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By Cait Rohan | July 21, 2016 | People
The Real Housewives of New Jersey may be known for the entertaining drama they generate on their hit TV show, but RHONJ’s own Melissa Gorga is genuinely sweet and excited when we call her up to discuss her new boutique Envy by Melissa Gorga, in Montclair, NJ, and season seven of the reality series. Below, Gorga spills on her boutique, how working has affected her family life, and what to expect from RHONJ this season.
Melissa Gorga hosts a Real Housewives Of New Jersey season seven premiere shopping event at Envy by Melissa Gorga.
Congratulations on Envy by Melissa Gorga! What inspired you to start this boutique?
MELISSA GORGA: I can’t even say it was a life-long dream or something that I’ve always wanted to do. I just had such a great success with my jewelry line, and it was doing awesome on HSN, and it came to me that I would love to start selling it myself and not have to always go to HSN and fly to Florida, so we just started looking for locations. We were in Montclair, NJ, and it’s just such a great town, and it has shopping and restaurants, and we found this location. It was an old hair salon, and it definitely needed work, but we built it from the ground up and it’s one of those things where you least expect it and it’s probably one of the most successful things that I’ve done yet. Everyone is just taking to it and loving it, so it’s been a lot of fun.
What might a New York woman really love about this boutique?
MG: I think it’s very personable. You have plenty of choices and you can buy anything, whether it be for the office, or if you’re going out with the girls. I even made sure there are a couple of choices of cocktail dresses, a wedding dress, and graphic tees. I found such great jean lines and jean brands. I tried to find stuff that you’re not going to find at the mall, or in the big department stores.
How do you pick what to stock?
MG: I think it’s trial and error. Obviously we are new—we’ve only been open for six months—so I’m really feeling it out right now to see what people are loving, what we’re selling the most. I’ve always been big on finding things that you can feel feminine in and look pretty and feel sexy, but still classy. That has always been my motto, so that’s pretty much how I find clothes. The store has that vibe to it.
Inside Envy by Melissa Gorga.
And how do you balance family life and the boutique now?
MG: Well, that’s always a challenge that I’m dealing with every day. I’m a very hands-on mother, [as] I’m sure most people know from the show, but I absolutely love being able to have my own thing, too. I think it’s so important to be able to say, “Yeah, I’m a great mom, great wife,” but it’s so good to be able to have something that’s mine. My husband has had so much success with everything he does, and yes, it’s for the whole family, but that’s his, this is mine. I actually like that he wasn’t investing [in this]; he wasn’t volunteering to help me out with this, it just makes me feel even more that it’s mine. I knew it was going to be a lot of work, and it is a lot of work, but I really enjoy it, I really do.
What are you go-to styles for summer?
MG: I’m a huge romper girl. I love something that’s easy, especially in the summer. I don’t like anything too tight, so I love a good romper; I just feel like you can never go wrong. It’s a one-and-done—you can either put on a great wedge or put on a cute little flat and look good in them, so I’m huge with rompers and jumpers. When it gets chillier at night and you want to go inside, you wear a jumper so that you have pants on, [or], of course a maxi.
You were born and raised in New Jersey, but what do you love about New York City?
MG: I love how everybody has always got somewhere to go—you’re on the streets and everybody’s always going 50 miles an hour, walking fast. Everyone’s on a mission. Everybody’s busy, everyone’s got something to do. You just see action; it’s amazing. Of course, when it comes to fashion, I don’t think anywhere in the world is better than New York. Everyone is so artistic there, everyone has their own style, and they’re so individual.
Dolores Catania, Siggy Flicker, Teresa Giudice, Melissa Gorga, and Jacqueline Laurita, the cast of Real Housewives of New Jersey, season seven.
Talk to us about the Real Housewives of New Jersey season seven premiere after-party at Envy. What was that like?
MG: We had a little after-party where we had sangria and we had shrimp cocktail for people to eat, and everyone just came in to be able to shop with me. We took pictures and had signings and we had music and a DJ. It was more about celebrating that people are going to get to see the final boutique before they actually get to see it on the show. It was packed.
Describe this new season of Real Housewives of New Jersey in three words.
MG: It’s definitely emotional. I think there’s so much comedy. There’s a lot of comedy this year; I think more than even the previous years. And what’s another word for it? It’s fresh. I would say it’s fresh. It’s very new this year; it’s fresh.
Any other hints about what we can expect this season?
MG: We take a little trip to Vermont—it gets a little crazy out there. Everyone gets out of our element and away from our homes and we just—I don’t know. I think it’s something about being out of your element. Vermont is definitely a huge turning point for all of us ladies and our relationships, so I think people are definitely going to want to tune into that.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Bravo.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PAUL ZIMMERMAN/GETTY IMAGES (GORGA AT ENVY); TOMMY GARCIA/BRAVO/NBCU PHOTO BANK VIA GETTY IMAGES (RHONJ); COURTESY ENVY BY MELISSA GORGA (STORE SHOT)