Ramona Singer on the Stevie Awards, Pinot Grigio and Next Season of 'Real Housewives'
These days, Ramona Singer really does have it all.
From The Real Housewives of New York City to her own brand of Pinot Grigio, Ramona continues to take the television and business worlds by storm - so much so, she was recently honored at the Stevie Awards for Women in Business as the 2011 Mogul of the Year.
In honor of the event, Ramona chatted with Celebuzz about her latest business ventures, both present and future, as well as the upcoming season of Housewives, in which she says we'll see her - what else? - having it all.
Read the full interview below!
A very belated congratulations on the Stevie Awards. Tell us about the big night. It was so incredible ... What was really amazing, for me personally, was to see a room full of 300-plus women who are all in business and involved in business, because it just shows you how far we as women have come and how women can have it all. Most of these women are married with children and have a career. That's what I'm all about - you can have it all. It was just very impressive to be recognized for my entrepreneurial skills and to see that I'm not alone; I'm not an island on my own. There's a lot of women out there, internationally!
Do you see yourself as a role model for women? I actually say, for my daughter [Avery], I'm probably killing her as a role model. We actually discussed this. When I first started the show, I already had my own business for 20 years; I was already self made. Being on the show got my creative juices going, and I said, Let me show my daughter first-hand how you can start up a business. And then another business started, and another business started, and I realized that maybe now I'm raising the bar too high for her - or even for myself! [Laughs]
Do you see Avery following in your footsteps as a businesswoman? I'm not really sure what she will do. I do know that she will be really successful. She's a mini-me - but better. She's very driven, she's very competitive with herself. One thing that I think helps me become successful is, I never look behind me. I never look to the left and the right, I just kind of stay focused and forward. That's what Avery is. She competes against herself, and that's what I do - me, myself and I.
Has Avery started thinking about colleges yet? Yes! We're prepping for her ACT and SAT subject tests now.
Did any of the Housewives attend the ceremony with you? Yes, actually. I had Sonja [Morgan] there, who is my good friend on and off the show, and I had several other Housewives [there] whose whose names can't be mentioned yet, I don't think. But we did film it for the show, yes.
Did everyone get along? You know what? We all get along at times and we all don't get along at times. That's what happens in life, right?
You've accomplished so much already in your career. Is there anything you haven't done yet that you'd love to do? There is a designer who I really enjoy. I don't know if I can mention it yet, but I'm going to work on doing a capsule line that's designed by me for her, like with my input. I love wearing dresses. I'm always wearing dresses, because it's something that I can just throw on. I can wear it from morning, noon to night ... I like looking feminine in business and I like showing off my curves. These dresses all have lycra in it ... They move with you and kind of hug your curves and accentuate the positive.
How did you react when you heard the news? It was a double-edged sword. Part of me was saying, Oh my gosh, It's going to be sad not to have everyone together again. But the other part of me embraces change. I'm always changing. I've changed my businesses, my career, constantly, and I think change is good.
Do you keep in touch with any of the former Housewives? Alex. Alex and I are still friends.
The show has become known for its big trips. Will there be another trip this season? We always go on a trip; we're always going on a trip.
Beyond the Stevie Awards, what will we see from you this season? Basically, you are going to see me as woman who I think really, truly has it all. I have a marriage going on 20 years. [My husband Mario] is filming more with me this year, and you'll see how, 20 years later, we still have this love and attraction for each other, and it's just really wonderful. You'll see my daughter [Avery] ... She's [now] a junior in high school. She is the apple of my eye, she is just beyond blossoming and she's just successful in every way ... And just my entrepreneurialness and trying to help women. A lot of women are now seeking me out to say, "How can I start my own business?". I gave a class at the Learning Annex [on] having it all, how I started my business, how anyone can start a business. And I had no connections; I did it with me, myself and I. So, if I can do it, anybody can do it.
Do you know when season 5 will premiere? We'll be on probably Spring or Summer of 2012.
So what's new with Ramona Pinot Grigio? I'm doing a signing on December 5 in Wyomissing, PA ... It's at a store called PA Wine & Spirits Store [from 4-6PM]. I just got into Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is very difficult to get into, and we just shipped it to stores there.
So the business is going well? Are you kidding? It's incredible, because everything I do, I get very involved in. And that's the other thing: You have to be passionate about what you do. With the Pinot Grigio, I helped with the blending of the grapes. I didn't finalize it until I loved it. I had to love it, and that's why I developed it. And I designed the cases, the boxes, I designed the bottle. I'm very hands-on. I don't just stick my name on it; I live and breathe it. I take my Pinot Grigio wherever I go now! [Laughs]
How many people still come up to you and say "turtle time"? Oh my God, all the time! ... Andy Cohen of Watch What Happens Live has now a turtle called "Tramona" and he calls it "Turtle Time." People always go, "Ramona, is it turtle time?" Yeah, because turtle time means letting lose, having fun and enjoying yourself. That's what life is all about. We have so much pressure; everyone does. We need to kick back and have fun!
Going to be in the Pennsylvania area on Monday, December 5? If so, be sure to attend Ramona Singer's Ramona Pinot Grigio signing from 4-6PM at the PA Wine & Spirits Store at Berkshire Mall West in Wyomissing, PA!