August 13, 2010
It gives insight into my businesses, my family, how I became one of “The Real Housewives of New York City” as well as a few of my favorite places and things.
Hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think!
All the best,
Woman Around Town:
Ramona Singer—The REAL Real Housewife
Real Housewife Ramona Singer recently returned from a four-country tour of Africa. She toured as part of a group supporting AfricaFoundation.org, whose mission is to empower people in poverty-stricken countries via education, healthcare and sustainable, income-generating activities. Ramona supports other charities, too, but this recent excursion was both surprising and revelatory. When she saw the living conditions the children were made to endure, Ramona was saddened. “People living in third-world countries need more than money to be helped. The kids need an education, most of all, and one of the things AfricaFoundation.org does is build schools from nursery through primary and secondary levels,” she says. “It’s incredible.” Ramona was invited to participate in the trip by a friend, Krista Krieger, the Chairman of AfricaFoundation.org. The group visited five schools in four countries. “We built a kitchen so the children could have fresh food every day. A healthy body creates a healthy mind,” she says. “Some of the schools even have gardens.”
Ramona spent those two weeks in Africa away from husband Mario and daughter Avery – something she’d never done before to such an extent. And, she traveled with eight other women of whom she knew only one. “I was a little nervous at first but it was a life-changing experience,” she admits. “Just to be so close to nature, the air was so fresh, to see the lions and cubs and elephants. It was amazing. If I were an animal, I’d definitely be a zebra because they’re social, they’re smart, they hang out in packs with giraffes who can see oncoming danger and they’re chic. They stand out in the crowd!”
The most amazing part of the journey for Ramona was speaking with the children who seemed happy despite their circumstances. “These children don’t have what we have and yet they’re always happy and smiling,” she says. “It showed me that money really can’t make you happy if you’re not happy within yourself. You could see it in the faces of the children how happy they were just to be in a school, learning, and on their way to having a better future. So many people in America are driven by making money. I’m not saying that I don’t like to be successful because I do, but it’s not the end all. Health and happiness are more important than money.”
Ramona’s success was a journey of its own. She grew up in Dutchess County, NY, the oldest of four children (she has one brother and two sisters) with a father who had an abusive temperament, particularly toward her mother. As a result, Ramona felt like a caretaker. She studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and graduated with a four-year business degree in fashion before working in the industry for Macy’s, Calvin Klein and French Connection. When she was 30, she started her business with a $70,000 loan from her father. “It was the only good thing he’d ever done for me,” she says. “I paid him back, in full, with interest, within a month.”
Ramona’s business (as a fashion distributor) is now a multi-million-dollar enterprise. It was in the early years of her business that Ramona met and married Mario and eventually had Avery, who’s now 15. Her segue into the world of reality TV occurred after a series of twists and turns. If you’re wondering how one becomes a Real Housewife, in Ramona’s case, she was spotted on another woman’s demo tape about Manhattan moms. Ramona had no intention of going on the show but had done the demo tape as a way to record herself with Avery for posterity. “I just wanted the DVD,” she explains. “I loved the way they captured Avery and me. It’s adorable.” (See Avery and Ramona Welcome You to Their Manhattan Apartment! on YouTube.). When Ramona’s friend, Dr. Sharon Giese, mentioned that casting was underway for a new reality show, Ramona’s initial response was that she had no time. Bravo pursued and eventually, Ramona acquiesced, with the condition she could bring her True Faith Jewelry line along for the ride. Although, as she points out, the show is just a glimpse of who she really is. “They don’t show all sides of me,” she says. “But overall, the show has been great and the best thing for my business. The only downside is a lack of privacy at times.”
While we’re on the phone chatting, Ramona tells me she’s packing for the Hamptons, shaving her legs and preparing for her August 11th HSN jewelry show. Apparently, having it all requires doing it all and sometimes, doing it all at once. Ramona’s business has grown over the last 20 years and thanks to the show, in new directions. “It got my creative juices flowing,” she says. She’d begun the True Faith Jewelry line with Mario through his family’s fourth generation jewelry business and then launched Tru Renewal, a natural, eco-friendly skin care line made with green algae (a rich source of vitamin C and other antioxidants).
Ramona’s “personal renewal” began two Christmases ago when Mario convinced her to invite her father to celebrate Christmas with the family. Years before, when Mario’s father had passed away and his mother needed help, she lived with the family for 10 years until her death—family was important. As it turned out, Ramona had a great time with her father that Christmas and was sad to see him leave. “I forgave him,” she says. “He died two weeks later.” The reconciliation was cathartic as was watching herself on TV. Together, these things catalyzed the renewal she talks about. “I’m more understanding and not so sharp with my tongue. I’m still open and outgoing but I’m more edited and softer now.”
