Skip to main content

Throughout the years of the iconic Real Housewives franchise, there have been some stars that have risen above the others. Some women have used their platforms to advance their careers and become legitimate moguls while others have simply coasted on fame or their husbands’ money. Bethenny Frankel is one of the former.

She took a role on The Real Housewives of New York City and used it to launch her entrepreneurial career.

Frankel’s humble beginnings

Frankel did not have the most relaxed childhood. Her family moved around quite a bit. In fact, she moved seven times in ten years. After graduating high school, the real housewife went to the National Gourmet Institute. She graduated from New York University, obtaining degrees in communications and psychology.

She, then, moved out to LA to pursue acting. Though she did end up working on a television show while out there, it wasn’t exactly the role that she wanted. Instead of being on screen, she worked behind the scenes as a production assistant on Saved by the Bell.

She, then, went on to become the personal assistant for Paris Hilton’s mom, Kathy. The strange thing is that she met Hilton through Real Housewives of Beverly Hills‘ Kyle Richards. The two housewives met while Frankel was a hostess at a restaurant. As a personal assistant, Frankel’s role included taking Paris and Nicky back and forth to school, among other menial tasks.

Frankel, later, got into entrepreneurial endeavors, starting Bethenny Bakes, a company that sold healthy cookies.

When she was 36, someone approached her in the Hamptons, asking her to be a part of the new show Manhattan Moms, which is now RHONY.

At first, she didn’t even want to be on the show.

“I thought it was going to be a bunch of drunk people acting crazy and a disaster,” she said.

Her first season on RHONY, Frankel was only paid $7,250, but she has now become one of the most well-known housewives in the franchise.

Frankel’s business endeavors

When Frankel first started out in the world of housewives, she was a celebrity chef, focused on healthy eating. She appeared on numerous talk shows promoting her brand, including the Today Show.

Finally, she struck gold with her Skinnygirl alcoholic drinks, which she launched in 2010. When she first approached liquor brands to sell her Skinnygirl margaritas, she was turned down.

“I just ended up doing it myself,” she told Forbes. “I focused on moving the product and it sold. People can lie, but the numbers don’t lie.”

Since then, she has also appeared on Shark Tank, gotten a number of spin-offs, including Bethenny and Fredrik, and started a clothing line, Skinnygirl Jeans.

How much is Frankel worth?

The reality star’s exact net worth is not known. She sold her Skinnygirl liquor brand to Beam Suntory Inc. in 2011 for $100 million, which definitely put her in a whole new tax bracket.

That same year, she bought s $4.95 million dollar condo in Tribeca. As if that wasn’t pricey enough, she did $500,000 worth of renovation work on the home. She lived there for a number of years before selling it for $6.95 million in 2016.

After moving out of that home, she moved into a 2,400 square foot apartment in Soho which cost her $4.2 million.

In addition to the apartment she lives in, she bought two homes in the Hamptons, one of which was the historic Morning Glory House which was listed at $2.5 million when she bought it.

Read more: What’s Bethenny Frankel Like as a Mother to Bryn Hoppy?

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!