I had the pleasure of catching up with Torrei Hart, entrepreneur, businesswoman, actor, author, and star of VH1's Atlanta's Exes. I already knew that she was funny in here own right, but she is also warm, open, and very inspiring.
Read on for what I learned during my time with Torrei and what's next for this starlet from films, books, to race car driving, and what she really thinks about Tameka Raymond.
Candy Washington: Hi Torrei, you always speak your mind on the show and you're pretty hilarious, so what was your motivation behind joining the cast of Atlanta Exes?
Torrei Hart: I actually really enjoy watching reality TV! It's great entertainment and can be a great platform if used in the right way and for positive reasons. Reality TV has started a lot of careers and I also knew and trusted the producers. I go to church with them.
CW: You seem to have really bonded with Christina, but things were pretty rocky between you and Tameka, how has your relationship with these women evolved?
TH: The show doesn't show all of the good times that we have together, only the most dramatic moments. We really do have a sisterhood and are in constant communication with each other, even after filming had wrapped. Tameka and I laugh together all the time, she's actually really funny. We are both strong, opinionated women so there's bound to be conflict, but are all real friends.
CW: What's been your most memorable moment from the show that you can reveal to us?
TH: I'm a dare devil, I've been bungee jumping and sky diving, so I suggested to the producers that we go race car driving. All of us ladies are super competitive and I was going so fast that I spun out and slid off the track and into the grass! It was a very exciting moment and I couldn't believe I was going that fast.
CW: So in addition to the show, you're also an entrepreneur and businesswoman, can you tell us about your new Skimpy Mixer, 'Cherry Limeade'?
What was the inspiration behind this career move? And I want to know, are you really driving that car that you received as a sponsorship gift?
TH: Haha, I don't personally drive the car, but my family members and manager will drive it! The opportunity with Skimpy fell into my lap. I knew that I wanted to work with a product. I love what Bethenny Frankel is doing with Skinny Girl and I wanted to be pro-women and be about empowerment.
Skimpy, which is a woman-owned company, was looking for someone and I was able to make my own flavor, Cherry Limeade. It was important to me to give women a healthy, low-calorie, and enjoyable drink. I've always loved cherry and lime, so making my flavor as Cherry Limeade just made sense.
CW: What advice do you have for other women who want to stand on their own and build their own businesses?
TH: Know what you want to do, have a plan, do your research, know your market and target audience, and be prepared to do the work. When going for your dreams and goals, there will be many sleepless nights. I went to bed at 4am and woke up at 6am to get my kids to school. Be prepared to work hard and be ready to put the work in if you want to get the rewards.
CW: As you're building your empire as an independent woman, you also find the time to act. Can you tell us about your upcoming film?
TH: Yes, I actually start filming a new movie with Katt Williams called “Yank” this week. I'm always in acting class, training, working on my craft, and auditioning, This was a goal of my mine since I was young. Through the show I've gotten more recognition and people see that I really am funny and that I can really do this, to the point where I'm now getting offers.
CW: You also have a new book in the pipeline, can you tell us about the book and what was the inspiration behind it?
TH: It's actually my memoir. I want to tell my story and lessons that I've learned throughout my life from my mistakes so that I can be an inspiration to other women who are going through similar situations. I want to inspire them to never give up and that they will get through it.
I had a woman contact me on Twitter because she was going to commit suicide. She was a mother of two and her husband had left her after she helped him build his career. I asked her for her number and called her. We talked and prayed together and when she got off the phone she wasn't going to kill herself anymore and was in a better place.
I want to inspire and motivate people not to give up on life, it will get better. Never give up.
CW: Anything else you want to share with my readers? Any parting words?
TH: Stay positive and happy in life no matter what. Never give up on your dreams and goals. Put the work in and you can achieve it.
You can catch Atlanta Exes on VH1 on Monday's at 9:30/8:30pm central and tweet @Torrei_Hart.
* Please note that I've summarized Torrei's responses based on our discussion and they are not direct quotes.