in-depth look into her own business, deals with Skinnygirl cocktails. We'll get into more of that on this episode, too.
But if there's one thing to know about Bethenny, it's that her success is all about making an impression. Hustling to make the connection and working hard to scale and market your business. Bethenny Frankel, thank you so much for joining Impostors.
Thank you. I want to start in the beginning because I feel like as I read your book, business is personal. The way that you've navigated your career as an entrepreneur and a businessperson feels like it was so informed by your formative years in childhood.
And I would love for you to talk about, you know, what your childhood was like my childhood was very adventurous and filled with uncertainty and instability. I went to probably I think I went to 13 schools, and obviously we were always moving. And I had a father and a step father and a mother and an aunt and an uncle and a family all embedded in the thoroughbred horse racing world, which is about highs and lows, having and not having gambling action on racetracks all over the country. A little bit of Vegas, just, you know, a lot of degenerate.
So I had a very crazy childhood, but, you know, it was fun in many ways because it was a lot there was a lot of action. I mean, I just my personality is a reflection of that journey. Like, I don't take any of this shit seriously whatsoever. And I don't like pomp and circumstance. And I just I like winning on my own terms in my own way. And, you know, nobody cares about who comes in second in the Kentucky Derby.
And I've just seen it all on the racetrack. So it's just a very nontraditional childhood. And I've had a nontraditional path to success. So I want to talk more about this, and I'm going to keep pulling it out of you because I just think it's so fascinating. Something that you mention in the book is that you start realizing as you spend time with other kids and with their families that you didn't necessarily have like the emotional support.
Right. You talked about like these two things, the financial support and then the emotional support. And I remember the exact language you use, but you almost talked about like not being emotionally rich or having rich support from an emotional perspective. So, like, what does that mean? Did that mean like as a kid when things went wrong or not even as a kid, but as you grew up as things went wrong, you did not feel like you had your family to lean on? Well, I mean, I didn't see my real father.
I think from the time that I was four or five to the time that I was 14. And I had a stepfather who was sort of in and out but consistent for a certain period of time. So there were a lot of people in and out. And then my mother went away, let's just say, for a while and wasn't in my life at a later period. So I just always had different people coming in and out of my life.
With the exception of my real father. I didn't feel any love from him, but my stepfather and my mother, I think I felt at different points, loved but supported his different supported is you are 17 years old and you have the chickenpox and a terrible fever and you have to figure out on your own with a friend's mother how to get yourself to the hospital and deal with that or, you know, as a kid calling the police, because there were things going on in my house that were like domestic violence things or going to nightclubs at 13 years old with an I.D. and, you know, some emphasis and direction and maturity to be there. So I just kind of was an adult long before most people are adults in this society, you know, maybe not in Romeo and Juliet at times, but in this current society, most people, it's hard for me for people to understand the way that I grew up, but it just was what it was. And I was probably I mean, it sounds like, you know, I mean, it sounds like you just had to grow up really frickin fast. Yeah, I did have to grow up really fucking fast.
But it served me well as an adult. And I don't feel I now realize I'm putting the pieces together, why I'm the way I am. But it wasn't like as a kid.
I mean, listen, I did hide and I, you know, and I did. It wasn't that fun to hear, like, people being beaten up in my house, but I don't it wasn't like terror and torture. It just it just it was. But it didn't feel like that.
I mean, when you whatever's normal for you is normal. But it didn't it didn't I didn't feel terrorized as a child. I just later can't believe what I you know, what I saw as a kid compared to what my daughter sees as a kid and how we all coddle these kids. And so, you know, you had just mentioned how like one of the things that definitely informed who you are today and kind of all the success that you've had is just this winning mentality that you had growing up, being around the racetrack, just living in a very, let's call it high energy competitive environments. When you reflect on kind of the other things that were present or not present in your life as a kid, having to basically grow up really fast because you didn't necessarily have the support that was quote unquote normal for other kids. What else comes to mind when you think about who you are today in the type of entrepreneur you've been that was absolutely influenced by your early years? It's it's just the it's the action.
