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This Week’s Issues: New Businesses And Weekend Guests

Originally Posted: July 24, 2008

Jill Zarin

  |   7 Comments · Print Article
Is the summer half over or just beginning? I finally stayed in the Hamptons for an entire week.

Friday night we went to a friends birthday dinner followed by a "drive by" at Pink Elephant. We met lots of cute girls for Bobby's son and his friends, danced, and then departed. Saturday, Bobby and I went to opening day of Polo in Bridgehampton and I took Sarah Erhrlich with me to hand out invitations for our 2nd Annual Help for Orphans Benefit this Friday, July 25, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Nova's Ark. (To buy tickets go to hamptonsbenefit.com. Prices are $150 in advance and $200 at the door). There will be cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and a wonderful Art Auction and Silent Auction. We are raising money to build a vocational school in Kenya for a village that Sarah has been helping for two years. Last year we raised enough money to build a 10-room schoolhouse that will break ground this August.

Jill and Bobby Zarin at Art For Life. Photo by Kurt Leggard

Saturday night, Bobby and I went to Russell Simmons' charity event, Art for Life. The decor was outstanding with people dressed as trees and plants and the dress code was purple. Thank goodness I had something in my closet. I try to respect dress codes when people go to the effort to design the decor around it. The highlight for me was sitting in the Maybach that was on display. I love that car!! So, who was there? We met Governor Paterson (New York's new Governor!) and I was so impressed. He was funny, warm, and approachable, not your typical politician with the standard one-liners and classic lines you would expect. He shared stories with us and would have told more but they pulled him away to sit down for the start of the program. I met Gayle King, saw P. Diddy and his mom who is always charming, Al Roker, and Aretha Franklin (we waited until the program ended hoping she would surprise the audience and sing but no such luck). My friend Marilyn Crawford was there too so we had a chance to catch up.

Though we had a few offers for more parties on the beach Sunday, we chose to BBQ at home with the family and do the midnight run back to the city. Until next week.


One of my readers looking for love had her own fan that wrote into Ask Jill. I connected them and they went out on a few dates. If any of you are looking for love, you never know if you might find it here!

Now onto Ask Jill...

Hey Jill!!

I'm from CT and discovered "Real Housewives" while channel-surfing, and I was instantly hooked!! Are you and the other cast members surprised at the success and interest of the show? I was never really into reality shows - however, I hope this one is around for a long time!!!

Nancy "YoNance", Uncasville, CT

Hi Nancy!

I have to tell you my grandparents were from Uncasville, CT! The name was Kamen or Goldblatt. Isn't that a small world! Thank you for watching the show. I think I can say we are all overwhelmed by the success of the show and grateful for all the positive attention we are receiving. Stay tuned for Season 2!

Hey Jill,

I just wanted to commend you for being not only an awesome NYC housewife, but a friend to all American housewives as well! I have two young kids (19 months and three months) and as soon as the "baby weight" has dropped I plan on purchasing a Team Jill shirt and proudly sending you a picture! Thank you for being you!!!

Love from a big fan,
Leslie Sejda

Dear Lelie,

Thank you so much for your kind words! Congratulations on the birth of your new baby (our grandson was born about three months ago too!). I promise you will not be disappointed in the TEAM JILL shirts. Have a great summer!

Dear Miss Jill,

Okay, so as odd as this may seem, since you have no idea who I am and I only know you from TV, I'd really like your advice. As a woman trying to start my own business, I thought who better to ask than a successful businesswoman? I like your style and you're obviously successful at what you do. So I figured I've give it a shot. What's the worst that can happen? Either you don't write back or you do - either way, I've lost nothing by asking, right?

To give you a brief background on me, I'm a 41-year-old widow with two children, ages 6 and 10. My husband died four years ago from a brain tumor. My kids and I live in an awesome community in Maryland. We've got a great support system of friends without whom I couldn't have gotten through these last few years. We are very blessed to have such a caring community. I want to start a business in this community. One to benefit the community but also to (obviously) benefit me and my family. We are huge dog lovers around here - very suburbia. So I want to open a self serve dog wash/coffee bar.

