Is The New Atlanta‘s Emily Lipman the next Kim Kardashian? The newly minted Bravo star certainly hopes so.
“I absolutely admire Kim. Hopefully Raw Denim will be just like DASH,” said the Atlanta native, who hopes her new reality series will mean increased business for her clothing boutique the way Keeping up With the Kardashians helped Kardashian and sisters Kourtney and Khloe expand their chain of retail stores. But unlike the Kardashians, Lipman prefers to run things on her own. “When I opened three years ago, I opened with a business partner and that turned to dirt.”
Raw Denim opened in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta in November 2010, but Lipman recently moved the store to the city’s Midtown area. “I designed everything myself. My style is absolutely in my store — west coast meets country rocker. I’m loud, I’m southern, but I like the West Coast look,” said the entrepreneur, who also plans to design under her own label. “I eventually want to create my own clothing line and sell it in my shop.”
Plenty of other Bravolebrities have set out to build a fashion empire, but while Lipman said she’s a big fan of shows like The Real Housewives of Orange County and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, she’s quick to add that she’s not exactly modeling her business after those who have gone before her.
“I don’t know if I would say that I admire any of the women from The Real Housewives. I admire what they do, but I think I have my own drive,” Lipman explained. “I know Gretchen [Rossi] has a handbag line and I think there’s another girl on [the O.C. series] that did a dress line. I haven’t seen any of it [in stores] and I’m in fashion, so…”
Does Lipman ever cross paths with former The Real Housewives of Atlanta star — and She by Sheree designer — Sheree Whitfield or any members of the current cast? “I’ve met a few of them before, but I don’t know any of them personally,” Lipman said. “Atlanta is an extremely big city, but it’s also a small town, so I do see a lot of them out and about.”
Having studied sports management, Lipman originally worked as a sales executive in event hospitality, but altered her career path after the death of a close friend prompted her to do some soul-searching. “I didn’t like what I was doing. I wasn’t happy,” she remembered. “When I heard [my friend] had passed away, I quit my job in the middle of the Final Four and I called my dad and said, ‘I want to open a boutique, help me.’ And we did it.”
When Bravo came calling, Lipman jumped at the chance to join the cast of The New Atlanta, in part because of the free publicity for Raw Denim. “Who doesn’t want their business [to be] more successful than it already is?” she said. “Why wouldn’t I try to get on television and broadcast my shop and my life and everything about it? When they’re following me around [with cameras] five days a week, you’re going to see me in my shop.”
The New Atlanta airs Tuesday’s at 10 pm ET/PT on Bravo.