Drita D’Avanzo is known for her tough girl persona on VH1’s Mob Wives; the woman who will handle her business at the drop of a dime. But now that the Staten Island resident has left her brawling ways in the reality TV realm, she’s reaching new heights as a businesswoman.
The Albanian beauty married into the Italian lifestyle and became a mommy to two little girls, all while maintaining her passion for makeup, rapping and just being all around fabulous.
During the launch for her new line Just Me, at the Staten Island Mall, GlobalGrind got the opportunity to spend the day with Drita and her castmates Big Ang and Carla.
Drita’s devout Staten Island fans came out to watch the tough talker give a makeover to former Bad Girls Club member Pricilla, while she treated the crowd with a meet and greet.
Check out our exclusive interview with Drita below, and be sure to take a look at the photos in the gallery above.
Drita D’Avanzo: I worked for a high-end department store for 7 years. So I always used to sit there and be like, I want to launch my own line and I want to be able to take hot products and make them affordable. It’s not easy because the products I have are high-end, so if you’re not Chanel or Armani, then it’s not an easy thing to have them at an affordable price. But I was persistent on making that happen and I made it happen. Also, I have a thing for the lip-glosses that smell good and my luxury lip-glosses smell so good and they feel so good. [Working at the beauty counters] I had the ability to work with everyday people and all I heard all day was, “what I want, what I want, what I want.” I worked for every high-end line, I’ve worked for almost every makeup artist, and they never had the ability to work with everyday people. So they don’t know what they want, they know what’s great and what’s great to put on models and photo shoots, but at the end of the day it is about what the people want.
Did you actually work with these other brands or did you take inspiration from them?
I took inspiration, because when I used to work at the counter, I used to want all the counters. I was the top salesperson. The reason why: I refused to work for one line because I was very honest. Can ya tell? You know when I was working somewhere, someone would come up and I would be like, “Don’t buy that! You’re not going to like it.” They’d be like, “What are you doing?!” So I figured if I took the best products, my favorites and the top sellers, and put it in one altogether, what’s better than that?
So why did you start the line with just lips?
I launched lips first because that’s my favorite. I can’t live without that product.
Can you tell us what the next product from the line is going to be?
Next, I’m going to bring in eyes. Foundation is going to be neck-and-neck, because I’m so excited to launch the foundation. I got the best foundation I think.
Where do you plan on opening up next?
I probably want to hit New Jersey next. I just want to keep basics at all the carts throughout the malls, because I want to have my store. My store is my real goal, once I launch all my products, I want to open a store. This is something I’ve always wanted and never had. I want to have a place where you could go to get your makeup and hair styled and that’s it. If you’re going out, you’re going on a date, this and that, not expensive. Just a place where you’re actually getting your makeup done with my products there. No hair color, dye, nothing. You don’t have to sit in a salon with everyone getting their hair done like that. There will always be the carts where I have my specialty and specifics, but if you want everything, then you can come to my one-stop shop.
So let’s talk about the French Montana video you were in. What is your future with rap videos? Are you going to be on set doing the makeup with your products?
Yeah, I am. I do have a couple of goodies coming out. I have a lot of my favorite rappers, it’s a secret, but there’s a lot of people I’m going to work with and just spit something. I’m not going to make it a big thing, I’m just going to focus on makeup, but I enjoy and love it so much. All my appearances, that’s all I do, I rap.
Except for us! You’re coming back to rap for us!
I love GlobalGrind! Of course I am going to come back.
So are you dating? Are you dating anyone?
Yeah I’m dating and I hate it. I hate it so much.
It’s like a first interview every date you go on, right?
Sometimes I feel like my date is a federal agent. I’m like, “Dude, you a cop? You ask a lot of questions.”
What type of guys are you into?
Uh, what I’m into? What I’m trying to be into! What I’m trying to be into is a 9-5 guy. You know what’s funny, I end up feeling like the guy because every question they ask, I’m like, “Don’t worry about it.” So I’m like, “Oh my god, did I turn into them?” It’s awful, but I’m trying to date.