Heather Thomson was at the top of her game as a New York City businesswoman, so why did she feel compelled to join the cast of a drama-filled reality show like Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City? The now-former Real Housewife had a sit-down with Forbes to explain her leap from the boardroom to the TV screen.
When Heather joined RHONY back in 2012 she already had a lengthy and quite impressive resume. She was the founding design director for the Sean “Diddy” Combs label, and had also worked as a stylist with the likes of such A-listers as Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé. After nearly 20 years in the biz, Heather decided to make some moves for herself. She had been noticing that there was a dire need for shapewear that was sexy, comfy and “yummie,” so she stepped out on a limb and launched her own line called Yummie, a brand of shape wear that has a patented three-panel system. The company has now expanded to include bras, panties, denim, leggings, active and the latest and greatest, loungewear.
The famous phone call that changed Heather’s life happened one day when she was just sitting at her desk. A cold call from a Bravo casting director informed her that they had plans for a RHONY cast shake-up. Heather thought the producers wanted to feature her line on the show and then after conversing further, she realized they wanted her instead. At first, she thought the idea of her being a cast member on a reality show was a comical move but then the business side of her took over, “I’m an entrepreneur, I’ve got a barely three-year-old business, and I’m in the middle of a lawsuit with Maidenform, who knocked off my intellectual property and now I have to enforce my patent. I’ve got trouble looking at my profit and loss statement sheet and I’m worried if I’m going to make payroll and be able to pay the lawyers,” she told Forbes. Well the show’s exposure did help put Yummie on the map according to Heather and what was most important to her was basically, “People just knowing we were out there, that we existed. Like, “Hi, we’re here. We’re Yummie by Heather Thomson, come take a look.”
After speaking with her husband Jonathan, who was skeptical at first, they decided she should grab the opportunity to join the cast of RHONY. What mattered most to Heather was the promotion of her brand Yummie however stating, “It was a really big factor in my decision to do it. But, in fairness to that 90%, I am my brand and my brand is me. Heather also felt the show needed an injection of optimism which she feels is the ingredient she adds. Heather told Forbes, “I wanted to show the world what my values and ethics were, because I did feel a bit different from the other women on the show. I tend to be an optimistic person and, you know, I wanted to bring some optimism to the show.”
After initially conquering her nerves about being on a national television show and exposing her genuine self, the mom of two realizes that after three years on the reality series, she has actually found her niche as a ‘housewife’ but not in the traditional sense. Heather tells the business news outlet, “I am ultimately running my household, so I guess I am a housewife, but I’m also an entrepreneur and a businessperson and I really believe in my philanthropic causes. I’m a leader, and I have my own business, and I’m a public speaker and I’m an inventor. I’m all kinds of things. And I guess housewife does fit in there, but not in the old school way, though I know a lot of moms that are home all day long with their kids and it’s truly a full-time job. I kind of thought it was cool to branch out of the old school mold and look at continuing to break the glass ceiling and redefining what a housewife was, or could be.”
TELL US: HAS HEATHER REDEFINED THE MEANING OF HOUSEWIFE?
(Photo credit: Instagram)