It's the let's go. It's the figure it out. It's like pros play hurt. It's the like, stop whining. Just get it done. It's just the whole thing.
It's not like a it's not one thing to pinpoint. It's who I am as a person. So it may not always be so touchy feely and it probably is perceived as cold or abrasive.
And I am I don't really let anybody in. I let in so few people. So the people I really care about, I'm very you know, I am very touchy feely, weepy like that. But with most people, I'm not I'm pretty hardcore. So I think that comes from the racetrack.
And my father was very much like that. He really didn't care what anyone thought. And he was unfiltered. And, you know, he just didn't mince words.
And I really don't it's just that it's it's just who I am. It's very interesting. Also, out of curiosity, you referred to the book. Did you write this book like the other books on your phone? I did write this book on my phone. Yeah. That is that is insane. That is like serial killer a book on your writing.
It's so funny that everyone finds that interesting because I don't have this is not my computer. I don't know what this computer is I'm sitting in front of. It's something that my assistant has. I'm sure I paid for it, but I don't have a computer and I don't have an iPad. So I was the BlackBerry generator.
I mean, I thought the BlackBerry was the greatest thing ever. Oh, it was brick breaker on the BlackBerry. Even talk about. I just I. I want them to come back.
I just it please come back. But I. Yeah. Oh, my God. You should see the way I text. It's like a firing.
So just yet. So so I'm the fastest I could probably win some sort of a contest, but I just don't understand how anyone doesn't. We're so we have this device and but I'm a good typer. I don't know why. I just it's just what's right there. And I, you know, I don't hold up in a cabin and write a book. I just basically, this is this oh, my God.
This is this anecdotal story. We have the tip about this, and then I piece it together. I do everything quickly and efficiently without much fluff. I can tell.
So a few of the the word to use, right to describe kind of the way you operate is intensity it is, you know, it is focused. It is about winning. It is about business. Like you talked about how, you know, there's only a few people in your life that you've truly you truly let in. And that may be a function of just kind of your surrounds growing up. Have you have you reflect it all upon like some of the ways where that can actually be a challenge for you? And what I mean by that is like it's very evident that how you operate and the intensity with which you operate serves you incredibly well from a professional perspective.
Right? Like there's evidence of that. Where does that actually fuck with you in some ways? Like, where is that actually not helpful? I mean, I won't necessarily know what I have lost as a result of it because I, I don't, you can't be who you're not, which is Kathy Griffin, of all people, said to me years ago when I did this event and I said something really funny that 50 people cried laughing at and like 750 people did not because it was inappropriate based on the room. But anyway, I bombed in Boca at this event. So she said, You can't be who you're not.
When I texted her about it, I don't have a I don't have a big bedside manner. Like, I just I, you know, with my daughter, I do. And it's the nurturing and the babies and my dog and love. And, you know, Paul and my fiancee, but like I don't have I'm not big on the small talk and the pleasantries and the bedside manner and I don't run it up the flagpole and circled back. And I just I don't do the foreplay. I just want to, like, get get in and get out.
And, you know, it's the path of least resistance. Yeah, of course. Of course. Okay, let's let's talk about your your, you know, early days of your career. You're in your thirties.
You're in a significant amount of credit card debt. Talk about just like that time in your life when you're still figuring shit out. I believe it's when you were working at the place that invest, that invented the chopped salad, like just pull us into that part of your life and what that was like for you Well, not only was I what did I create the first ever low calorie ready to drink cocktail and really invigorate the ready to drink space. I my DNA is solidified in the history of the chopped salad. So I feel that that is a mark that I've made on history and it cannot be taken away. Huge mark.
As a hostess, honestly, I was going to say, to be honest, skinny girls, huge. I actually think a bigger contribution to this planet. I mean, it it you know, it I mean it. It's a fucking salad. With sliced bread. It's chopping a salad. People love it.