Ramona’s new line of estate-inspired jewelry launches on Wednesday, August 11th on HSN with whom she has partnered. The new line includes pendants, earrings, bracelets and rings. Pieces are priced from $159 to $600. “They have a red carpet or estate feel and estate jewelry will always be in style. Women will always wear it,” Ramona says. “They can pass these pieces down through the generations.”
Signature pieces in the collection are Cuff Bracelets, one in Turquoise and Sky Blue Topaz with Diamonds ($399) and another dainty Diamond Textured model ($299). One particularly exquisite piece (though rather more expensive) is the Large Hoop Earring set with 1ct. of Diamonds ($549). The target audience is the everyday woman. “It’s great quality and when you wear one of these pieces, it completely changes the outfit,” she says. “You can wear it with a dress or jeans. You can wear it everyday. They’re investment pieces, always in style but without the Madison Avenue prices.”
Tune in to HSN this Wednesday (August 11, 2010) from 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm (EST) for Ramona’s live appearance and the launch of her new jewelry line.
Real Housewives of New York City is just a narrow window into Ramona’s world. “There’s a lot people don’t know about me,” she says. “I can decorate, landscape, do construction. I’m a great cook and I can whip up a dinner for 24 people.”
Ramona says she makes a delicious tuna sashimi with grapefruit by slicing fresh tuna thinly and squeezing fresh lime and grapefruit juices over the tuna slices. She shreds a few grapefruit sections (peeled) over the tuna and adds sliced cherry tomatoes and cilantro. The acid from the citrus cooks the tuna. The longer it sits, the more it cooks. “It’s beyond delicious,” she says.
Filming for The Real Housewives of New York City typically takes place from September to December so we’ll have to wait and see what next season will reveal. I ask about the possibility of a Ramona brand Pinot Grigio, in the meantime. “It’s certainly not out of the question,” she laughs. “Maybe.”
Woman Around Town’s Six Questions:
Favorite Place to Eat: The Standard Grill
Favorite Place to Shop: Bergdorf’s
Favorite New York Sight: The Boathouse in Central Park
Favorite New York Moment: Every New York moment!
What You Love About New York: The energy! And you never feel alone
What You Hate About New York: The way it smells in extreme heat
For more information about AfricaFoundation.org, please visit www.AfricaFoundation.org
For more information on True Faith Jewelry, please visit www.TrueFaithJewelry.com
For more information on Tru Renewal Skincare, please visit www.RamonaSinger.com
For more information or to purchase Ramona Singer Jewelry for HSN, please visit www.hsn.com
Photo of Ramona, Mario and Avery at Ramona and Mario’s Vow Renewal Ceremony by Rob Rich
Article source: www.womanaroundtown.com
July 2, 2010
I have gotten so many questions and comments about my underarm sweating/ veal chop procedure (lol) that I realized I need to share the experience with everyone.
I have had this condition of excess perspiration since I was 21 years old.
It was so embarrassing to see huge round sweat marks and worse was how it ruined all my silk dresses /tops and wool and cashmere sweaters. They would stain and never come out!!!
Now for the more technical terms. This condition is formally known as “Hyperhidrosis”. According to google health, Hyperhidrosis “is a medical condition in which a person sweats excessively and unpredictably. People with hyperhidrosis may sweat even when the temperature is cool or when they are at rest”.
When Dr. Giese, whom I trust implicitly, first suggested I try her Hyperhidrosis Treatment with internal ultra sound under local anesthesia (she is only one of a few that do it} I admit I was nervous.
How much would it hurt? Where would the sweat go, would it be unhealthy? What would the recovery be like?
I decided to first try a prescription deodorant called drysol. Well you can only use drysol at night, then you have to wear a T-shirt. I tried it for a while but I would forget some nights and I don’t like sleeping in a t-shirt!!
So back to Dr. Giese I went.
I asked her will I sweat more somewhere else if I stop sweating under my arm?, is it unhealthy to kill these sweat glands? She assured me there would be no negative consequences and she was right there has been none!
She told me I would have no pain, as I am a nervous nelly when it comes to pain and guess what there was NO PAIN during the procedure.
She told me there would be discomfort after and prescribed pain killers.
But guess what…I did NOT NEED THEM, I only took 3 advils and I had just done the procedure when i was filming at the Four Seasons for lunch with Jill and Sonya asking them to come to St John for the RHONYC.
The only drawback for me was that i could not work out my arms for 3 weeks, but it was well worth it.
I no longer have sweaty underarms, I no longer have huge wet marks. Do you know how embarrassed I was every time I would film…certain clothes would sweat up and now that is no more, it’s all gone.
Botox would have been the only other option and that averages $1500 – $2500 per session every 8 – 10 months! This procedure costs $4500, took only 30 MINUTES and provided PERMANENT results!!
I am SO HAPPY with the results. I highly recommend this procedure to anyone and everyone!
