‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ star Dorit Kemsley shares the advice that powers her career

Dorit Kemsley

  • Dorit Kemsley, best known for her role on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," also founded swimwear line Beverly Beach. 
  • Kemsley has a background in fashion and design, working for a swimwear brand in Italy for nearly a decade before venturing out her own, launching swimwear lines Dorit International in 2009 and Beverly Beach in 2017. 
  • In an interview with Insider, Kemsley talked about her career and shared some key pieces of advice that have helped her advance as a television personality and fashion designer. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Dorit Kemsley is more than a housewife.

The "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star founded swimwear line Beverly Beach in 2017. 

Before she joined the "Real Housewives" cast in 2016, she worked fashion as a marketer and as a swimwear designer. Kemsley, 44, studied marketing design and communications at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut and spent time abroad at the University of Florence in Italy. It was after college that a career in swimwear took off.

"I took a job in an international marketing position for a very successful swimwear company, and they brought me on board to expand their sales internationally," she tells Insider. 

The job was supposed to last just six months, but she ended up staying in the industry for 10 years. After that, she came back to New York and launched her own swim and resort wear collection, Dorit International, in 2009. She ran that company for about four years, then started a family after meeting her husband Paul. 

In 2017, after she joined the "Real Housewives" franchise and Paul encouraged her to reenter the design world, she launched the swim and resortwear brand Beverly Beach. Celebrities have rocked her suits, including Serena Williams on the cover of Allure in 2019. 

The entrepreneur is currently contending with a medical setback: multiple outlets reported in early December that Kemsley, along with fellow castmates Kyle Richards and Kathy Hilton, tested positive for COVID-19. Sources told the publication that the women were "recovering at home" and none had serious symptoms. 

In an interview with Insider conducted earlier this year, Kemsley talks about the lessons she's learned throughout her career and gives five key pieces of advice that have helped her advance as a television personality and fashion designer. 

5. Showing off your life online can turn fans into customers

Kemsley said that social media and the reality show are her top platforms for connecting with her consumer base, and she said establishing a strong presence is essential for growing a brand and marketing it. 

Kemsley also makes sure to document her journey online, and said she tries to be "inspirational" to people that are following her journey.

Kemsley herself has over 1 million followers on Instagram, while her brand Beverly Beach has just over 50,000. 

It's her platform of choice, she said, which she uses to announce new product launches and big promotions. She buys ads and makes videos to engage with potential customers. Beverly Beach is also considering working with influencers to expand its reach.

"I think most of my fans want to see that," she said. "I like to have a nice variety there to incorporate all the different tiers of my life and who I am, which is family, business, and fashion."

Decades ago, when she first entered the fashion industry, she said, advertising was more traditional. So it took some time to get acclimated to marketing on social media.

4. Find out what you're good at — and then seek success in that thing

Kemsley also said it's important for people to figure out what they are good at and what they love, then set specific goals to accomplish just that. 

While figuring this out, she said, people should never take the easy road to success, and when obstacles occur, it's imperative to "keep pushing forward."

"I'm a big believer in passion and hard work," she says. "I think those are two key ingredients."

3. Work ethic is more important than natural talent

Kemsley says that talent is just one factor in entrepreneurial success.

Someone can have a lot of talent but a terrible work ethic, she said, which can be a detriment to their overall success. 

Instead, she believes that even people with no talent but a good work ethic will get farther in what they want to accomplish because "life is all about the journey," she says. 

2. Network, network, network

Aspiring entrepreneurs need to take advantage of every single opportunity to market themselves and their brand, Kemsley says.

The digital world offers more tools than she had growing up to connect with mentors, supporters, and other contacts. 

"You need to engage and socialize," she said. "It's [now] a lot easier to get information and to reach people globally."

1. Learn to walk before you can run

Kemsley said one of the most important lessons she has learned throughout her career is to slow down when she needs to cultivate a new skill.

When she was working in Italy, she said, she made an effort to listen to the experienced executives around her.

"Like a sponge," she said. "You absorb and you just continue to work hard." 

She said listening to others not only helps develop relationships but also enables newbies to find people who can later serve as mentors. 

"Don't try to do everything the first year," she said. "You have to do it in stages. Keep it small and tight — something you can have full control over and then you build something. You grow from there." 

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