1. Kandi Burruss "Bedroom Kandi"
Kandi Burruss is a unique reality star because she had fame and fortune before appearing on Real Housewives of Atlanta, due to her successful run as a singer, songwriter and boutique owner. However, Kandi used Bravo’s RHOA as a platform to sharpen her business acumen by expanding her empire beyond music. Kandi has landed a spinoff reality special entitled The Kandi Factory, where she turned competitors with mediocre talent into overnight pop stars, as well as a line of sex toys called Bedroom Kandi. Anyone who watches RHOA knows that Kandi has a high “freak number,” so she teamed up with popular sex toy company, OhMiBod, to help create devices that would inspire closet freaks and people who are out in the open as well, to “love themselves” a more. Award-winning products in the Bedroom Kandi line include massagers, bullets, vibrators and more. Business must be booming because Kandi has expanded Bedroom Candy to an at home consulting business where enterprising individuals can host their own parties and turn a profit by selling the goods.
2. Nicole Murphy "Open Hours"
Formerly known as “Eddie Murphy’s Wife,” reintroduced herself on Vh1’s Hollywood Exes, and let everyone know exactly who she isn’t. She’s not just a famous comedian’s old flame. The model turned Hollywood ex turned reality star is also a businesswoman. Her appearance on Hollywood Exes showed the world that Murphy is fun loving, laid back and passionate about her clothing line, Open Hours. The line, which was introduced to the world via VH1’s cameras, is about having cute but also comfortable clothing. Murphy describes the line as a “blend of California casual with New York sophistication—a little grunge with a lot of polish.” The clothes are ideal s for busy fashionistas who like to be cute but comfortable when they travel, and not look like they just stepped out of the gym.
3. K. Michelle "Domestic Violence Advocacy"
Singer K. Michelle got a bad break with a record deal that fell through back when she first tried her hand at stardom. After years of writing music for others and trying to get her career back on top, the songbird landed on VH1’s Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta. K. Michelle had a memorable run on the show due to drama but also because of a traumatic incident that involved a past relationship. She alleged that she was in an abusive relationship with a former lover, who happens to be well known in the music industry, and caught a lot of flack from fellow Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta cast members, who were skeptical. However, she stood her ground and maintained her allegations, despite the doubt. She even shared her story with a group of young women as a cautionary tale and expressed her pain through music. K. Michelle is still performing, releasing music and encouraging women to stand up in the face of violence in their relationships.
4. Faith Evans "R&B Divas"
Faith Evans rounded up Nicci Gilbert, Monifah, Syleena Johnson and Keke Wyatt to appear on the hit reality show, R&B Divas. The TV One docu-series revolved around women who Faith felt had some of the best voices but also most underrated careers in music. These women—who were once at the top of their success—were shadowed by cameras as they attempted to get back on track in their music careers but also struggled with drama in their personal lives. In addition to the sisterly bond they formed by supporting each other with their goals, the divas came together to record an album, also entitled R&B Divas. The album focuses on self-love and empowerment and it’s not for profit. The proceeds go toward the Whitney E. Houston Academy, a creative and performing arts private school located in East Orange, NJ.
5. Malaysia Pargo "Three Beats Jewelry"
Malaysia Pargo started Basketball Wives LA off on the wrong foot by getting into a physical altercation with cast mate, Laura Govan. However, she has since proven to the world that she's anything but drama. Malaysia Pargo, who is literally a basketball wife, has proven herself to be the mellow peacemaker of the lot of her peers. Pargo is also a family woman and an entrepreneur who has figured out how to combine the former passion with her business acumen. The product of her labor of love is Three Beats Jewelry, a high end jewelry line, named in honor of her three children's beating hearts, that is geared toward the children of ballers, with basketball-themed pendants and other pieces of cutesy jewelry. Malaysia strategically showcased her jewelry line on Basketball wives, in a smart move that proved successful as adults started requesting items for themselves. Pargo has begun expanding her product to wedding bands and more items that would appeal to adults.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s time to look back and celebrate all that we’ve accomplished. This year HelloBeautiful.com is presenting the first annual Shine Awards, celebrating the accomplishments of the stars who’ve used their power to shine a positive light on the world. Our first category is “Best Off-Screen Reality TV” Initiative. We’ve nominated five ladies who have used their reality TV success to launch businesses or raise awareness for great causes. Watch the video and then vote for your favorite!