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Before Ramona Singer was blunt to the point of rudeness, pinot-swilling, combatant on Real Housewives of New York she was first and foremost a business woman.

Speaking to WomenOnTheFence.com, Ramona discussed starting her first business, balancing career and family and, of course, Housewives. Surprisingly this interview is positive, professional and inspiring! Was Pinot the victim of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers?!

Ramona reveals that she started her first business at age 29 after borrowing $70,000 in startup capital from her father. She was so successful she was able to pay him back – with interest – after one month! Say what? Ramona “Foot In Mouth” Singer?

“I was witness of domestic violence growing up. I would constantly ask my mother, ‘Why are you married? Why don’t you leave Dad?’ Her answer to me was always the same, ‘I had no money, I got pregnant, and I have 4 kids, where am I going? Promise me Ramona, you will always make your own money. Become successful in your own right, so God forbid your marriage goes south, you can walk out the door,’” Ramona shares of her tumultuous upbringing.

“That was my message growing up. I have been on my own since 19 years old, and put myself through college.” Despite her father’s abusive behavior he was a successful executive. “I actually think I got my brains from him,” Ramona says. When she approached him with her idea for her first business he was immediately on board. “I had an idea and was looking for a partner with startup capital. My dad said to me, ‘You don’t need any partners in life. How much money do you need?’”

Now as we all know, Ramona owns several businesses hawking everything from skin care to Pinot! “I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, because I wanted flexibility in my life. I wanted to have it all- motherhood, marriage, career, and owning my own business gave me that flexibility.”

And that’s exactly how she approaches RHONY — as a business opportunity. Oh, really? You don’t say… “As far as the show goes, everything I do on the show is real,” Ramona claims (making me question her behavior even more!). “You can blame editing – yah maybe some highlights are edited, but it’s real, and I’m really me. And that is why I have a strong fan base.”

“I’m not mean spirited. Sometimes I’m unedited, and I do need to filter things, but I am trying to learn to keep my mouth shut a little,” she says laughing. “For me, this season is all about showcasing how you can have it all. I feel very blessed with a great family, and great friends.”

Ramona’s initial motivation for joining Housewives was to promote her business True Faith Jewelry, but the platform allowed her to expand into so many other avenues. And Ramona admits to her, “money is power!” “Money is freedom. I got married at 37 – I didn’t need a man to buy me things or take me on vacations. I married for love and family,” she adds, perhaps taking digs at some of her co-stars past and present for marrying for other reasons.

“You have to constantly reinvent yourself to stay on top,” she advises. And that’s perhaps exactly why she’s so successful on reality TV; she’s able to shift with the tide and follow the drama (which means $$!).

Ramona believes all her hard work and dedication has paid off as she is living her dream.“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Just good health, great family and friends, and happiness. That’s the dream,” she gushes. “Six years ago, had you asked me if I thought I would have all this, and a reality show, I never would have believed it. But life is an experience, and you go where it takes you.” I can’t believe I’m saying this, but great advice, Pinot!

[Photo Credit: IZZY/WENN.com]

TELL US WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON RAMONA’S INTERVIEW? WERE YOU HAPPY SHE KEPT IT POSITIVE AND INSPIRING OR DO YOU PREFER THE CRAY-CRAY DRAMA PINOT WE’VE ALL COME TO LOVE?

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