• Tue, Feb 21 2012

Bethenny Frankel Has Built An Empire And Brand With Her Candid Personality

It has been an interesting week for Bethenny. Her show, Bethenny Ever After, premiered last night on Bravo but yesterday she revealed on The Today Show that she recently had a miscarriage. Why so much honesty? The miscarriage was not revealed on the show so she did not have to share it with the world but she chose to. “I have thought about other women more than myself,” she continued on Today. “I can’t believe what people must go through if they can’t even have the one. … You go through a roller coaster of emotions about it.” She is also very candid and honest about her marriage. “When I decided to do television, I decided to really go there,”Frankel told ForbesMeghan Casserly. “And once you go there, you can’t come back and be only sort of yourself.” But this strategy of being completely open is working for Frankel as a personality and a brand.

APA’s Brian Dow told Casserly, “Bethenny’s vision of who she is on- and off-camera is extremely consistent. It’s never changed,” he said. “Women, and especially moms identify with Bethenny very strongly because they are able to watch all of her ups and downs on camera—and that relationship is obviously very valuable.”

Her strategy is obviously paying off despite a  tough year, both professionally and personally. After a summer of hits which started with a cover on Forbes calling her the new celebrity mogul plus talk that she would be getting her own talk show and writing more books, something went wrong. In September everything basically went into the toilet. First, it was found out that the number Forbes had thought she had sold her Skinnygirl brand for was false meaning their bold title for her was a little false, she apparently lied about getting lost at sea to make her reality show better and multiple law suits were filed against her for claiming to have only natural ingredients in her products when she really didn’t. And then her proposed talk show wasn’t picked up. [tagbox tag="Bethenny Frankel"]

But things started to turn around in January when it was announced that weekday show, Bethenny, will be shown for six weeks this summer on some Fox-owned stations, including those in New York and Los Angeles. In addition to her career as a best-selling writer she has branched out into skin, clothing and health products which means her $120 million lifestyle empire will just continue to grow. And it is her honesty that has helped her do that. Any product that I add to the Skinnygirl line has to be innovative, solve a problem for women, and help them to live healthier, better lives. My line is straightforward, honest, and doesn’t make false promises. I’ve turned down a multitude of product ideas from headbands to diet pills.” Frankel said if she doesn’t think she could use a product herself, then she won’t make it a part of her brand. Plus, her Skinnygirl brand is the number one fastest growing spirits brand in the U.S. She also nabbed the #100 spot on The Hollywood Reporter’s 100 Most Powerful Women In Entertainment list. “I have always believed in myself,” she said about her work ethic. “You treat every job as if it’s the most important job, and you will end up where I have ended up.

I just seriously hope she is getting a new office space soon because that tiny room featured on the premiere of Bethenny Ever After last night is just not going to cut it. Especially since the word is her Skinnygirl empire is expanding now to include wine,which is the news on the street. Beam Inc., which owns Skinnygirl, is betting that entrepreneur Frankel can do for wine what she’s done for pre-made cocktails.The Deerfield-based spirits maker will launch a line of California wines under the Skinnygirl brand. The line includes a Syrah-based blend, a Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio-based blend and a Grenache and Syrah-based rose blend. The Skinnygirl wines, which weigh in at 100 calories per 5-ounce serving, will sell for $15 per bottle starting in April, Beam spokeswoman Paula Erickson confirmed. WineSpectator.com first reported the launch. On her blog, Bethenny said the calories per serving are 15% lower than most other brands, but the average calories per 5-ounce serving for most wines is 100 calories, according to WineSpectator.com.

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