By Lucy Jade Norris
Arriving at the home of Jill Zarin in the Hamptons on a beautiful Sunday afternoon was picture perfect. We had been invited to interview the Author of “Secrets of a Jewish Mother” and former star of ‘The Real Housewives of New York City’ in her Southampton home to talk about her success, life after reality TV and how she has been able to add fashion designer to her list of endeavors.
Jill is known for her wit, honesty and humor and as soon as we entered her home she greeted us with all three characteristics along with humbleness and appreciation. Zarin’s home is incredible, Miami inspired, with New York chicness and warmth that doesn’t appear in most celebrities homes. Tasteful art hangs in delicate areas and the view onto the lake is breathtaking – this woman knows about interior design!
As Jill sat in the make-up chair I was in awe of her skin and body – this woman looks better than ever. Her body is killer and her skin is flawless- it seems as though life got better with her decision to leave the reality show…and yes I did want to ask her all about it! But I decided to take another approach and see what life was like since leaving, and how she was able to turn this fame into a long lasting business.
SEE VIDEO OF LUCY JADE NORRIS AND JILL ZARIN GO AT IT IN A GAME OF PING PONG! http://youtu.be/MCPbF-5o-Cc
As we prep for the interview, I feel myself relaxing and going to a place of Zen. Jill understands the business and knows what is expected and needed from any audience, whether it’s a client at Zarin Fabrics, or a reader who is picking up her book for the first time. Jill speaks to you as though you have been friends forever. She listens and replies with kindness, enthusiasm and a creative outlook on every topic. How the interview ended up with us playing ping pong I will never know, but that is who Jill is, she is fun, passionate and loving.
However her kindness should never be taken for granted. A loving wife to her wonderful husband, Bobby and mother to her incredible daughter Ali, Jill is also a businesswoman who knows how to create a product or service that will go above and beyond when it comes to making the customer happy. Her newest creation is Skweez Couture, a dynamic collection of shape wear that is sexy, innovative and slims and shapes like no other.
Zarin tells us that her tag line is, “’Beauty begins with a great foundation’. I used that slogan because that’s what my mother always taught me.” The critics are already raving!
Jill is full of excitement as she tells me about the results of Squeeze Couture and how the products accentuate what you want and hides what you don’t, all while in ultimate comfort and fashion appeal.
“Squeeze Couture was the brainchild when I was filming New York Housewives. We all needed shapewear, we all needed to be sucked and tucked in…there were other brands out there but they didn’t really have what I wanted, which was more feminine shapewear, that could go from inner to outer.
The collection is designed by women and caters to what women really want, said Zarin.
“Most designers do not combine the words shapewear and sexy, but Squeeze Couture can do both!” When Jill speaks about the result and benefits of the collection, I am so excited to hear that these products are not something we will be ashamed of wearing as women. We will be proud if a special someone sees what’s underneath our outfits as all of the pieces are chic and elegant looking.
“My competitors don’t like to use the word sexy when they speak about shapewear for some reason, so I embrace it,” said Jill.
Jill is bold and fearless and these characteristics were definitely apparent throughout her time on ‘The Real Housewives of New York City’. When asked about her time on the show and the transition from a reality show back to the reality that everyone else lives in she replies, “I forgot about the show. I live in the moment. I’ve learnt a lot of lessons from the doing the show, I have met the most incredible people since doing the Housewives, including some of the housewives and even current ones. It’s a sisterhood and I’m proud to say that I am part of it. I’m not proud of everything that we have done but I know the truth.”
The truth, we are all intrigued as only the Housewives know what really goes on once the cameras stop rolling. What did you learn from the experience I ask?
“No matter how old you get, we all have to work on our relationships. We all have to listen and try. And forgiveness, that was one of the things that didn’t happen on the show, is that I learnt a lesson…with that whole Bethany situation…that she found all forgiveness, I was mad at her actually, and then it turned out that she was mad at me. And then I was like, let’s make up, what are we fighting for me? And she was like no. I will never forget that pain I went through and I hope that I never do that to anybody else,” said Jill.
To an outsider the description of their friendship and the break up may seem hard to understand but it’s clear that Jill misses her fellow Housewife, TV personality, Bethanny Frankel.
Her motto moving forward?
“Laugh a lot, don’t take everything so seriously and for mothers and daughters you have to talk,” said Jill.
So how does she do it all as a doting wife, proud daughter and a successful business woman? Jill shares with us that it’s all to do with relationships, focus and growth. Never would I have imagined that I would be close to tears in this interview but Jill has the ability to invite you into her world and put the attention on you. I asked her about her past friendships and relationship with her mom and she reveals that things have not been easy.
“I think we butt heads because we are so much alike,” said Zarin.
However forgiveness and growth have given her the ability to become stronger and honor the success she has been offered with a smile. Yes there are moments and experiences she is not happy with, however she is content and grateful for where she is today.
When asked about her proudest moment she admits she would have to think about it but her proudest achievement has been her daughter she said, with a warm glow that spreads across her face. Jill seems pretty content and at peace with where she is right now. Has she accomplished everything she set out to do?
“At a young age I wanted to own my own retail store, and in a weird way I ended up getting what I wanted. I mean, I don’t own a store but I have my products in thousands of stores. So I did accomplish my goal indirectly. If you know what you want, it makes life so much more easier,” said Jill.
This appreciation and humbleness is being paid forward as she continues to work with charities and help women within business get to the next level. So what is next for Jill?
“All I really care about these days is my family. My daughter and my husband, that’s where I focus all of my attention on. We are empty nesting and enjoying the best years of our lives. I want to travel the world. Even though I have been to a lot of places I know there is more to see and travel is what inspires my jewelry collection. And what better excuse to say that I need to come up with my next line of jewelry?”
Jill Zarin has proven that a reality show can be a great platform, experience and memory, however there is plenty more of success waiting for this woman and she is welcoming it with arms wide open.