“As I have matured and studied the ways of the world, I have learned to be open to what the Universe is telling me. I have been practicing turning my worry into worship, my panic into prayer and my fears into faith. These philosophies have a lot to do with my success.”
I had the pleasure to interview Gretchen Rossi. Gretchen joined the cast of The Real Housewives of Orange County in Season 4. The budding entrepreneur grew up in La Crescenta, California, and attended Baylor University in Dallas, Texas, where she studied Psychology. As an actress, she is known for Altered Reality, Mia Mundo (2012) and TMI Hollywood (2012).
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Even as a small girl, I always had a passion for Beauty, Fashion & Design. My parents claim I came out of the womb wearing a pair of high heels and a boa around my neck. After receiving my BA in Psychology from Baylor University, I was quickly drawn into the real estate world and found great success in not only real estate sales but also in interior design. To me the process of listing and selling homes was just the widget that brought me the opportunity to live out my dream of designing my clients interiors.
After being blessed with some amazing clients and only a few short years in the business, Coldwell Banker Real Estate recognized me in the top 7% of the world for sales internationally. I was very proud to be making over 7 figures in income by the age 26.
Over the last decade, I continued to explore many facets of creativity. My love of Real Estate led me to Interior Design. Interior design and my love of color led me to Cosmetics & Fashion. Fashion and Costume design encouraged me to fulfil my dreams of recording my own music. Putting on the costumes transformed me into someone who might not have had the courage to stand up in front of 500 people and sing. It’s an incredible feeling.
Prior to landing a roll on the Real Housewives, I was acting as a tv host, writing music and singing. The show ended up being a blessing and a curse. I feel blessed to have spent 5 years being part of such a global phenomenon. They show is now entering its 14th season and is seen in over 140 countries. I would not have the amazing fan base that I have without the support of my Bravo Family.
On the flip side, the show has a way of only showcasing a very small part of your life. People never really have a chance to learn who you are as a person. Because It’s an ensemble cast, each person gets an average of 8 minutes a week. Your reality, the way come to know you is the culmination of the most dysfunctional 8 minutes Bravo can come up with. Being a person who is focused on love and light, I had a real challenge continuing to film for the show. My companies purpose is to uplift, and support woman not tear them down. RHOC ended up being the opposite of who I am as a person. If the other woman on the show are ok with destroying marriages, families and friends for a paycheck, that’s on them, but It’s just not who I am. It was time for me to exit stage left and move on to my next adventure. I am so much more than just those 8 minutes and so happy with the things we are doing since leaving Housewives.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?
Funny but not funny. About three years into designing our handbag collection are sales were increasing rapidly. This forced us to start increasing our production. One afternoon we received a frantic phone call from our P.O. box. Store. At the time our mail was going to a small post office box store on Lido Island. A small peninsula off the coast of Newport Beach.. The P.O. Box store owner called with frantic news that we had received a delivery and we needed to come pick up our packages ASAP.
When we arrived at the P.O. Box. The store was stacked to the ceiling with boxes. The Boxes were stacked so high and so deep that they were blocking all the windows of the store. There was no sunlight coming though the windows. The boxes were coming out the door and stacked on the sidewalk 10 feet high. Apparently, our vendor made a mistake, they accidently shipped 2000 handbags to our P.O. VS sending it to our warehouse. Slade was forced to rent a 17 foot U-Haul and pick up the handbags and move them by hand to our warehouse. Ill never forget the look on Slades face as he carried pink purse after pink purse to the truck. You know its true love when a guy is willing to stand in public and hold your pink handbag for you.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Gretchen Christine as a company was founded on the principles of being a fashion and beauty solutions company. We design with purpose, not to be trendy or part of a fad. The company Pillars are as follows:
Accessibility: Affordable Luxury should be a standard– not an aspiration. The Gretchen Christine brand exists for everyone and anyone.
Style: Anything associated with the Gretchen Christine brand must have an elevated level of style, glamour, luxury and accessibility.
Kindness: Whether it’s to people or animals, kindness and heart are at the core of Gretchen Christine.
Solutions: Gretchen Christine exists to simplify customers’ lives by curating and introducing products that our loyal customers and fans are already searching for. We love being their solution.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
No real story to share. Slade is my partner in business and in life. All of our accomplishments are a joint effort. We love supporting each other in everything we do.
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
We have a lot of exciting new projects. We just finished filming a new sizzle reel at a networks request for a new show that would allow us to dive back into the real estate and interior design spaces. We have new products being developed in the hair and hair care categories and we are working to launch new divisions of the company in the fashion space.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I have had the pleasure of working with the United Nations and Sandals Resorts to speak with the young woman of Antigua on Gender Equality.
I work along side my friend Lisa Vanderpump and her husband Ken Todd to advocate for Animals Rights.
Most recently I had the pleasure of working with Costa Mesa based Girls Inc. A non-profit organization focused on helping young woman in under pillaged areas obtain free prom dresses.
Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?
There have been many books I’d say that have had a deep impact on my life. One of the first was the book written by pastor Rick Warren titled “The Purpose Driven Life”
The other book that has had a tremendous impact on my life is “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
#1 Have No Worries: I wish very much my older self would have told my younger self its all going to be O.K.
As I have matured and studied the ways of the world, I have learned to be open to what the Universe is telling me. I have been practicing turning my worry into Worship, My Panic into prayer and my fears into faith. These Philosophies have a lot to do with my success.
#2 Where there is a will there is a way. There is always something that can be done to keep the company continue to build and grow.
#3 I have learned the art of quiet meditation. I take time in the morning and at night to silence the world, collect my thoughts and balance myself.
#4 Embrace failure. — Failure is the gift of discovery. I also believe that every wrong step you take, puts you one step closer to taking the right one. The key is to get steppin.
#5 Master Time management — Making appointments with myself and staying organized is key to staying on top of an ever changing market place.
Originally published at medium.com