I've researched and found that people spend an average of $16,000 a year on their pets and the pet industry is booming to the tune of around $50 billion. I've looked into franchises; however the one about 20 minutes from here costs $350,000 and you have to have a net worth and liquid assets far greater than mine. Besides, MY idea for MY dog wash is MUCH cooler than theirs - I did a little recon and, trust me, mine will be much more creative. I can see the whole thing in my head! Every detail. But that's where it stops! I've got no clue how to start.

I'm hoping you, as a successful businesswoman, can answer some questions for me. So, here goes: Do I need a business plan in order to get a loan? Do I have to have a loan or can I find investors? If I have investors, should I have a business plan? Should I incorporate or be an LLC? What about insurance/liability issues?

Thank you so much. I'm looking forward to the next season of housewives!

Take care,

Dear Cindy,

Yes, you need a business plan even if you do not get a loan. It should be a bible for your business and one of the tools you rely on. If you find investors, you will need a lawyer to help you with the paperwork. You need to decide if you want to give stock as equity in your business or a straight loan and what percent interest you will pay as well as a repayment plan. If you get a bank loan, which will be difficult to do in this business climate you will probably only be given one if you have collateral, like your home. This will also require a lawyer and lots of paperwork. No matter what, you need a business plan. You need to ask your accountant if you should incorporate of LLC, there are pros and cons to both. You will need business insurance but your lawyer and accountant can guide you. Good luck!

Dear Jill,

Like most Hamptonites I have many guests during the summer. Some of the guests that stay in my home are not people of means. I usually attend one fundraiser a week. These events range from $300 to $1,500 per ticket. Is it rude for me to leave these guests at my home while I attend these fundraiser parties?

Please Advise,

Dear SAE,

This is the most common problem for homeowners in the Hamptons. It is NOT rude to leave your guests as long as you tell them in advance. When we invite people for the weekend or people ask to stay with us we tell them we are committed to some charity events and if they would like to come they are welcome to buy tickets. If not, maybe meet after for drinks at Trata East, or another hot spot. Sometimes we are invited to dinner parties that we can not bring guests to and we tell them in advance and it is never a problem. One of the reasons we host Help For Orphans as a cocktail party is that it is affordable at $150 per ticket in advance. Free drinks for three hours and enough hors d' oeuvres to fill you up is almost the price of dinner in the Hamptons. Nellos in Southampton is charging up to $25 per drink! Please enjoy your summer and go to charities, they are all for good causes!

Related Articles:

Guest (Kristyn) from Seattle, WA says::
You're too funny Jill! My husband and I just love you!
Mar 12, 2010 12:22 am

Guest (Agnes) from San Diego says::
Hi Jill, the NY Housewives are my favorite ladies. I am a Californian (transplant) but wasn't too proud to say so after watching the housewives from Orange County. By far east coast women are classier and have more style than the laid back women of California. Out of all of you ladies, Ramona needs to take a chill pill; Bethany needs to stop being pushy and a know-it-all (I don't see much difference in her and Kelly); and I'm not really impressed with the Countess. I hope for Alex and Simon that they are just like the rest of you when they grow up---Lord knows they are trying. Blessings!
May 5, 2009 8:35 pm

Guest (Mitchell) from Washington, DC says::
Hey Jill Zarin!!!:] I am a huge fan and think that you are definitely the most REAL housewives of any of the shows. I just think that you (and Bethenny too) are really the only two who dont go flaunting your money, but instead you use it for the right reasons. I really admire you and hope to aspire to be just like you. Please write back, Mitchell
May 4, 2009 12:17 am

Guest (Andrea) from Mass says::
Hi Jill! We are heading down to East Hampton Wednesday through Sunday (Aug6-10th)! Maybe I will see you around town!
Aug 2, 2008 9:06 pm

Guest (Jenn) from College Park, md says::
Tell us some more about the new housewife on next seasons show. I saw here picture in the hamptons.co.
Jul 30, 2008 3:42 pm

Guest (Sabrina) from NYC!!! says::
Hey Jill! I am one of your biggest fans! I'm an 11 year old girl who loves your show. My dad and I both think your an awsome person. We both agree that Ramona can be hard to handle at times. We even live close to each other back here in NYC! Hope we see you around and can't wait for next season. Love Sabrina.( Your #1 FAN!!)
Jul 29, 2008 6:10 pm

Guest (BravoMom) from Colorado says::
I love you Jill! Have a great summer. You and Bobby look great in the pic.
Jul 29, 2008 4:08 pm


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