Avoid painful injections and save money by visiting Dr Sharon Giese. In fact, if you make an appointment with her office in the month of July and mention my name you’ll get a discount!
She is the best in whatever she does, she is a perfectionist!!
To learn more about Dr. Giese:
Or call: (212) 421-3400
Hope this helps!,
Credit: Google Health
June 10, 2010
Since the airing of my trip to St. Johns on the Real Housewives of NY , I have received amazing comments on how great I look and tons of inquiries as to what I do to keep my body looking healthy and fit.
So I figured it would be a great idea to share with you all a few key tips that I have followed over the years.
My Tips for A Healthy and Fit Body
1. Fist and most important – you are what you eat!
I feel that in order to stay consistently healthy and at your ideal weight, one must eat healthy as a way of life. I never dieted because diets only offer temporary results.
Oatmeal with Blueberries – This is such a great way to start the day. Not only does it fill you up but its also healthy! The oatmeal provides your body with fiber and the blueberries are rich in antioxidants which help to support the immune system. I also have 1 large mug or 2 cups of green tea both at breakfast and at dinner time. It is rich in antioxidants and helps to promote a healthy body.
2nd Option – 1 Egg, 1 slice whole wheat toast and a side of fresh fruit. For fresh fruit I always have blueberries and strawberries.
Runing late – if i’m in a mad rush…I still try to eat healthy by adding blueberries to Raisin Bran Cereal or yogurt with sliced banana and berries.
Lunch for me is always a salad with mixed greens. The greener the leaf the better (spinach is really the best).
1st Option – Mixed greens salad with grilled chicken or fish. I always try to have at most, 4-5 oz. of protein with my salads.
When I snack, I never snack on chips or anything junky. I try to have low fat yogurt, my favorite being Yoplait Light Fat Free Yogurt. Its only around 100 calories, it has zero grams of fat and plus it tastes great!
I believe dinner should be 3/4 vegetables and 1/4 protein.
1st – I always begin with a salad or at a restaurant if I don’t want to start with a salad, i’ll pick a vegetable appetizer or tuna tartar
2nd – I always have steamed vegetables as well. Asparagus, string beans, broccoli etc.
3rd. For proteitn – Grilled fish/chicken/ pork or turkey. I only have red meat about 4 times a month.
Ive found that the key with Protein is small portions. I also try my best not to have any carbs at dinner and we only cook with olive oil (no butter).
I also always have wine with dinner. Its been proven that 1 or 2 glasses of wine with a meal is very healthy and its a lot better than drinking vodka or tequila.
If I do dessert, and I try to stay away from it but if I have to , I have low fat frozen yogurt topped with fresh fruit. My favorite brand is Turkey Hill Vanilla bean…it tastes just like ice cream! and if at a restaurant, I’ll just take 2 bites from my husband’s plate. After all, we all need something sweet sometimes.
My one decadent indulgence its when its that time of month, I stop at Crumbs Bakery and get their mini vanilla cupcake with chocolate icing and a hazelnut coffee.
I hope these tips work for you and I will will follow up with my work out regime soon.
All the best,
May 17, 2010
We are in Zambia at camp Toka Leya. Check out these amazing photos of where I am staying. The Wilderness Safaris and &Beyond camps have been nothing short of phenomenal!! I feel so lucky to be here! I saw some amazing landscapes and experienced nature like you only see in the movies.
It is truly a blessing to experience ALL sides of Africa. It is a wonderful country and the girls and I are getting the opportunity to do and see things that we could have only dreamt of, including the chance to visit with persons/communities who’s lives have been touched by The Africa Foundation.
Please check back tomorrow for more photos and information!
Photos courtesy of Wilderness Safaris
May 10, 2010
& Beyond is yet another company who we will get the opportunity to tour with in Africa while benefiting The AfricaFoundation.org.
&Beyond was established alongside rising international demand for ecotourism and wilderness experiences, and in the belief that, through business enterprise, wildlife conservation could be placed on a sustainable economic footing.
With roots in Africa, & Beyond runs nearly 50 magical safari lodges and camps in the most breathtaking parts of the continent and, through this, sustain hundreds of rural communities and millions of acres of precious, sometimes endangered wildlife land.
For more information please visit www.AndBeyond.com.
Be sure to stay tuned into my blog – pictures to come soon!
(**www.africafoundation.org works in conjuction with the &Beyond foundation)
May 10, 2010
Everyone has been inquiring about my Africa trip, so I wanted to share with you the information for the companies I am traveling with…
See below for information on Wilderness Safaris:
One of the companies that we are traveling with as part of supporting the AfricaFoundation.com is Wilderness Safaris. Wilderness Safaris is a conservation organization and ecotourism company dedicated to responsible tourism throughout the areas in which it operates in southern Africa. Its goal is to share these wild areas with guests from all over the world, while at the same time helping to ensure the future protection of Africa’s spectacular wildlife heritage and sharing the benefits of tourism with local communities.
