You know Gretchen Rossi as a fun loving blonde on The Real Housewives of Orange County, but you are about to know her as a successful entrepreneur and business woman. Rossi has turned her Bravo fame into a platform for business opportunities in a very strategic manner, starting with her successful handbag and makeup lines, and recently moving into the swimwear category with her Gretchen Christine for Luxe by Lisa Vogel collaboration. And the good news is, she doesn’t plan to stop there.
Talking to Rossi a few things becomes clearly evident; she’s a very hard worker who has the brains and the beauty, and isn’t just a pretty face sitting back and letting others do the work. So while you are reading this you may want to take notes because Ms. Rossi is about to give you a lesson on how to grow a business smartly, and how to look like a million bucks doing it.
Lauren Sebastian: You’ve gone from Real Housewives of Orange County to having your own makeup and handbag lines, and now you have your own swimwear line. You are quite the business woman. How you end collaborating with Lisa Vogel on your new swimwear line, Gretchen Christine for Luxe by Lisa Vogel ?
Gretchen Rossi: Lisa and I met at a fashion show at the St. Regis. Lisa’s models were walking the runway in their swimwear carrying my handbags. I loved Lisa’s designs and we ended up really hitting it off.
We realized pretty quickly that we have the same work ethic and business mind, and decided it would be a great collaboration to do a “vignette” together. It’s called The Gretchen Christine for Luxe by Lisa Vogel. We took inspiration from some of her popular silhouettes and gave them the Gretchen Christine flare.
LS: Yes, that totally is evident!
GR: Yes, we added a bunch of bling to beautiful, great fitting swimsuits that we knew a lot of people in the marketplace were already comfortable with and liked.
LS: You’ve had appearances to promote the line at many Swimspot stores, and your last one will be this Thursday, July 25, 2013, at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. How have the others gone?
GR: The turnouts have been great and we sold a lot of suits. I just love meeting all the fans that come out and talk to me about the line.
I truly am flabbergasted that the suit I wore on RHOC this season sold out nationally in under 2 weeks. It’s such a testament to what amazing fans I have and people appreciating my designs and my style.
LS: After the episode aired of you wearing you Gretchen Christine for Luxe By Lisa Vogel Bling Triangle Bikini , people went crazy. They also loved your sarong. Do you have any plans to move into cover ups or resort wear if things continue to go well for your swimwear line?
GR: I would love to. We wanted to start out small and make sure it (Gretchen Christine for Luxe by Lisa Vogel) was a good collaboration, (and) it has been. We look forward to potentially adding resort wear, cover-ups and sarongs in the future.
LS: The line has great, sexy two-pieces, but also some very wearable tankini’s and pieces that people that don’t have the “Gretchen Rossi bikini body” can actually wear. When you were designing the line, who did you envision wearing your pieces?
GR: Thanks for the sweet compliment! All of my inspiration truly comes from my fans and customers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worn something …. and someone has said to me “God I love it but I don’t think I could look as cute as you do wearing it”. I was hearing so many women’s voices thinking that they didn’t have access to fabulous, fun fashion just because they were a different size. I hate that and I don’t think that’s fair. So we did suits for all different body types for the line.
LS: I really think it’s great because many of the sexier swimwear lines don’t have something for women who can’t wear the little two piece.
GR: When we first started the design process I tweeted out and asked what people were looking for in a swimsuit. I love having my fans involved in the process because they are the ones who will ultimately be purchasing the product.
LS: People are OBSESSED with your beach style on The Real Housewives of Orange County What is your perfect beach outfit for Summer 2013?
GR: I’m one of these girls who likes to do it up when I go to the pool or the beach. I think a bikini should have some sort of fun bling on it or (be worn with) a cute necklace/earrings, fabulous cover up, fabulous pair of sunglasses, a big rimmed hat and a wedge.
LS: Is there anything else you are currently working on that you can let us in on?
GR: We just acquired Gretchen Christine’s new office space which we are very excited about. We are growing and expanding rapidly and are continuously looking for great partnerships like Lisa Vogel’s collaboration we just did. We are movin’, and shakin’, and our goal is to eventually branch into every category within the fashion and beauty spaces.
Be sure to follow Gretchen on Twitter at @GretchenRossi and @GretchenChristine1 on Instagram. Shop her swimwear here at Swimspot.com
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