It’s no secret that AATRH and Melissa Gorga haven’t always seen eye to eye, but a few weeks ago we decided to follow Teresa’s lead and make a fresh start! I was skeptical/flattered/excited/nervous when Melissa invited me to the RHONJ Afterparty at Envy on Monday July 11th, the day following the season 7 premiere!
As I sat in traffic on my way to North Jersey I was hoping to leave Envy with a new perspective, and I did! As our loyal readers know I am brutally honest, but I can’t say enough good things about Melissa’s event; I had a blast. We didn’t get to talk for as long as we’d both hoped because the event was packed and she had so many fans to meet and take pictures with; I appreciate that she gave me the 20 minutes that she did!
I’ll start from the top because I did my shopping as soon as I got there; I got such great stuff! Melissa’s business partner Jackie was awesome, she had me laughing the whole time and really knew how to work the event.
It was a scorching hot day but that didn’t stop the Envy crew from rolling out the red carpet (literally), and the flower display in the window was incredible! I found out those types of flower displays cost “a fortune” and it was clear that Melissa spared no expense for this fun girls night!
They had delicious hors d’oeuvres and refreshing cocktails in the restaurant next door, and that’s where the major sale pieces were at. Melissa slashed prices for this event and I got 7 items for under $200; I was excited!
As I said, the event was packed, but that didn’t mean that Melissa’s staff wasn’t attentive and helpful; they were! They even opened up extra dressing rooms so no one was standing around waiting for too long. It turns out that Jackie (Melissa’s partner) owned a very successful boutique that I used to shop at all the time in Florida, I suspect Envy is going to be around for a very long time with this duo running the show!
Finally It was my chance to chat with Melissa and it felt more like talking to a friend then a Real Housewife, we clicked immediately. Melissa was super friendly, honest, and down to earth; I am so happy that I made the trip! Antonia came along with her mom and she is beyond gorgeous with the most amazing hair. She was super cute and happy to be there “helping;” what a well behaved little girl!
Melissa and I are from the same town (good old Toms River, New Jersey) so of course we caught up about that first. It bonded us quickly and set the tone for a fun, natural conversation that in my opinion ended too soon! Melissa got real about how she felt when hit with media scrutiny so soon after becoming famous back in 2011. “In the beginning it used to be strangely too much. It was like ‘what did I do, kill somebody?’ It was just a lot, so it took me a while to get used to the fame and some of the downsides that comes with it.”
We starting talking about how we were both glad that she and AATRH have cleared the air, and it was so nice to hear that Teresa put in the good word for us, thanks Tre! “I’m all about new beginnings, I’m happy we all have moved on.” I pointed out that if she and Teresa are good, I think it’s best for the “treehuggers” to support Melissa the way that Teresa is. “Yes, I agree. It’s one of those things, we’re family; we’re always going to go up and down. But never as down as we went, things will never, ever get like that between Teresa and I again.”
I shared that I’m about to become a sister-in-law to one of three girls (I love her), and I myself have no sisters, and she knew exactly where I was going. “Oh wow, it’s exactly the same thing,” Melissa agreed. I told her I didn’t want to “sound corny,” but I feel that I have learned a lot about being a sister-in-law from watching she and Teresa on RHONJ, and apparently I’m not the only one! “No, it’s true. You have no idea how many people come up and say that to me. They are either the Teresa, or the Melissa in the relationship. I’ve been told by so many girls they’ve learned from watching us on the show,” Melissa revealed.
Bravo has strict rules for the RHONJ ladies on what they can, and can’t talk about, so before asking my next question I reminded Melissa that I attended Teresa’s book signing where she got into it with Kathy. I asked her if anyone besides The Wakiles (I believe this meant Rosie too) has a problem with her reconciliation with Teresa. “Oh god I forgot you guys were there, what a night,” Melissa joked. Adding, “Um, not really I wouldn’t say that anyone else has issues with mine and Teresa’s relationship. This is such a dramatic season I can’t wait for you all to see. All I can say is just wait for Jersey to head to Vermont, you can’t miss it,” Melissa teased!
Speaking of Vermont, I asked Melissa about newbie Robyn Levy, who clearly filmed a lot, but isn’t being showcased by Bravo; I for one am totally bummed, she was awesome in person! “Robyn is such a sweetheart I have always liked her. She, Teresa, and I have a really fun relationship and I hope you guys get to see some of that. Love Robyn, she’s great and we just wanted her to get a fair shot like everyone else. Just wait until you see! ”
We started chatting about Envy, and you’d be surprised to hear that Joe hasn’t really changed his mind when it comes to the store, even after he helped make it the beautiful boutique that it is! “He’s Joe, even like for example, tonight he’s home right now with the kids and he’s like, ‘you have to go again!’ No, but Joe is just cautious about where we invest our money, retail is hard; he’s way more into real estate. He doesn’t think the timing is great, but I’m DOING IT,” Melissa declared (while looking around at the huge crowd and her beautiful store while beaming)!
I think Melissa has impeccable style and wanted the scoop on the clothes in Envy. Melissa told me she is “always looking for new brands” to bring into Envy, and she really cares what her customers have to say or suggest! There was an amazing variety and all different price points; plus there was something for women of all ages and sizes at Envy! “It’s so hard because I wanted to have stuff for everybody,” Melissa confessed. Explaining further, “A lot of girls were looking for a bit more dressy dresses than I was carrying, for weddings and such, so recently we expanded in that way and it’s been great for Envy, thank you Jesus!”
Melissa gave up her biggest beauty secret and also modestly shared that she is most often complimented on her skin, it was gorgeous! “I swear, swear, swear by moisturizing, I don’t think you can moisturize enough.” She also pointed out that, “some people let their hair and makeup people do whatever they want, not me. I guide them I say, ‘that’s too much, that’s not enough,’ but I think you have to guide them and be involved or they can get carried away.” Melissa also has one beauty tip she lives by, “less is more. That’s my rule, especially when I’m doing my makeup myself.”
As for Melissa’s amazing body, she started young! “I’ve always been a healthy eater, so that definitely helps. Part is genetics too; I’ve always been so blessed in that way. Of course, I love to work out and make sure to push myself hard. I let myself eat as well though, it’s all about balance.”
After a very hectic few months Melissa is enjoying where she’s at, and so proud to see her hard work pay off at Envy (rightfully so). She isn’t saying no to a future clothing line (my suggestion), but she isn’t rushing into anything too soon! “I am so busy with Envy and my jewelry line, a clothing line is huge. I kind of just like to do things as they come naturally, but never say never!”
Melissa and I hugged goodbye and she assured me we will be talking more as the season goes on, I am really looking forward to it!
Given I made so much of a fuss over the gift bags at the Envy fashion show, I have to commend Melissa for ensuring I will be back to Envy; she gave out $50 gift cards to the store! That’s not all, there were delicious selfie cookies and the cutest RHONJ after party shirts; I’ve been wearing mine to bed, so comfy!
On behalf of the AATRH team I want to congratulate Melissa and Jackie on a very successful event; thank you for inviting me, I can’t wait to chat again soon! I will definitely be back to Envy, and not just because of the gift card!
Thoughts on my exclusive interview with Melissa? Are you surprised the Wakile’s are the only ones bitter she reconciled with Teresa? Are you surprised her event was such a success? Are you enjoying RHONJ so far? Let’s Discuss!