Real Housewife

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Photo courtesy Bravo TV.

Housewife Taylor Armstrong lives the good life. The very good life. And she lives it out in the open for the 4.2 million viewers of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. But this 38-year-old Tulsa native isn’t just a housewife and mother.

There are sides of her the show’s fans haven’t seen. Business and philanthropy are just two of the worlds she moves through off camera.

The show tracks the lives – set to a club music soundtrack – of six Beverly Hills housewives, giving viewers an inside look at the ultra-wealthy. Like all reality TV, the show strips away the veneers and lays out the good, the bad and the ugly for the world to see. And that’s fine for Armstrong. Because the show also lets her put some of her concerns in the spotlight.

“I’m so passionate about the things I do. The show gives me a platform to speak out about causes that are important to me, such as domestic violence,” Armstrong says. “I also get to talk about how women can use their small business power to help other women. I didn’t come from means. Now that I know what’s out there, it’s my job to spread the word to other women and make whatever positive changes I can during my lifetime.”

Armstrong leads a life of luxury, but she rolls her sleeves up, too. She is the founder and president of eImplement, a management consulting firm. She’s also the chief creative director of beautyticket.com, a website that offers high-end style at affordable prices. And she serves as the president of Four Truffles, an organic body care company that works with entrepreneurial communities around the world – and gives back a large portion of its profits to charities in those communities.

She’s the first to admit that the ups and downs of business are a long way from the ups and downs of being a reality show star.

“Being on the show is definitely a roller coaster. The biggest challenge is that I truly care about the other women on the show. Seeing our personal challenges play out in the public arena is hard. I tear up often over their struggles when I watch the episodes because I love these girls. I think viewers don’t get to see that side of it, they don’t get to see that we really care about each other,” she says.

Armstrong cares deeply about women in general. She volunteers at the 1736 Family Crisis Center, a series of shelters for victims of domestic violence in Los Angeles.

There’s no word yet on a second season, but the show did so well for Bravo that it’s hard to imagine not seeing Armstrong on the small screen again. And she’ll have good times and hard times, but never regrets.

“When we signed on to do the show, we really wanted viewers to see what life is really like in Beverly Hills,” she says. “We have the same struggles and challenges personally and professionally as women all over the United States. We have insecurities. We worry about our children. We have bills to pay. We have all of the same challenges regardless of how famous our zip code is. We wanted people to see that.”

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