By Giselle Melanson Tattrie
Money always seems to be a hot topic on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” – who has a sugar daddy, whose car got repo’d, who rocks designer label bags, who is playing with whose money and who is “rich.” That’s why we’re taking a look at the always interesting business ventures of the Atlanta Housewives and what they’re up to during their off-season – from wig designs and wine endorsements, to sex toys and funeral parlors, they’re keeping the dollars coming in all year round.
Kim Zolciak: Singer/Wig Designer/Wine Endorser
Much of the first few seasons of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” focused on Kim Zolciak’s burgeoning singing career – initially in country music, and she was also getting big money from her former sugar daddy, Big Poppa. Along the way, the former LPN also picked up a wig line, which she hasn’t quite “pulled off” yet (unlike Sheree.) Zolciak has also endorsed a line of fruit flavored wines. In 2011, her net worth was $500,000.
Linnethia “NeNe” Leakes: Actress/Businesswoman
The fourth season of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” opened with NeNe Leakes screaming that she is “rich, b***h!” and bragging about her appearance on “Celebrity Apprentice” (which was later parodied on a YouTube remix.) But over the last year, Leakes has really blown up outside the reality TV show realm. She has landed a recurring role on “Glee” as well as a spot on the new sitcom, “The New Normal.” Leakes was also shown mixing business with pleasure in season four during meetings with “business partner” and pizza tycoon, John Kolaj, who showered her with lavish gifts. (“You get lunch; I’ll get the Louboutins!”) And don’t forget, Leakes is also an accomplished author. Check her book, Never Make the Same Mistake Twice: Lessons on Love and Life Learned the Hard Way. She was toting a net worth of $4.5 million in 2011.
Kandi Burruss: Singer/Songwriter/Sex Toy Designer
When Kandi Burruss joined the show in season two, she stood apart from the rest of the cast because her background was one of legit show business success. A former member of the ’90s R&B girl group, Xscape, Burruss also has a Grammy award under her belt for co-writing “No Scrubs” with TLC and has been a major songwriter and producer for years. Since becoming an Atlanta Housewife, Burruss has launched a line of adult toys called “Bedroom Kandi” that features a vibrator that moves to the beat of whatever music is playing. (This thing her mom uses is not one of them.) Aside from that, she has her own adult Ustream program called Kandi Koated Nights, and has her own competition show on Bravo called, “The Kandi Factory.” Burruss seems to be the wealthiest cast member, with a net worth of $35 million in 2011.