If you are a fan of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, you are in for a treat. Supermodel and entrepreneur Cynthia Bailey, who made her first appearance on the show in season 3, is typically the one person on the series who tries to keep the peace amongst the women and is rarely at the center of drama.
Perhaps that’s because when she’s not taping, the 54-year old model turned entrepreneur is pursuing several businesses and partnerships including her modeling agency, her line of eyewear, becoming a brand ambassador with Seagram's Escapes and her latest venture, the Bailey Wine Cellar.
In an interview with BET.com, Bailey talks about how she’s able to balance it all. In addition to being a super involved mom to her 21-year old daughter, Noelle Robinson, and newly married to television personality, Mike Hill.
BET.com: You seem busy with the show and all your other ventures. How do you navigate it all?
Cynthia Bailey: We usually film for six months and then also promote it. So it can be hard because when I focus on something, I like to give it my complete attention—being a perfectionist, I want to make sure that I am invested in every minute. So, when we're filming Real Housewives, it's my number one priority, and as soon as we're done, I jump into checking on all my other businesses and new projects. But it's a blessing to have this job because it has afforded me other opportunities.
BET.com: How do you then balance all of those opportunities with your personal life?
Bailey: I can speak for myself and also my castmates; that is one of our biggest struggles trying to find balance. What's helpful for me is just having an understanding child. Her dad is actor Leon [Leon Robinson, The Five Heartbeats and Cool Runnings], who has been in the entertainment industry his whole life. I was a model before the show, we have always been in the business in some way since she was born, and she's come on the show with me when she was eight years old, and now she's 21. So, she gets it. It doesn't mean that Leon and I don't live in a ball of guilt at times. But though we weren't always there, we always made sure she was taken care of. I am doing this for her and my family. But of course, there are times when I am exhausted, and I am newly married, but my family is understanding. We make it work.
BET.com: Like many working moms, you have a lot going on, and you are used to doing so much; what do you do specifically for yourself?
Bailey: I treat myself along the way as much as I can. I really enjoy a good mani and pedi. I make time for that once per week, and I get the works. I ask for the hot stones, a leg massage. I love getting massages. It's important to reset and reboot because you will burn out. And I can't show up to work and tell them, 'hey, I'm sorry, I don't feel like working.' I have to show up and on this show, show out, most of the time. I also get facials. I like yoga, meditating, taking walks, and sometimes it's just about being alone. That could mean watching back-to-back movies on Netflix and just ordering from DoorDash. There is so much power in being still.
BET.com: Tell me a bit about your collaboration with Seagram's Escapes? Why this partnership?
Bailey: The partnership with Seagram's Escapes started in 2018. It is really a blessing. Seagram's, and I did not only want to create my fantastic Peach Bellini, which is one of the top sellers you guys saw play out in the launch on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, but we wanted to help to empower women, something that is important to me.
When we started this partnership, we immediately attached a woman empowerment portion to everything we do. As a Black woman, I understand the value of other Black women empowering me, so I want to make sure that I do the same for others, and Seagram's has been amazing in supporting my efforts.
As an entrepreneur and a business owner of several businesses, we all struggle, even before the pandemic. So many are suffering now. I love that I can have a conversation with Seagram's and we can figure out a way to do our part. That's how the Seagram's Escapes marketplace was created. We were able to give $10,000 grants to three Black-owned businesses. I care about people, I care about the world, and I care about empowering other women.
BET.com: Can we look forward to any other partnerships?
Bailey: I have some things coming out, but I can't talk about them right now. Plus, I am focusing on my marriage. My wine cellar is back open though we struggled through the pandemic like everyone else, but it's open and doing well. And regarding partnerships, I love working with my husband, we have a lot of things that we plan on working together, and I'm excited about that.
The thing that people don't realize, as someone who's been working since I was 17 years old, I've always wanted to be successful, and I've always been prepared to do the work to stay successful, but there's something great about having your best friend, and your husband and create some great things together. I want to do some things with Mike, the man who, you know, I plan on spending the rest of my life with.
BET.com: How have you evolved since you started on the show?
Bailey: I think one of the things that have saved me on the show and is the reason why I've been able to be on the show for over a decade at this point is that I never lost sight of who I am as a person. I didn't try to be something else. I came on the show, and I gave you guys me, whatever that looked liked: successful at times or going through financial issues, broken marriage, friendships, broken friendships, motherhood, and everything that goes with that. I always try to stand in my truth of who I am, even if it's not as entertaining. I am on a platform where drama can work. Everything I have done on the show is how I would have handled them were I not on the show. I do me. I have always been true to myself.
Last year, Seagram’s Escapes and Cynthia Bailey began a national empowerment tour to host women leaders at colleges and universities. There is a virtual tour coming this year.
This interview has been edited for clarity.
The Momosa for Mother’s Day
4 parts Seagram’s Escapes Peach Bellini
2 parts Sparkling Wine
Combine and serve in a champagne flute
Recipe courtesy of Seagram’s Escapes.