Margaret Josephs has already stirred up some drama on this season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey and has some cast members wondering where the heck she came from. So who is she really and how did Margaret Josephs make her money to begin with? If Margaret seems like she rolled into this RHONJ season like she owns the place, there's a pretty good reason for that. Don't let the pigtails fool you: she's a really successful woman who started her own clothing and lifestyle line years ago.
It's no wonder she has so much confidence about what she wants and how. Even if managing the Jersey housewives' personalities is probably even more complicated than running a business sometimes. Margaret, now 50 years old, graduated from New York's Fashion Institute with a degree in fashion design and worked in Manhattan's garment district as a dress designer until she met her first husband.
At 24 years old, she moved to New Jersey with him to raise his three stepchildren and have a child of her own. From then on, she was a stay-at-home mom. Initially, her business started as a way for her to keep busy and declutter her house. She would buy trays and metal buckets from home goods stores and decorate them. Sounds simple right?
Then she took it to the next level by taking about 20 of her creations to a local store, where they sold out "immediately," Margaret told CNN Money back in 2012. She got her first big order in 2000 for $40,000 worth of decorative home goods and two years later was making about $1 million in sales. And the Macbeth Collection was born. Now, the collection isn't just decorative home goods, but accessories, clothing, and even mini "Glam Packs," which are little makeup bags filled with on-the-go makeup and other products women can put in their purses.
She makes most of her sales, now estimated to be around $30 million, from licensing agreements with big retailers, such as Target, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and Barnes & Noble. She also makes appearances on TV shows, giving advice about fashion and home decorating. So, if this whole RHONJ thing doesn't work out, it will definitely be good for business.
Nothing can stop Margaret. In 2007, she told Country Living that she'll do whatever she wants, despite what anyone says to her. Margaret said about her business philosophy:
The minute someone says to me, 'You can't do that,' I determine to find 27 ways that I can! For me, business is all about passion. If you feel strongly about something, you should run with it. One of the hottest items in my line is a clipboard that I was told would never sell. That made me crazy! I've sold 25,000 of them this year.
It's that determination that's gotten Margaret so far. Well, and one more thing. She told Bravo that it's also about her signature pigtail look. "People love the pigtails. They're charming [and] disarming. I'd go into a business meeting, people would underestimate me, and then you can take over," she said.
That has certainly proven to be true so far on this season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Although she gets along with Danielle, Teresa, and Melissa, Margaret and Siggy are definitely having trouble becoming friends.
Although she has a lot in common with (and to teach) Melissa about the fashion business, she and Sig just don't get along. Which is telling, since they're both successful entrepreneurs in their own right. Hopefully, the two powerhouses will come together by the end of the season, because together, they could take over the world. Or at least North Jersey.
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