I don't think it's watered down lettuce. That's for another day. But yeah, I was always just but I was happy making my $8 an hour with my.
At the time they gave you a salad, you could get any custom salad you wanted. Now, there were rules. You can't work there. They wouldn't give you a free salad. I found out when I went back, but I was happy I did that.
I had a Ford probe. I worked for Linda and Jerry Bruckheimer in their house. I worked for Kathy Hilton and Nicky in Paris.
I work at Lorne Michaels production company. I worked for Mark Burg, who ended up doing the Saw movies and working with Charlie Sheen and Two and a Half Men. I mean, I found my way through.
I just always had a good job. And then I ended up producing massive, large scale events and taking to it, like being really good at it. And the first event I got was Alcatraz to produce that Alcatraz. And I think that was Jerry Bruckheimer, interestingly enough.
I think it was at the Alcatraz worldwide movie premiere on Alcatraz. I think about the logistics of that. $1,000,000 back then. That was 30 years ago. 25 years ago, the budget, the barging and I just I just did it just like relief work.
Well, how did you how did you get that job? Like, like, I know you named a few jobs there, but, like, you were making $8 an hour making salads and then mooching off of getting salads as an employee. But how did you get to that point where you even had the opportunity to I don't know. I don't know how I found out about it because I definitely didn't have like a headhunter or something or maybe I was looking up ads or someone told me about it, but I got the I interviewed and like me, like, if you go in and you give good interview and you're on it and you're ready to go, you succeed. It's the craziest thing.
A resume is literally like paper towels. And I just I always had it. I sat people at La Scala they still remember me now, like the people that I see, the writers in L.A., like, they remember me the way I was as a hostess.
Because everything is your business. Because business is personal, because I you know, that's the one thing about finding staff people. You go all the motherfucking way, man, whatever it is. And I always did and it's interesting because the the the waitressing job at Waitress or I was a cocktail waitress at M.I.T.
in Boston, and I'm now okay with that same person in a wine. That's awesome. 50,000 years later because of who I was at Circle Point, though.
That's the point. Yeah. Well, but when you were at a when you were a hostess out with Scott, like at least from reading the book, what it reminds me of is, you know, my favorite job growing up was being a caddy was being a caddy at the country club because there is no better job honestly making just a lot of cash, but also because the network of human beings that play golf at a country club was incredible. And I think that's one of the things that you mentioned in the book, right? Is the network of people that will come in to La Scala and even your theater jobs was an incredible level for self esteem.
Like they needed me to get what they wanted to get done. And being a caddy, those people who are in a totally different class structure, I mean, I was making $8 an hour on my Ford Pro, but they needed to engage with me because in order to sit down. So for you, it's the same sort of thing like you are going to make their experience better.
What's a relationship or two that you remember making out La Scala that actually turned into another opportunity, that turned into another opportunity, Kyle Richards from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I saw her and I think I had heard about her. I don't know how I knew who she was, but because she wasn't on TV, really regularly then.
But I dated someone who dated her and I found a Lancome $20 makeup remover in his cabinet. And I thought to myself, who would ever spend $20 on makeup remover? You just go to the drugstore, which is funny because I now do like drugstore beauty reviews, so I thought so I walked up to her at La Scala when she came in and said, Are you Kyle? And she said, Yeah. And I said, Is it did you buy land Lancome makeup remover for $20? And she laughed that I would ask for that question and we became friendly and she told me her sister Kathy Hilton needed a job. So I was always networking and hustling to answer yes.
These things don't just happen and happen five more times there too. That's just two examples. Totally. And it's like you didn't have a particular agenda of like, Oh, this person is going to do this thing for me, it's more just like it's smart business and like being a human being to meet people. And at some point you bet on the fact that if you keep these relationships going, it will turn into, like, who they are. Like Jerry Bruckheimer. Yeah, yeah, yeah, totally.
