(CBS Local)– Margaret Josephs is a household name in the Tri-State area because of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” but there is much more to her story than the reality TV show.
Josephs, who was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, is a fashion designer, entrepreneur and now the author of a new book from Simon & Schuster called “Caviar Dreams, Tuna Fish Budget: How to Survive in Business and Life.” CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith spoke to Josephs about the book, the keys to her success in the fashion industry and why “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” resonates with so many people.
“Writing this book was very therapeutic and cathartic at the same time,” said Josephs. “Everybody knows me from the show and that’s only 25% of my life. I thought everyone should know what happened to me before I got on Housewives, how I got there and built my business. I grew up with my single mother in the 1970s, which wasn’t common then. I had my successes in business, pitfalls in business and had to work with men in the 1980s when it was so different then. I thought it would be very interesting for the reader to have and inspire people to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and show everybody how resilient we really are.”
Josephs has been a member of the main cast of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” since its eighth season in 2017. She wants people to know that an unconventional childhood doesn’t have to define you. One of the most important experiences for the TV star and entrepreneur was going to the Fashion Institute of Technology and learning about how to run a business on the fly.
“I always say I didn’t really have any fear,” said Josephs. “My success is 50% delusion and 50% determination. I’m not formally trained in business. I think most successes in business come down to knowing what you’re not good at as much as what you are good at. I’m great at being a front person and am super creative. I’m horrible at numbers and being organized. I was also very trusting and I made a lot of failures along the way. Every mistake I made was very costly. I’ve had lawsuits, I didn’t have my contracts done correctly and I want to teach people to be better prepared.”
The author and reality TV star prides herself on her honesty and transparency and that’s why she addresses things in the book like her marriages, children and thoughts on her crew from “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
“The first time I was going to do it, I was doing great with my business and I wasn’t ready for it. When they came back to me, my kids were out of the house and I had had a big lawsuit,” said Josephs. “I thought this could be a great platform and I was at a pivotal point in my career. I was 49 years old and all my dirty laundry was out there. I left my husband for the contractor at that point. I thought it wasn’t going to be a big deal. In my head, I thought it was scripted and no one was going to argue like this. It wasn’t and I was always TMI (too much information) Marge putting it out there. It was great and I felt like I fit into this dysfunctional family.”
“Caviar Dreams, Tuna Fish Budget: How to Survive in Business and Life” is available today wherever books are sold.