Fake drama, real money on reality TV

A common link between Bravo’s stars (other than living for drama)? Profitable side projects.

When Bravo TV stars aren’t busy cheating, scheming, lying — or getting caught — they make time for entrepreneurship.

Bravo TV stars

Bravolebrities have launched some lucrative side hustles over the years, most of which have nothing to do with their respective shows:

  • Kyle Cooke and Amanda Batula of “Summer House” run beverage company Loverboy, which has generated $38m in sales.
  • Former “Real Housewives of New York City” cast member Bethenny Frankel’s Skinnygirl brand hit ~$50m in annual revenue in 2020.
  • Aspiring-lawyer-turned-reality-star Craig Conover from “Southern Charm” founded pillow brand Sewing Down South.
  • Kandi Burruss — a former member of girl group Xscape and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star — is worth an estimated $35m, due in part to her sex toy line Bedroom Kandi.

Other B-listers came to reality stardom with businesses already established, using their 15 minutes of fame as free advertising:

  • Lisa Vanderpump of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills owns multiple restaurants in LA and is worth an estimated $90m.
  • Leah McSweeney of “The Real Housewives of New York City” founded clothing brand Married to the Mob.

If you’ve seen a lot about Bravo lately…

… it’s probably because of “Scandoval.” The Sparknotes version? “Vanderpump Rules” cast member Tom Sandoval cheated on his longtime partner and castmate Ariana Madix with their mutual bestie.

While this is bad news for their nine-year relationship (spoiler: it’s over), it’s been great news for Madix’s wallet and her new LA sandwich shop, Something About Her.

Madix and co-star/co-founder Katie Maloney made a reported ~$200k selling merch ahead of the store’s opening.

And big brands have taken note, with Uber, Bic, Lay’s, and more tapping Madix for sponsorships since Scandoval broke.

Moral of the story: Heartbreak hurts less when cushioned by a couple hundred grand.

Topics: Celebrity

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