Real Housewives of Orange County star Tamra Barney held the grand opening of CUT Fitness studio this past weekend, and aside from speaking to Heather Dubrow, we also sat down with Tamra to discuss her new business venture and the upcoming season of RHOC! Tamra shared as much as she could about the show, and of course I asked some of your burning questions!
Tamra had just gotten back home to Orange County after a few days of traveling and doing events out in the east coast. Tamra’s assistant, Sameya, is one of the sweetest, most cooperative girls I’ve ever worked with doing the blogging thing, and she made sure that Tamra took some time from the busy event to chat with me. I arrived in the middle of some class sample sessions so Tamra was quite busy running around participating and meeting fans and other guests.
While Tamra played hostess with the mostest, I sipped on some yummy Merlot from the Wines by Wives booth (wine at a fitness studio…my kind of event!) and chatted with her business partner Chris. I did not dress for the occasion at all otherwise I would have participated! If anyone is in Orange County, they should totally take some classes at CUT.
After the event was over I waited for about half an hour but Tamra was still running around cleaning up, saying goodbye to family and friends, etc. I was getting a little irritated but Tamra finally was freed and asked me to come sit down with her. She was visibly exhausted but was still quite talkative and did not hesitate to spill the tea. Tamra’s very real and I never get a vibe from her that she turns on any charm to appease writers who could bash her in the press.
Tamra talks the inspiration behind opening a fitness studio, reveals who Lauri Peterson came gunning for with her sudden return to the show, and you’ll be shocked by the details! In this first part of our interview, Tamra also dishes on the state of her relationship with Alexis, and reveals that new Housewife Lydia McLaughlin even roughed up Slade (not physically!) and put him in his place during filming!
AllAboutTRH: What was the inspiration behind CUT Fitness?
Tamra Barney: Eddie and I both love working out. Eddie’s been an instructor for many, many years. Even as he worked his day off at the law firm, he taught spin class. He’s been teaching for almost 20 years. About 15 years ago he opened up a law firm with his dad and he taught spin and was also a competitive cyclist. He still cycles hundreds of miles a week and teaches cycling and BodyPump here. It’s always been his passion.
I used to be an instructor in my younger days. I used to instruct at LA Fitness in Covina, CA in like 1987. I’ve never done it as a living for a long, long time but fitness is definitely my passion. He’s [Eddie] always wanted to have his own fitness studio.
When we talked about it, I was going to do a very small Pilates, yoga kind of studio. Eddie was like ‘Nah, that’s too fu-fu for me’ and we started looking at locations. We looked for eight months and found this place, and the opportunities were endless. We decided to go into this together. It’s much larger than I anticipated, so we came up with a plan to do this together as partners and here we are!
Was doing business with your fiancé more difficult than easy?
It was more difficult than I ever anticipated. We were together seven days a week, we had huge decisions to make, there is a lot of money being spent, and a lot of different ideas come up. He wanted to do something more first-class and top-notch, and I wanted to cut some corners. I’m very frugal with my money. I’ve always been a saver. He’s got more of a champagne taste and I’m way more conservative when it comes to money. We had different visions and we spent a lot of money and it scares me. I like to keep my money in the bank.
You’ve been open for three weeks. How’s the response been?
It’s been great. Starting out, it’s never enough. We’re at the early stages when class has three people, or fifteen people, sometimes nobody shows up to class. So we’re going through that and building the business. Every day we have enlisted someone which is more than I could have asked.
The show has also helped out a lot. I could see people at the mall and they ask if my studio has opened yet. What other small business owner gets that? The exposure is huge.
Speaking of the show, what makes the new season different other than seeing you open your new business?
Well we have a new girl. We also have Lauri who is coming back to stir up some sh*t with Vicki. It’s not necessarily nice. I actually side with Vicki on this one. You’ll see my relationship with Vicki go up and down. We pick up where we left off last season which was a little brutal. So you’ll see how we go in and out of friendship. Heather and I are still very close. You’ll see a lot of wedding preparation and a little more insight into my life as a kid. You’ll see a little bit more of my background.
Viewers are also looking forward to Lauri’s return. Why do you think she came back?
Because she wants her job back. Absolutely. Absolutely. I think the show has changed a lot since she was on last. She came, stirred things up, she made some accusations that she couldn’t back up, hurt some feelings, and called it a day! I think people will see a different side to her than anybody else has seen.
Is Lydia friendly and nice to everyone or will we be surprised by her?
No, no, no! I think that Lydia is a very sweet girl, but don’t cross her. That’s the kind of girl she is. She definitely put Slade in his place, big time. Big time. She comes on as Alexis’s friend, but she doesn’t necessarily agree with everything Alexis says. So she kind of sides with the rest of us when it comes to Alexis. She’s like, ‘They’re not bullying you!’
I’m assuming you and Alexis are still not great?
No, we’re okay. There’s definitely some things that go on, and I didn’t film with her a lot but we did have a talk. I wouldn’t say we’re friends but we are definitely in a better place than we were last year.
So now we know that Lauri came on the show to try to harm Vicki! What do you think Lauri tried to reveal about Vicki but failed to prove? Are you surprised by Lydia’s standing up to Slade for whatever he did?
I will post the second part of our exclusive with Tamra tomorrow. She reveals something interesting regarding her friendship with Gretchen. Let’s just say things weren’t as picture perfect between the two this season as they appeared to be at the end of last season. Tamra also talks about her wedding dresses, what she thinks of Housewives releasing songs, and also addresses the perception people have that she is a bitch!