And Kathy Hilton hadn't had in Paris and Nicky, it just they were wealthy Beverly Hills people. Totally. Okay. I want to talk about Skinnygirl for a second. The interesting thing about Skinny Girl is like, I think what people don't realize is that, I mean, you are an entrepreneurial person and you had a number of businesses that did not work out prior to Skinnygirl. And then even while you're doing Skinnygirl, like there were points in the business where it seemed like you thought the business was going to die like that.
So just talk for a second about kind of like a few failed business experiences or a failed business experience prior to Skinnygirl and like how you just kept moving. And then I want to talk about the experience of the hard times and Skinnygirl well, Bethenny Bakes is a wheat egg and dairy free cookie company, low fat cookie business. So ahead of its time because there were no natural food chefs then when I was an actual food chef, like you're talking plant based 20 years ago, so that's you.
So that was ahead of its time. But I also didn't have the infrastructure or the right packaging partner went through multiple bakeries, couldn't get the consistency baked through hours throughout the night with my $500 Bronco that I would then take the cut. I mean, it was I just had to fold it. What's a Bronco? Bronco. I bought a $500. Oh, out of the car.
Yeah, yeah. And actually have like an animal bronco. Yeah, yeah, yeah. With the drive you were running away. That would have been a good business model. Actually, I probably would've done well. Yeah.
So I had to just I was putting good money after bad and I just, I couldn't get ahead of it. And you got to just know when to hold them and when to fold them. So. So cracking eggs. But as you dealt with this stuff, right? Like, again, you're a person who's focused on winning. How did you mentally reconcile that at the time? I don't consider winning like hitting a home run. Every time you get up to the plate, I consider winning, like how do you handle it and how do you survive and how do you thrive? And I always turn a loss into a win.
So the first time, after a week of sequestering to get on The Apprentice and the last day, everybody's out of that hotel except for six people, I think I've made it and they tell me, you didn't make it and then getting knocked down, still being broke, connecting with that same casting director, keeping the relationship, then going on The Martha Stewart Apprentice. You know, I I consider the fact that those losses are Case-law for my, you know, hundred million dollar business. Now, I don't yeah.
I just don't think of the smart picture as the wins or the losses like meaning I've played the fame game and I've won like, you know what I mean? Right now, it doesn't matter. Like you know. Yeah, I've won the I played the fame game and I've won. So, like, that's the win. I played the Pashmina game.
I didn't win, but that was like a small step along the way. Like, net net walking out of the casino right now. I'm a winner right here.
What you're thinking about winning is like this, like this directional mentality, whereas like this one thing, if it didn't work out, win. And by the way, I could press my bets ten different ways now, make a big, massive mistake and go out of the casino. I lose right now, I'm up and I've made decisions in the past year to make it that I will always be safe. So but we can never know what's going to happen. You know, as I always say, anything can happen in a courtroom but that's that's the win.
I'm I can say I have succeeded. So check the box for someone. As hard nosed and succeeding as Bethany is, she's able to appreciate the long term view.
Sure. The short term losses sting, but we should never be afraid of making a mistake because the knowledge gained from a mistake can actually feed into long term success. Moving deeper into Bethany's career, I was curious where Real Housewives of New York fit into all of this. How did she use that platform to elevate her brand and career from someone who was hawking plant based cookies in the Hamptons to a nationally recognized brand? When looking after your mental health, it is crucial to have access to the right resources right when you need them.
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Slash Brew. That's Project Healthy Minds dot com slash brew. It's also interesting you brought up The Apprentice, right? Because you had, again, not something that you think about as a loss, but you had kind of the experience of not being casted on The Apprentice. You end up getting casted for The Apprentice, Martha Stewart, and then from reading the book, what I remember is like there was a specific goal or projection of what viewers would be and the show bombed, if I remember correctly, Is that right? And you had to deal with that, but then you had the next experience of you wanted to start like a baking show, right? Or you wanted to be a natural food chef on television in some sort of creative way.
