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
March 31, 2010
I dont know how to download this from my Flip video camera as yet but theres a new video of me getting ready for Bethenny’s wedding (which was amazing by the way).
If you would like to see it, join my facebook fan page and let me know what you think!
xo – Ramona.
March 30, 2010
We had such a fun time doing my last giveaway, that I have decided to do another contest! This time, win this piece of True Faith Jewelry – a Sterling Silver Pierced Flower Necklace with Crystal CZ Stones!!
To enter to win, all you have to do is join my Fan Page on Facebook and write this status update:
Ramona Singer True Faith Jewelry Giveaway – Join her Fan page and Repost to WIN! http://ow.ly/1sKck
I will be announcing the winner when my fan page reaches 12,000 Fans!
Good luck!!! xo Ramona
March 29, 2010
I can’t believe Bethenny got married?!?! She was not being a runaway bride this time. The wedding was very warm, elegant and intimate and the room was filled with love. It was probably one of the nicest weddings I’ve ever been to.
The dress I wore was by the designer Kimberly Towers – it was all different shades of red and wouldn’t you know they were the same as Bethenny’s flowers. It was such a good match I could have been mistaken for being in the bridal party!
I had told my makeup artist to make sure to use waterproof makeup on my eyes because I had a suspicion I would tear up. Sure enough the vows they exchanged were so romantic and touching, I was crying. So even though my makeup wasn’t running, my fake eyelashes were peeling away mid-ceremony and I started to freak out – luckily Bethenny’s make up artist was still there and she was able to re-glue them!!!
FYI – Bethenny looked beyond amazing in her wedding dress – she was the most beautiful and sexy bride. Congrats to Bethenny & Jason!
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 26, 2010
Here are the earrings I wore last night on The Real Housewives of NYC and Watch What Happens. They come in 3 colors: Smoky Quartz, Prasiolite and Sky Blue Topaz. I absolutely love them all.
Thanks for all of your emails complimenting them! If you would like to purchase them, please go to HSN here.
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 18, 2010
This is such a fun interview! Had a great time with Alex & Bethenny. Lots of dishing too on this season of the Real Housewives of NYC. Love that Alex has been more outspoken this season – even in this interview – and how funny is Bethenny. Her little belly is so cute too!
March 18, 2010
March 18, 2010
My dear friend Nina Wexler started this collection of these super cute fingerless gloves to benefit breast cancer. Check out this article about her and Free Fingers on Styelist.com by clicking the image below. The part about her son writing the song put a tear in my eye!