Bethenny Frankel did something very smart a few years ago when she was one of the original housewives on The Real Housewives of New York. When Frankel joined the show, she was barely making any money and she told her then-boyfriend Jason Hoppy that she would have days where she wasn’t sure if she could pay rent, which was around $2,000 per month. Bethenny decided to use the Bravo platform for something good, so she launched her own business and continued to grow it while she was on television. In 2011, she sold parts of her Skinnygirl brand to Jim Beam for a reported $100 million. But how does she continue to make money if she sold the business?
According to a new Forbes report, Bethenny Frankel didn’t exactly sell everything to Jim Beam back in 2011. If you follow her on social media, you may have noticed from Skinnygirl products, such as popcorn, snack bars, and other goodies. And none of these are related to alcohol. Even though Bethenny sold the alcohol part of her business, she maintained the right to use her own brand. And that’s how Frankel’s net worth increased between June 1, 2015, and June 1, 2016, by $8.5 million.
— Page Six (@PageSix) October 1, 2016
Forbes estimates that she is one of the top earners in the entire Real Housewives franchise, topping NeNe Leakes, Lisa Vanderpump, and Vicki Gunvalson, who has been on the show since the very beginning. Forbes estimates that they each make less than $5 million a year with Bravo and their business ventures combined, whereas Bethenny Frankel is blowing everyone out of the park. And this is possible because Frankel gets payouts if Skinnygirl products sell well. In other words, there’s an incentive for her to keep marketing the products.
— Bravotv (@Bravotv) September 30, 2016
“It would be great for Beam to sell Skinnygirl shot glasses as a complement to the cocktail,” Bethenny Frankel told Forbes about her business deal, adding, “But they can’t. Only I can.”
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It sounds like Frankel still owns 100 percent of the Skinnygirl brand, which means she can create products she sees fit. This can include granola bars, lunch meats, candies, and shape wear. These products are sold through CVS and Walmart. And like any smart business woman, Frankel only chooses products and licensing deals based on what she would buy.
— AllThingsRH (@AllThingsRH) September 26, 2016
“It is important to know your message, identify your customer, and have a clear understanding of how to provide them what they need,” Frankel tells Forbes about her success, adding, “As a woman that sits in the bullseye of the demographic we reach, I feel like I have a sense of what women want.”
So, where does Bethenny Frankel’s money come from? Well, she still gets a share of sold Skinnygirl alcoholic products, plus the money from additional Skinnygirl products like bars and clothing. In addition, she also gets her money from Bravo for filming The Real Housewives of New York and she gets paid for appearances, her short-lived podcast, the television series Food Porn, which she produced, and her Instagram ads. Forbes guesses that she gets between $10,000 and $30,000 per paid post.
— Celebrities World (@CelebritiesWRLD) September 23, 2016
When Forbes ran this story this week, Bethenny retweeted the story, showing her support to the magazine. And she essentially confirmed that the numbers listed within the story are indeed true, which means that she’s probably worth quite a bit more than people are guessing. Sure, her divorce and her legal bills may have taken a financial toll on her net worth, but if she’s making $8.5 per year, then she should be able to make that money back soon.
What do you think of Bethenny Frankel’s estimated net worth? Are you surprised that she continues to make so much money even after the sale of her alcohol business back in 2011?
[Featured Image by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Advertising Week New York]