HHM: Favorite Happy Hour:
Me: Out back on the porch with my lovely boyfriend Slade Smiley; we pour ourselves a martini or a glass of wine and sit by the fire outside.
HHM: Favorite Restaurant:
Me: Sorrento Grille in Laguna. I love it, it’s fabulous! It has a great ambiance and it’s a beautiful restaurant with fabulous food.
HHM: Favorite Cocktail:
Me: An extra dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives.
HHM: Choice of vodka for your martini:
Me: I really like Chopin lately.
HHM: What has the experience been like being on The Real Housewives?
Me: It’s been a lot of fun. There are always positives and negatives that go along with putting your private life on public display. There have been some great opportunities that come from it, but at the same time there are some tough knocks that come along the way. With anything that you do, people are going to judge it and/or have something to say about it, but at the end of the day you just have to know who you are and say, “look, this is who you are and you either like it or you don’t.”
HHM: From the show, who are you the closest with?
Me: Currently on this cast, I’m closest with Alexis, but the new girl Peggy that came into the new season—I really like her and we’ve been bonding over the last couple months we’ve been filming.
HHM: Some people may not know you were in real estate prior to Housewives, why did you get into that?
Me: This is actually an interesting story. When 9/11 happened, I wrote a list of everything and anything that I wanted to accomplish in my life, from everything to traveling the world to get my real estate license. So, I started going down the list and knocking things off, and I got my real estate license. As soon as I got it, so many people said, “you’d be great in the business and it’s a very lucrative business in Newport Beach, why don’t you go for it!” I ended up getting hooked up with the top agent in Newport Beach and worked my ass off 80 hours a week and I ended up doing really well. I loved it and it really brought in my background in my degree in Psychology from college, which seems weird, but it really did. You wear so many different hats in the industry and I really enjoyed it.
HHM: Are you still dating Slade?
Me: So, I am dating the very fabulous, beautiful Slade Smiley. Slade gets a lot of slack, but it’s okay because its just part of the game and this industry. But Slade is truly one of the most amazing fabulous, unbelievable men I have ever met. He takes such good care of me. He does things for me that I didn’t know that a man can do. Simple things like when I get up from the table and he stands up and pulls my chair out or puts my napkin on my lap when I sit down at the table. There are so many things in this day in age; men just don’t have the same traditional ways on how to treat a woman. And Slade has those things in him and I just adore him with all my heart. And I’m not just saying that because he’s sitting right there.
HHM: You have started two businesses; tell me about Gretchen Christine Beaute and Gretchen Christine Collection
Me: The handbag line is going great! Our first launch was on Shop NBC this past July and we sold 83%, which is huge for a first time launch of any brand. We’re just plugging along like any new company is. We have some great new designs coming in for this fall and we have a new spring collection we’re working on, and we’ve been invited to come back by Shop NBC. We will sell them on my website GretchenChristine.com and I’m really excited about it!
HHM: Do you have anything to tell those people that consider you as a role model?
Me: I can tell any girl at a young age two things that are important. First of all, never decide that you’re going to let a man take care of you, that’s really the bottom line. I was a very successful real estate agent before I met Jeff. I met Jeff and he seemed like my Prince Charming and I stopped working to be there with him and travel with him and then unfortunately he got sick. Life happens and things happen, you really have to take care of yourself and be in charge of your own life and I was really in a bad place financially after he passed away and I had to get back on my feet. That’s why I pursued everything that I love in the fashion and beauty industry. I really had to start from scratch, so my advice is, “make things for yourself and make life for yourself.”
The next thing that is really important is dream big and go for it because nobody is going to stop you, but yourself.
HHM: What is one of the proudest moments in your life?
Me: That’s a tough one because there’s been a few things that I’ve been proud about, but honestly the proudest moment is when I bought my own home. I worked so hard and I was a young 26 year old working woman, and to buy a home in the Newport Beach area is great.
HHM: What’s one thing in your fridge that you can’t live without?
Me: That’s a bad question because literally my fridge never has anything in it. I travel so much and constantly on the go and I’m very spontaneous. Oh…cheese! I love cheese! I’m like a mouse and I eat cheese all day long. Or turkey bacon, but I only eat it once a day and I eat cheese like twelve times a day!
Read the full interview here!