I wanted there to be some entertainment vehicle to do that. So what was the experience of, you know, getting basically getting the call about this Real Housewives opportunity while you had your mindset on this, what was your initial reason why was that? Polo the sport in the Hamptons like its who would know that there were horses there because it's just a place to schmooze. And I was trying to hawk those cookies, the Bethenny Bakes cookies, and I ran into a woman who was excited about the show and was had brought casting directors to Polo because Bravo said they were shutting down the show. They weren't going to go forward with it. The production company was happy with the four women they had.
Bravo said they need a fifth woman. So it wasn't a proven show. They didn't have to do it. It was a show called Manhattan Moms. So now this one woman was very invested in it, working, so she wanted to find someone. So this is just Vortex. I was unaware of that.
I walked into and it could have been anybody. They just were like, Let's pick her. Which makes no sense because they were looking for a mom and someone wealthy. I was broke. I wasn't a mom. I wasn't even in a great relationship.
So I was like, you know, the motley is choice. And I didn't even I wasn't interested in it because I had that path. I wanted to go and I didn't understand what they were talking about. But the producer, the casting person producer asked if she could come meet me and put me on tape one day that week. And she did. And they were very interested. And I turned it down and the production company loved me and Andy Cohen and Bravo didn't want me because I had a preexisting life on television from The Apprentice.
And back then, you didn't have actresses on reality TV. This was like saying you just want you on one. So this must be real. Your personal show.
You're not a famous person, which I wasn't. But so a month went by and the producer and I spoke and I just said, you know, it's not that easy to get on television. If it doesn't do well, no one will know it. If it does well, let's just take it. Let's take a ride.
And I'll be a natural food chef on that show. But I had no idea who was going to be. In fact, I went in with an agent who pitch a cooking show to Bravo because they hadn't I hadn't committed to the Housewives.
And the person in the room is like, Wait a second, aren't you shooting this other show with us? I'm like, Yeah, but I haven't signed it. Literally set the precedent for them, never letting someone shoot until a contract is signed, which holds up a lot of shows. But because they they didn't like that, they once they saw me on camera, they were in and I was not signed. So they were free. Bravo freaked out. So it was a whole thing.
Yeah. And so you end up working on Real Housewives and just talk for a second about, you know, obviously what's now become known as like the Bethenny clause about showing products on the show. If you show those products, they end up you know, the show ends up having ownership in the product to your promoting like talk about that for a second and why was really important for you to not have that be. It wasn't that it was so important. It was like a gut instinct.
I always have a thing that like is a principle saying that I'm not going to fall, Don, because it's just like you got to you can't bluff and you can't do an ultimatum. But there are just some things where, you know, little Bobby later and your dignity and the whole thing and I don't know, I wasn't a business person. I wasn't a brand, I wasn't a mole. I was an entrepreneur. I didn't know anything about anything. I've always been good at. Just I've learned that I'm good at the concept not the contract.
So I don't even know what the hell the contract said, but the concept of you're going to give them part. I'm already taking whatever the shitty money is like just give me the shitty money, but at least whatever I do is fair and square for me. Square for me. But it wasn't like I had this big, you know, foreshadowing about creating the first ever being the first person to monetize a liquor brand in that way, to create a category and a space to change the game for everyone.
Including the Kardashians, everyone on reality television. You know, I didn't think of any of that. It was just like one little step, like, I don't want to sign this thing. I'll take the shitty money. But that's that's where the line is. But I'm in Dayton.
I don't remember them pushing back so much. What are these little morons going to come up with that I created that concept, so there was no way that they could force think of that either. What are they going to hold it up? We got a bunch of dummies coming on here who cares about their ideas. We had talked about kind of the, you know, a few of the businesses where you experience challenge prior to Skinnygirl talk about the, you know, kind of the hardest experiences you had with Skinnygirl, like when you're genuinely worried about the business.
I didn't have anything before it. Who would think you could create your own liquor brand like back then? Like it was so it wasn't really I don't even know what I saw it. I didn't even know. I didn't know what I didn't know. It was just so fresh and being like a virgin in business.
