OG Real Housewife, Vicki Gunvalson from The Real Housewives of Orange County recently shared that as a young mother, she really just wanted to stay at home with her children.
In an interview with Shotcallers, she said becoming a business entrepreneur wasn’t her original goal. “At 21 years old I got married,” she says. “At 22 I had my first child and at 23 I had my second child. And at 27 I was finding myself divorced.”
She says being a divorced single mother wasn’t where she thought she’d be at age 27. “I was the girl that was going to be the ‘housewife,'” she says putting air quotes over the word housewife. “I was wanting to have children, be at home and just be the great mother. Be careful what you wish for! I just wanted to be a housewife like my mom.”
Life took a turn for Gunvalson
Gunvalson’s move into insurance began when she wanted to get life insurance on her soon-to-be ex-husband. A friend who also found herself raising children as a single mother suggested Gunvalson get into selling life insurance to make ends meet. “We can do it together as girls and you can still work for your dad’s construction company during the day,” Gunvalson recalls her friend telling her.
She passed her insurance exams immediately and started working in the suburbs of Chicago. Gunvalson quickly ran up the ranks and hit the leaderboard out of the gate. Her friend ended up quitting, leaving Gunvalson as the only woman at the agency. Meanwhile, she was still working for her father during the day too.
As Gunvalson dove further into the industry she found herself helping other women in a tough position. “And 31 years later and I’m still doing it,” she remarks. Today she a number of offices and employees throughout Southern California. “I love what I do,” she adds.
She also loves doing ‘RHOC’
Gunvalson is one of the few remaining original cast members from the iconic Real Housewives franchise. When she was initially featured on the show, she was working from her home office and gave friend Lauri Peterson a job at her company. At the time, Peterson was a single mother who was trying to keep her family afloat.
Cameras followed Gunvalson as she grew her business, ultimately employing her son Michael. Although she was the queen of RHOC, she was recently demoted to “friend” status on the show, which seemed to come as a surprise to Gunvalson. “Absolutely it hurt from the very beginning, but as time has gone by, I understand it,” she told US Weekly. “It’s business. I’ve been at it for 15 years, the viewers have seen a lot of my life. I think there’s a lot of life left. We’ll see how this year goes.”
But since the season launched, Gunvalson appears to be busy visiting her grandchildren, running her company and planning her wedding to Steve Lodge. Along with friends Shannon Beador and Tamra Judge, Gunvalson has been part of the rumor that the trio will be part of a spin-off show or some sort of entertainment platform. The trio refers to themselves as the “Tres Amigas” and fans are hoping to see more of the ladies.