'RHONJ' star Melissa Gorga's partner secretly empties boutique in business rift

'RHONJ' star Melissa Gorga's partner secretly empties boutique in business rift

“Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Melissa Gorga was blindsided Monday when her partner in their year-old Montclair boutique Envy suddenly cleared out the entire store after teaming up with Gorga’s on- and off-screen nemesis Kim DePaola.

The windows of the Bloomfield Avenue boutique had been papered over by Tuesday with a sign on the door saying, “Temporarily closed for inventory. Will reopen very soon!” At envybymg.com, the shop’s online arm, a message says, “We are remodeling our website and adding new inventory. Please check back soon!”

DePaola, better known to “RHONJ” fans as primo pot-stirrer Kim D., provided NJ.com with a photo of the denuded store and an invitation to a Thursday evening shopping event billed as “New Years Envy Liquidation” and hosted by herself and Robinson at DePaola’s own Allendale boutique Posche by Kim D.

DePaola tells NJ.com they have dozens of boxes of designer inventory to sell off. “Bring a friend & enjoy major designer markdowns,” reads the invite, with prices starting at $10.

But Gorga’s representative says the reality show star plans to forge ahead with some version of Envy. “Melissa and Jackie have had a difference of opinion on how the store should be run and at this point Jackie is no longer involved in managing the boutique, but Melissa intends to maintain the success of the boutique by managing on it her own, and she is excited to open with a new inventory of Spring fashions.”

Gorga’s rep did not detail the difficulties between the women, but the two had clashed on the seventh season of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” about the direction of the store — specifically about Robinson wanting to expand the selection to accommodate shoppers who aren’t, say, a size 2. Robinson could not be reached for comment. 

The two women opened the store in December 2015, and it was a source of tension between Gorga, formerly a stay-at-home mom, and her husband Joe, who didn’t want his wife to work and who at one point told her, “What you do is you bring in the crumbs. See, I bring in the cake.”

DePaola stirred up some drama offscreen in the fall when she claimed on social media that Gorga actually had no stake in the store, which Gorga denied at the time. 

According to DePaola, Robinson had an arrangement with Gorga in which the reality show star took a percentage of sales in exchange for being the face of the store, while Robinson fronted the money for the inventory and paid Joe Gorga to revamp the space as the boutique. But Gorga’s rep maintains that Gorga “is and has always been an owner of the Envy by Melissa Gorga boutique,” but did not offer details of the arrangement. 

Robinson turned to DePaola when she wasn’t happy with how the business relationship was working out, according to DePaola. “I said, listen, if you need my help, I’ll give you my help,” DePaola says. “Basically, get the movers, move the s— out and you’re done with it.” 

DePaola says she and Robinson, who owned another boutique in Delray Beach, Fla., are planning on opening a store together. 

Vicki Hyman may be reached at vhyman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @vickihy or like her on Facebook. Find NJ.com/Entertainment on Facebook, and check out Remote Possibilities, the TV podcast from Vicki Hyman and co-host Erin Medley on iTunesStitcher or Spreakeror listen below or here.


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Published at Wed, 04 Jan 2017 01:38:00 +0000