Real Housewives of New Jersey is gearing up for its eighth season with the much-anticipated return of a familiar face: Danielle Staub rejoins the cast as a "Friend of the Housewives" for the first time since Season 2. But there's also a brand new Housewife in town about whom fans may be curious to learn more. She joins the main cast for the first time this season, but who is Margaret Josephs on Real Housewives of New Jersey? For one thing, she's taking up Dina Manzo's mantle as the the sole representative of #TeamBlondes this year.
Josephs considers her blonde pigtails to be her "signature look," so much so that her (presumably self-appointed) nickname is the "Powerhouse in Pigtails." (Before you even ask: she's 50 years old.) A Jersey native, Josephs was born in Elizabeth before attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, where she graduated with a degree in Marketing and Fashion Design. Then, she moved to Tenefly, NJ with her first husband Jan Josephs at age 24 and helped raise her three step-children. Margaret also has a 21-year-old son of her own with Jan, but they eventually "happily divorced." (Amicable divorces seem to be the trademark of New Jersey Housewives.)
Margaret eloped with her second husband, a "motorcycle riding plumber and contractor," in 2013. She calls him "Super Joe" which sounds like an excellent stand-in for this season's dearly departed "Juicy Joe" Giudice, who will, of course, be absent from the series while serving his 41-month prison sentence for mail, wire, and bankruptcy fraud.
After getting her degree, Margaret worked as a dress designer in New York's Garment District, but eventually became a stay-at-home mom. In 1998, desperate for "storage solutions" as a mom of four, she started making decorative decoupaged metal buckets. (I'm not kidding.) She began selling them for fun, they took off, she launched a lifestyle brand out of it, and, as of 2012, she was raking in on a $26 million business. All from decoupaged metal buckets.
She named her home accessories line the Macbeth Collection, because she thought it had a regal feel, and it was carried in Barnes & Noble, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Target. The Macbeth Collection now sells clothing, handbags, and tech accessories like phone cases. Eventually, her expanding lifestyle brand landed her regular TV segments at places like The Today Show as a lifestyle expert sharing tips on organizing, accessorizing, and "glamorizing."
From the looks of the Season 8 trailer, Margaret stages quite the introduction for herself with an epic birthday bash, complete with hot male models carrying her in like Queen Cleopatra. Siggy seems to be the Housewife who brings her into the group, but things between them are apparently sour. "I wanna take her and pull on those pigtails until they come out of her head," Siggy vents to Teresa in one clip. Later, she screeches to Margaret's face, "You're one of the ugliest human beings in the world for making fun of me." Viewers also see Margaret in a vulnerable moment with Dolores saying, "You know when they say time heals all wounds? It doesn't."
Things obviously boil over between Teresa and Danielle at some point, and the Gorga/Giudice feud seems to be back in full swing this season — probably not helped by the fact that Danielle and Melissa seem to be close. I can't really tell from the trailer whose side Margaret is on, but it ends with her astutely recapping a dinner in which glasses are thrown: "It was an epic ending, need we say more?"
You can tune into Real Housewives of New Jersey beginning Wednesday, Oct. 4 to learn what went down between Margaret and Siggy.
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