Jill Zarin returns to ‘Housewives’ after building a business empire: ‘It was like I never left’

Jill Zarin has always had business on her brain, and it’s no surprise that she has almost completely escaped camera crews over the years despite being an original New York royal housewife.

She agreed that being back on the Bravo network as the star of Peacock’s “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: Ex-Wives Club” after nearly a decade away from the TV screens felt “home” – in a wild, twisted way.

“It’s like I never left,” Zarin told FOX Business before joking that cameras haven’t been completely turned off in recent years. “I’ve been around, you know. I did BravoCon a few years ago.”

Zarin has become one of the franchise’s most beloved cast members after starring as an original housewife in “The Real Housewives of New York City” from its inception in 2008.

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Cameras followed Zarin for four seasons as she maintained a grueling schedule working with her late husband Bobby at their Zarin Fabrics Warehouse and Home Furnishing store, a Lower East Side institution founded in 1936, while also raising daughter Allyson and actively participating in a series of charitable actions. causes.

“It’s like I never left,” Zarin said of Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: Ex-Wives Club, before joking that cameras haven’t been completely turned off in recent years. “I’ve been around, you know. I did BravoCon a few years ago.” (Jil Zarin)

With years of work in the apparel industry and an explosive list of high-profile contacts, Zarin was a natural fit for “Housewives” and had the slogan “I run with a fabulous circle of people”.

A major cast change after season four in 2011 gave Zarin the opportunity to refocus her career and expand the Zarin brand, which she has done with hundreds of millions of dollars in sales through various ventures.

The thriving businesswoman launched her self-titled luxury rug collection in 2016 and saw her first collection at nearly every major home furniture retailer, including Macy’s, Kohl’s, Home Depot and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

She added furniture, cabinets and bar carts, each with the aim of providing luxury living at an economical price. Interior design was just one piece of the puzzle as she also maintained her Skweez Couture Shapewear and Hosiery brand.

Jill Zarin shares ceramic tiles from the new house line

A major roster change following the fourth season of RHONY in 2011 gave Zarin the opportunity to focus on his career and expand the affordable luxury brand Zarin. (Jil Zarin)

The pandemic has provided Zarin with time at home with her family, and she collaborated with her daughter, creative director Allyson Shapiro, to launch the Jill & Ally brand based on dyed face masks Ally created for herself that immediately went viral online.

The mother-daughter duo got into action with the Noshes for Nurses crowdfunding campaign they created to raise money to feed essential workers. To date, they have donated more than 25,000 masks to healthcare workers. They also raised $70,000 and distributed more than 200,000 meals to frontline workers, including hospital, police and fire workers.

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With business clearly still booming, Zarin returned to the network that made her a household name.

“I had already seen ‘Ultimate Girls Trip’ for Turks and Caicos, and I’m not going to lie – I had a little ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out). FOMO,'” she said. “And, I’m like, you know, I want to do this.”

So Zarin signed on to star with former housewives Brandi Glanville, Vicki Gunvalson, Phaedra Parks, Tamra Judge, Eva Marcille, Taylor Armstrong and Dorinda Medley at Medley’s iconic Blue Stone Manor in the Berkshires.

Jill Zarin and Ally Shapiro Talk Business

As rumors circulated about the casting of Real Housewives of New York, Zarin had no comment. But she was willing to talk more about her new line of bags flying off the shelves at Saks and the colorful crystal candles she can barely see. (Jil Zarin)

She admitted to having “reservations” about actual plans around filming, production and who would be cast in the show.

“I was like, ‘Should I wait and see… Is this going to happen again? Maybe it won’t do well, and they’ll never do it again,” she said. “Or, do you do this? And I jumped up and said, ‘Let’s do this.’

And while every Bravo aficionado knows that drama (especially at the Manor) can break any tried-and-true housewife, Zarin was happy to be back with his on-screen family.

“I loved every minute of it. I mean, I didn’t love every minute of it – I have to be honest. There were a few minutes I didn’t like it, but for the most part it was a great experience.

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“I would do it again in a heartbeat and if I could do that kind of show I would be very happy.”

As rumors circulated about the casting of “Real Housewives of New York”, Zarin was unable to comment. But she was willing to talk more about her new line of bags flying off the shelves at Saks, the colorful crystal candles she can barely keep in stock, and the latest “Housewives” outfits she’s created as a tribute to a favorite era. in its ever-evolving story.

Jill Zarin and Ally Shapiro in RHONY outfits

The mother-daughter duo created “Housewives” clothing for JillyandAlly.com as a tribute to a favorite era in their ever-evolving history. (Jil Zarin)

She still finds time for philanthropic activities and is planning to return her annual Jill Zarin luxury lunch to The Hamptons in July to benefit the Bobby Zarin Community Trust in honor of her late husband and his battle with thyroid cancer. The exclusive soiree had been postponed in recent years due to the pandemic.

The ultimate manager has admitted that despite her plate being overwhelmingly full, she’s actually happy to fit in a few matches on the court with boyfriend Gary Brody.

“I just try to get through every day and finish all the things on my list tomorrow so I’m looking forward to playing tennis,” she said. “Because at the end of the day, Gary and I love playing tennis together, and that’s really what I want to do every day.”

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