Its wildlife, marine and heritage safaris in remote and pristine wilderness destinations are specialized, educational, explorative and fun. Camps and services are safe, hygienic, authentic and insightful of guests’ needs. Its “conservation through tourism” policy shares the benefits of tourism with local communities and ensures the protection of these areas for future generations.
Wilderness Safaris is privileged to operate privately on 2.8 million hectares (6.5 million acres) of southern Africa’s finest wildlife reserves in some 60 lodges and camps. There is no one style set in Wilderness camps; rather we celebrate the difference and uniqueness of each area and its wildlife so that each group of camps has its own identity, feel and character. This variety of accommodation, activities and product means that there’s something for everyone wanting to come to Africa.
Be sure to check back on my blog for more information and photos of my amazing trip!
March 29, 2010
I would like to know where I can purchase the long heart shaped necklace Ramona has worn often on the Real Housewives of NYC. Thank you, Zahra
This is one of my favorite pieces from True Faith Jewelry. One of the great things about http://www.TrueFaithJewelry.com is Mario has put together a whole section of jewelry just to see what pieces from True Faith I have worn on the show.
March 25, 2010
Hi, My name is Angelica and like you, I would also love to start my own clothing and accessories line. However, I would greatly appreciate your advice on how I can go about getting buyers interested in my line. Do you have any tips or advice on how to get meetings with buyers? Any suggestions will be very helpful and greatly appreciated! Sincerely, Angelica
First, congratulations on your new business! It isn’t easy, but if you know this is the life for you and you can take steps to be successful, it is all worth it!! Here are some tips that I always think about when approaching buyers:
1. Offer merchandise that meets competitive pricing and would be of interest to a buyer
2. Approach stores that your product would fit into – always thinking of merchandising and the current season
3. Visit the store, get to know the buyer’s assistant if at all possible. Even though the buyer may not have time for you, if the assistant really likes your product, that’s a step closer to the buyer.
4. Call, email or mail buyers with your proposal to meet – I always say “I would like the opportunity to meet with you”
5. Be prepared for you meeting and knowledgeable of your product, memorize all the details so you appear professional
6. Think out of the box. When I wanted to pursue my dream of having an estate inspired jewelry line, I knew I would have to find the right place to sell. It made perfect sense to do my collections for HSN. And after just having my one year anniversary – I know I made the right choice!
7. Be persistent and aggressive – don’t give up!
Hope you find these inspirational. And really, best of luck to you and all the women who become empowered and start their own businesses. All my best, Ramona
March 6, 2010
I think you’re fantastic on the Housewives show and have been watching carefully for anything I may pick up from you. I am a struggling mother of two and have been trying for a while now to buy wholesale and then resell it for a profit. I sell a few things online to make some extra money and then I search and search the web looking for other avenues for wholesale items. Do you have any adcice for me in find the resources to do this and what are the best ways to re-sell the products?
Thanks very much for your time! Catherine
The start of any business is tough at first, but if you keep at it and continue to look for more leads the way you have done here, you will find them! I would suggest checking out trade magazines and newspapers for overstock inventory. You can also call stores or brand manufacturers and inquire about any inventory they may need to unload. Factories often times have excess of a production or “Over-Runs” as they are sometimes called, you can spend time calling apparel factories and leaving your contact information should they ever need to sell off any extra clothing.
More important than your inventory is your relationship you develop with buyers. These people will be the deciders on whether or not you make your sales! Build a trusting, professional relationship with them and you will do great business. I remember a very long time ago when I first started out, I made my first buyer contacts by purchasing a closeout retailers directory book. I’m sure they still have these. Also, there is an annual tradeshow in Las Vegas you can attend and meet off-price buyers and sellers alike.
I hope this is helpful to many of the business inquiries I receive. Best of luck to you! Wishing you the best of success in your new-found business, Ramona
January 28, 2010
Ramona, Congratulations on your gorgeous jewelry line on HSN. Though I’ve never bought anything from HSN, I had to buy a few pieces!! I own several pieces of vintage art deco jewelry, including my engagement ring. Your pieces stand up next to the antiques. You certainly have a talent for jewelry design. Please keep more pieces coming! I am also a business owner and I am pleased to support another strong professional woman. You are a great example for your daughter. – Paula
Thank you so much for all of your beautiful compliments! I was so flattered to read this email!
This is exactly what I desired the HSN collections to achieve. I wanted the designs to be as good as jewelry made a hundred years ago and still be fashionable today. Even my daughter, at 15, is amazed at this collection and wants her very own collection of the HSN jewelry that I can pass down to her.
Wishing you the best of success in your business. And thank you again for your support, you made my day!