I was very much looking forward to interviewing Real Housewives of Miami’s Marysol Patton. At 35 she began her own multi-million dollar PR company, yet remains so grounded and grateful for her success. An ambitious Capricorn, a trait of the sign, she confesses that the other Housewives get to have a lot more fun as she is “always working”, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously. While we talked she snacked on a Kit Kat and did a fantastic Mama Elsa impression. If you aren’t a fan yet get ready to be!
TBB: Hello Marysol, you are CEO of your own public relations company, The Patton Group, and have worked with big names like Gloria Estefan. Can you give us a little history of your career?
MP: Actually before I had my company I worked as the Director of Communications at the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation, then the Jackson Memorial Hospital Foundation. I organized galas and fundraisers, created the event, sold the tickets, did all the PR. I was a one man show. I decided I should go into business for myself because I was working with all these luxury brands. I knew everyone and thought I could do it, so the company began and started growing. I’ve had it for a decade now!
TBB: How did the opportunity to be on Housewives come about?
MP: Through my business I’ve always been very involved in the social circle and the philanthropic social circle. I crossed into both groups, getting along well with everyone. I got a call from a producer about a show they wanted to do about the Miami social scene asking, “Do you know anyone in business and philanthropy?” I had never been in front of a television camera in my life and the thought terrified me. Still photos, no problem, but put a TV camera in front of me and I’d panic! However, something inside of me thought “Why don’t I do this?” So I gave it a try. When I first saw some of the girls also trying out they were so gorgeous that I didn’t think they would pick me, but they kept calling. When I was told “You made the final 10” I was thinking “What?!” It wasn’t until I got called for the final audition round that I realized it was real. After filming started I brought my mom to a session. They filmed her and loved her! Before I knew it she was in every scene with me and anything without her was cut!
TBB: The cast has seen a lot of changes since Season 1, how did you feel about losing Cristy (Rice) and Larsa (Pippin)?
MP: I felt bad for them, I knew it wasn’t exactly what they wanted, but I was fine with it. I wasn’t close with either of them, it wasn’t like Alexia (Echevarria) and Adriana (De Moura) weren’t coming back.
TBB: Did you have any influence in selecting the new women?
MP: I recommended a lot of girls and a lot didn’t make it but Ana (Quincoces) did! Alexia and I have been friends for 13 years. Interestingly, when season one was being cast her husband wasn’t going to let her do it unless I was chosen. That, obviously, worked out!
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TBB: Your friendship with Lea (Black) is currently strained, and James (Davis), AKA Elaine Lancaster, has been very vocal about his feelings regarding you. What really happened?
MP: It was a miscommunication. Lisa Pliner did not hire me to organize the event, she just texted me randomly several times while she was organizing it asking for recommendations for staging, catering, photographers and press etc.. My friends do this on a daily basis. I help all my friends all year long with their charities and personal events because it’s easy for me. In one of our text conversations I asked Lisa if she hired Elaine to host and she said “Maybe because” I didn’t understand what she meant so I said, “?Why?”meaning “What? Because why?” She answered “If Elaine was charging (she) would not use him, so I offered recommendations just as I had with the other elements of her event. She mentioned two separate times that she did not want to use him if he was going to charge her.
TBB: Do you think you and Lea will ever be back on solid ground?
MP: You know, I never say never to anything, you just never know. It hasn’t been pleasant, it hasn’t been ideal, but never is a long time.
TBB: Your mother, Elsa, is quite a character and has made a huge impression on viewers. She even has her own coffee and, the biggest nod to fame, a parody account on Twitter. How does she feel about all the attention?
MP: Most people really love mom. I’ve seen the account, The Faux Mama Elsa, it’s funny, but (mom) doesn’t really go on Twitter, she can’t figure her computer out! . But when she goes out she enjoys it. She loves the attention. When I go out everyone’s always shouting “I love mama Elsa.” She’s a lot of fun! As you saw she doesn’t like crowds. Recently an event really wanted her and offered her a thousand dollars. She said,(puts on her mother’s voice) “A thousand dollars? The ambulance alone costs 800!”
TBB: Your style, compared to the other women, is more conservative and very polished. Who are your favorite designers? Are any of them Patton Group clients?
MP: (Laughs) I’ve never been one to want to show my breasts too much! I wear a lot of Emilio Pucci all season, I’ve worked with them for many years as well as Roberto Cavalli and I wore quite a bit of Halston. I’ve worked with pretty much every luxury brand you can think of. We have a very good, strong reputation in the fashion industry in New York City. If I like something, though, I wear it, it doesn’t have to be a label. Though, I do like my handbags a nice brand and I don’t like costume jewelry. When I went on Watch What Happens Live the dress I wore I’d bought online for $14.99. It was cute, it worked, I wore it! I do a lot of shopping online!
TBB: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
MP: I love the camaraderie with my team. My girls are not just employees, they are like daughters, like sisters. I also enjoy the adoration of my clients. I’ve never advertised, it’s all been word of mouth. It feels good, especially when you are working with people who have such high expectations. A side perk is the great clothes I get to borrow!
TBB: Thank you for talking with me. Is there anything else you would like your fans to know?
MP: I love them, mom and I both love them! They are the best part of the show. The filming can be fun, but lots of things can be difficult because there’s many different personalities involved. The fans make it worth it!
Follow Marysol on Twitter @MarysolPatton
To learn about The Patton Group visit thepattongroupinc.com
Watch Marysol and Elsa on The Real Housewives of Miami on Bravo Thursdays 9/8 CST