Bethenny Frankel is Enjoying Her “Summer of Zero F’s”

Frankel Crop

“I don’t drink the Kool Aid. I can dish it out and I can take it.”

That’s what Bethenny Frankel told me keeps her grounded in the often times crazy world of her life, especially when it comes to the Real Housewives of New York franchise. The well-known television celebrity and Skinnygirl CEO is no-nonsense, which she established pretty clearly when I spoke with her on Saturday while she was in Camden County, helping to open the gorgeous new Gloucester Premium Outlets, featuring stores ranging from Armani to Express.

There was a long line of eager people, mostly women, waiting to meet Frankel. Some had arrived at 9:30 am for an autograph session that wasn’t scheduled until 1:30 that afternoon. It was a break in Frankel’s low-key summer, something she described as the “Summer of Zero F’s.” The busy mom took six weeks off to recoup and spend time with her daughter.

“There is no make-up, no schedules, nothing,” she said. “You’ve got to take a break.”

Indeed, Frankel has a lot on her plate: Her Skinnygirl brand, which was, at first, associated almost synonymously with cocktails, has branched out to include nutrition bars, salad dressings, and coffee. She’s also busy writing a series of new books (one’s about detox dieting) and it’s anyone’s guess if she’ll return to the next season of Real Housewives of New York.

Frankel is all about empowering women: She said she started out “broke,” but with “vision and drive,” she was able to build her own brand. When I asked her why that message was important, especially given a lot of the anti-female rhetoric that’s been in the media lately, I could tell I struck something.

“If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s women who complain,” she said. “There’s something for everyone. I went into a male-oriented business and I don’t think about it. You do you. There’s no need to worry because we got this thing.”

Clearly, Frankel has “got this thing,” and it appears that she knows it.

“Fame can come and go,” she told me. “But I’m feeling really inspired. I’m going for it on my own.”