If there was every anyone that was born to be one of “The Real Housewives of Dallas” it’s D’Andra Simmons. With an extensive charity background and a Dallas pedigree, Simmons is giving the ladies of Dallas something to talk about indeed! I got a chance to have a talk with D’Andra about her new role in life as a “Real Housewife”, what her mother Dee thinks about being the mom of a “Housewife” (hint-she loves it!) and what we may be able to expect from the newest gal to hit the newest Housewives franchise.
You have hit “The Real Housewives of Dallas” this year and after only a couple of episodes you are fast becoming a fan favorite. Many people, particularly in Dallas circles, thought you would be one of the first ladies in the cast last year. The reason I didn’t come on board initially is that they were working on it being patterned after a different show, and then it became a “Housewives” show. If you ask me, there should have been a “Housewives” in Dallas a long time ago, Dallas is the perfect place for a show like that! By the time I found out about the show, I wanted to see what it would be like, how the girls would interact, and just see how it went. I also had to think about what was going on in my life and I was also chairing a bunch of big events and I had been doing that since 2004 straight on. In regards to being respectful to the people that were counting on me, I had to be sure that the timing was going to be perfect in terms of doing something that I had not been doing before.
I think that you and Kameron both are a perfect fit for the cast. Did you watch last year or did you only get to catch glimpses of the ladies here and there? I did watch, because LeeAnne (Locken) is my friend and Carey (Deuber) and I have known each other for years. I did watch and I was curious as to what would happen after I decided I was not going to be a part of it. I am also a fan of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” because I think it is very similar, with Lisa Vanderpump for example, being very similar to other business woman. I also am a fan of “New York” and have watched those franchises, and I am also getting into “Orange County” now a little bit than I had been before.
Is being an official “Housewife” what you thought it would be and more? Well it is a little bit. I think one thing that is interesting to me is the power of a Housewife, I did not realize that. It shocks me how many people love the Housewives. The whole power of a “Bravolebrity” is not something I was familiar with. There are so many people who are excited. I was not really as involved with Twitter until the last four months maybe, and there are so many people that are excited, I mean they are just fanatics! You do have the people that hate on you for one reason or another too, Maybe you put your pants on wrong or don’t have the right nail polish, they are going to find a reason to not like you. That is the hard part for me, I’m a sensitive little girl sometimes, people just seem to find a reason not to like you. I’m just going to kind of not take it personally.
We see very different sides of you on the show, working on charity, interacting with your husband and the other ladies, and then dealing with your mother Dee. It’s interesting to see who your personality almost shifts when you deal with your mother, which is something many of us can relate to! You know, I always say, my mother is her own reality star (laughs). I definitely think she will be a fan favorite, and she loves it! She says “I am the mother of a Housewife”!; she is eating this up!
Is it hard putting all of your personal issues out there for all of America to judge or did you have a conversation as a family beforehand? You know, the only time I think it’s hard is when you see my interactions with my mother. I am a strong woman in my personal life-until it comes to my mother. As I’ve said, the only people that I am afraid of are my mother and Jesus! (laughs). She is the matriarch and I am the only child, and when it comes to my mother, she is going to be in control of everything. She is also the matriarch of the business, and you will see me very strong in my business life, but when it comes to my mother, I melt (laughs). I don’t know how people will take that, I mean it’s a little embarrassing of course. At the end of the day, my mother is the only family member that I have that is alive other than my husband. I have no siblings and if I don’t have my mom in my life, what do I have? Family is important to me because I don’t have a large extended family, so I definitely have to make it work. I love my mom dearly, she is just a strong personality! Sometimes winning leaves you wanting; so sometimes i gotta let her win! (laughs). I have learned with her when and where to draw the line in the sand and definitely when not to.
What do you think you want to show the viewers about the real D’Andra? What I want people to take away is that I am straightforward; I am kind of the referee of the group. I am honest and there is no gray with me; it’s black and white. I will tell you to your face what I think about something. I am not the Housewife that manipulates things behind the scenes; if I don’t like something I flat out tell you. That is why people are either going to love me or hate me for my direct and straightforward nature. I have a wonderful marriage to a man that I adore and who adores me, and I definitely think that is very unique for these shows. I also want them to see that even though my mother is very domineering, I am still a very good businesswoman and have been a successful fundraiser since 2004. If I can do that, trust me I can run a business! Managing and negotiating and running between society women to fundraise and one up each other is a whole business itself. If you can do that successfully, I can take these talents and put them in my business life and make it as successful as I was in the charity arena.
What inspires you on a daily basis? Every morning I start my day with some sort of devotional no matter what; that gets me in the right mindset. I read my Bible I read my devotionals and I pray every morning. That sets me off for the day. Other than that, I am a voracious reader, I read a lot about different women from all of the world. Their successes, failures, tragedies and triumphs and things that they have accomplished Women’s stories really inspire me. I kind of just always try to stay focused on what I am doing and stay positive, it is really difficult when you are running a business and navigating relationships with other women. I also want to be a huge success and a brand; that is my ultimate goad, D’Andra Simmons wants to be a whole brand. That is my true inspiration, to keep going and to ultimately get there!
“The Real Housewives of Dallas” airs on Monday nights on Bravo 10/9c (check local listings)