From Housewife to Mogul

Let’s raise a glass to New York Housewife Bethenny Frankel on today’s announcement that her Skinnygirl Margarita brand has been sold to Fortune Brands, Inc. Though the terms of the sale were not disclosed, it’s a safe bet to say that Bethenny is truly the breakout star of the “Housewives” reality television franchise.

Launched just 18 months with limited distribution, according to the Wall Street Journal, Skinnygirl Margarita has become one of the largest ready-to-drink cocktail brands on the market. Plans are underway to expand and introduce other low-calories drink under the label.

Diet alcoholic beverages have been around a long time, but Bethenny tapped into a key market segment that she personified. (I prefer Tanqueray and tonic on the rocks, but then again, I’m not skinny, although I can see the attraction). What I find so fascinating about reality TV stars is that they don’t apologize for being celebrities based on absolutely nothing. Last night, Kendra Wilkinson, one of Hugh Hefner’s “girls next door” was introduced on Dancing with the Stars as “Reality Star.”

Like Bethenny, Kendra has built her own brand. Just say “Kendra” and we all know who you’re talking about. But unlike most of the genre’s most recognized names, Bethenny Frankel can now add “successful businesswoman” next to her name. We haven’t seen the last of this skinny mogul.

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