And I just pushed it through many things, meaning it was all upside I couldn't believe we're even successful. But the problem was once I knew how much people wanted it and then we had problems with glass in China and then we didn't manufacture enough ahead of the brand because my partner didn't want to spend that kind of money ahead of the brand. That was me going crazy because proof of concept had already happened to the thing.
Everyone wanted it, and it wasn't like Prada bags, whether, you know, $2,000 and you can't get one and you wait like it's frickin $13 alcohol. Like you can't go in a store and go on a VIP list waiting for like they want the goddamn alcohol. So I was just crazed. I quit, so I decided to just market it and talk to everybody on Twitter. I'm so sorry. The demand. We can't keep up with the demand. The supply.
You know, I was just honest and just perpetuated this conversation where everybody was like, I wanted dead people were obsessed with it. They just wanted it. So I had to lean into that because we couldn't get it to them.
And we ended up selling what was like 400,000 cases in that first year. That's a crazy number. It would have been 700,000 cases if we could keep up with the demand. I mean, it was and it wasn't even full nationwide distribution. It was just it was the fastest growing liquor brand in history at the time. It was insane, but it wasn't like what I'm saying to you, is it? It wasn't like now we're like, if something got really fucked up, like it was I was a nobody doing nothing.
And then it happened. So it was all upside. But there were stresses with it and it could have almost not happened yet. Who would have thought it would have happened? Like, yeah, yeah. It's basically it was it was all was all gravy, but there was shit that did happen that inevitably happened. That inevitably happens when you run a business. But nothing's worse than like the we we don't even we don't have enough profit.
Like what? The one thing like you can't we don't have it there here. They're standing there. We can make millions more, but we're not. So that was challenging that. And you ended up selling the the business what year to be ten I sold it for $100 million.
Discuss the actual number what does it say on line 10,100 ten. Whatever. Let's just say that do you, do you have any regrets of when you sold it.
No. No, I had no money. I had never taken a single dollar out of the thing. What if I got sued? What if someone came everybody came a cheater.
Brands were copying left and right who doesn't have a low calorie cocktail now, low calorie margarita like everybody copied? What if they were way bigger, which they all were, and gobbled up and swallowed us? And, you know, being was saying, we're good. If we don't do this with you, we're going to make a skinny salsa. You know, I eat pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered like you can't get every nickel off the floor. And nobody ever as my fiance, his father says nobody ever. Once they said about somebody, how'd you get so rich? I always sold to early nobody's going.
Nobody's, you know, going broke by selling early. Yeah, but I had no money, so I was like it was it was getting a piece on the board. It was being a person who turned a brand in 18 months.
It was street cred who knew Forbes was coming and, you know, but I had the best idea, which was to say to them, You can buy this cocktails, but you can't. Yeah, I mean, that's the most extraordinary thing. You can buy the cocktail. You cannot have the rest of it. They're like, What are you talking about? You don't need it. You don't sell jeans and suit like you can't know.
So I owned the brand and it still makes millions and millions of dollars in those other categories. Yeah. Oh, there are so few examples of brands that last and there are one of the major organic harvests with all this juice by like cold stone creamery. I don't know if they're still around, but like brands that have just died on the vine. I'm proud. What Bethany is saying here is so true.
In 20, 22, there just isn't the staying power of the big brands of the nineties and to thousands anymore. And to be a legacy brand this day and age is incredibly rare. Think about borders or Blockbuster or Cold Stone Creamery like Bethenny mentioned, for each of these businesses, advanced On-Demand technology like Uber Eats or Amazon made those businesses obsolete no matter the brand value so Bethenny decided to sell her more successful brands of Skinnygirl.
Makes a lot of sense in the long term. She sold when the cocktail product was hot and made herself money that she could then apply to the other aspects of her business. But related to Skinnygirl, Bethenny wanted to clarify one thing. I want to talk about the name Skinnygirl, because now that everybody's, you know, subject to cancelation, people want to talk about that and what it means to women. And it's a low it was a low calorie cocktail. It's like saying Diet Coke.
I have no problem with any more than if someone says fat girl because it's like got frosting. No one thinks that you're fat. If you're eating it, you're thin.
If you're eating fat girl, that's just it saying something. And I'm sure it's messaging that people don't love. And I get that right.
It's a lower calorie cocktail it's a lower calorie salad dressing. It's a lower calorie popcorn. It's a look with food.
I'm totally fine with it because it means at all shapes and sizes you can eat more of it if you want. You can indulge. It's it's a better for you product. It's on the fringe when we're talking about apparel, which any more clothing that I launch will be under the Bethenny name. But in launching the season, launching the bathing suits, I really pushed back and went you know, had a back and forth dialog with HSN to say it needs to be Bethenny cannot be Skinnygirl because that's where the line is cross. Like we cannot have a word skinny with bathing suits.
But I have no problem with the word skinny girl, which is one word, not skinny girls. It's now just its own word as much as Apple Computer is a fruit. Yep. And I have I like the name for the food. I just don't like it for the body. So that's where I draw the line.
And with shapewear, it also it's been around for so many years and I like it for the shapewear too. I don't mind that. So everyone who has a problem with that can fuck off. Keep coming at me bra because I'm No. One, I have an inclusive brand.
We sell up to size 32. All my books are about allowing indulging, never about dieting. So if you're going to take a shot at this, be a better not miss I want to I want to talk about in a second how, if at all, your motivation has changed when you had no money your Legos pre selling skinny girl. What motivated you? Was it money? Was it not losing? What was the thing that drove you to the point of just being relentless? Just the next step, just the net just thinking I had something extraordinary.
Keep trying. It's going to happen. Whatever it is, I have no idea. Having a job, having a job, working for Martha Stewart, getting $250,000 a year. That was like $250 million to me. Like I was broke. Like having a real job, being a real person and, you know, democratizing health the way she did style, being on television and cooking, like whatever was at the moment, just like just take a step, get on the board and like figure out the next thing like say yes and now no big goal.
Just like I want to be something I want to do something. I want to be somebody. I want to succeed at something.
One thing and then we'll worry about the next thing. Well, also, you didn't you didn't I mean, you didn't really have a safety net either. Right? Like early in your career. It's like if you fucked up and you didn't do a good job, you know what was true and you just don't fuck up anyway. It doesn't even matter. I have a big safety net now. There's just like, no fucking up.
And if you do, you own it and just, like, you don't fuck up. So. Okay, you already alluded to this, but I just want to better understand it. You know, you made a shit ton of money. You never have to work again if you don't want to What motivates you today? Especially when you just have other things in your life that are priorities to you mentioned, like your fiancee, your daughter. How has your motivation changed at all? Drastically. My motivation has changed.
I want to do the things that I love, that I'm passionate about, that I think are interesting, that I think are in line with who I am. As a person not doing things for alternative goals. Meaning, you know, when I was on reality television, I was having disputes and and talking about things that I don't necessarily care about and and in a lot of unnecessary drama that is created by a circumstance on television so that's not in line with who I am. And I don't have to do that anymore at that point based on what I wanted to do or wanted to not be broke, I had to do that.
Okay. Let's do Rapid Fire because I want to let you get on with your day. First, Rapid Fire question is, what was the lowest point in skinny girls history? A moment when a false claim came out about the product? You've made a shit ton of money. What still motivates you? The idea, the idea and the execution of the idea. Real Housewives of New York. Good or bad for your mental health? Not great.
That is perfect. That that is perfect. Bethany, thank you so much for the time thank you guys so much for watching this episode.
I hope you enjoyed and I'd love to hear from you. Share in the comments your favorite part of this episode. And also one guest you would love to see on imposters moving forward. And finally, like and subscribe. So you get content from this show every single week. I'll see you guys next time.