As one of the breakout stars of Bravo’s reality show, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Gretchen Rossi has certainly made a name for herself in the entertainment industry. When she started out on the show in Season 4, however, she had no idea that it would bring her to where she is today. Before signing up to be on the hit series, Gretchen was working as an event planner and running her own business out of her home in Los Angeles. Here are some insights into how this reality star went from working behind-the-scenes to front-and-center on TV. From Baylor Student to Real Housewife: The Rise of Gretchen Rossi


After attending college in Dallas, Texas, Gretchen returned to her hometown in California and started her own design consulting business. As the new star of The Real Housewives of Orange County, viewers got a chance to watch as she juggled the demands of being a housewife with those of running a successful company. From her humble beginnings as a small-town girl with big ambitions, she has now gone on to great success as both an entrepreneur and reality television star. From Baylor Student to Real Housewife: The Rise of Gretchen Rossi

From Baylor Student to Real Housewife: The Rise of Gretchen Rossi
From Baylor Student to Real Housewife: The Rise of Gretchen Rossi


Gretchen Rossi is a television personality, entrepreneur, and animal rights activist. Originally from La Crescenta, California, she studied psychology at Baylor University in Dallas. She first gained attention when she began appearing on the reality show The Real Housewives of Orange County in Season 4 as an original cast member.


Gretchen grew up the youngest of three children. Born in La Crescenta, California and raised in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, she attended Faith Christian Academy before graduating from high school. She met her husband, Slade Smiley, on a blind date when she was just 18 years old while attending Baylor University in Dallas. He proposed during her graduation weekend and they were married at the Dallas Convention Center a few months later on July 3rd 2000.

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Physical info

Gretchen Rossi was born in Los Angeles, California on July 16, 1979. After graduating from La Crescenta-Montrose High School, she attended undergraduate and graduate school at Baylor University in Dallas, Texas where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She then obtained her master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling. She currently lives in Corona Del Mar with her husband and two children.


Rossi has since launched her own line of beauty products, Beyond Beauty by Gretchen. She also released her first book, Lessons Learned the Hard Way, in October 2008.

From Baylor Student to Real Housewife: The Rise of Gretchen Rossi
From Baylor Student to Real Housewife: The Rise of Gretchen Rossi


Gretchen has been featured in numerous publications and is a successful entrepreneur. She owns her own business that sells handbags, shoes, jewelry, and children’s clothing called TrendyTots. She has won recognition in the business industry for her success as a thriving entrepreneur.

Net worth

In 2003, at the age of 20, she graduated from Baylor University with a degree in psychology. She started a small greeting card company called Future Greetings.

sweetest time

Ever since she first began dating reality TV personality and entrepreneur Slade Smiley, rumors spread that they were headed down the aisle. And in April 2009, the couple got engaged. For her engagement ring, Gretchen chose a three-carat, cushion-cut diamond with an emerald halo in a white gold setting from Neil Lane’s personal jewelry collection. The pair married on June 27th at Slade’s family ranch in Kansas.

secrets of beauty

Proudly saying that you’ve gone to college is one thing, but rubbing your education in people’s faces is another. That’s why every now and then it’s good to say Oh yeah? Well, let me tell you about the time I attended a university with a population over 10,000. This sentiment comes from watching as many previous episodes of Bravo’s popular reality show The Real Housewives of Orange County as possible.

Gretchen Rossi : first love

Since joining the show, she has been a celebrity hair stylist and clothing designer. In 2011, she launched her own perfume called Fleurage. She has also written four books and in 2008 was named a Playboy Bunny at the Beverly Hills Playboy Club.

From Baylor Student to Real Housewife: The Rise of Gretchen Rossi
From Baylor Student to Real Housewife: The Rise of Gretchen Rossi

first success

In Season 4, it was revealed that all the girls would be living together in a new house. This twist had both the ladies and their husbands buzzing about how this move would impact their marriages. One husband, Slade Smiley, even decided to spend less time in Orange County after he learned his wife Shannon filed for divorce. Little did we know that Shannon’s divorce was going on and she was pregnant with twins! All while filming!

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dearest person

Born and raised in La Crescenta, California, Gretchen Rossi was raised in a Catholic household. With parents who divorced when she was seven years old, she struggled with feelings of abandonment. This tough upbringing helped forge her strong personality today.

Her childhood

At age 14, Gretchen was a freshman at La Crescenta High School. She had a part-time job at a grocery store, as well as other odd jobs. A year later, she enrolled in school at Woodbury University in Los Angeles to study Fashion Merchandising. When she became sick and could not continue her schooling, she moved back home to California.

Growing up

Rossi was born in Phoenix, Arizona and grew up in La Crescenta, California. After completing her Bachelor’s degree at Baylor University in Dallas, Texas, she relocated back to the Los Angeles area with a strong desire to have a career that allowed her more control over her life. She began an event staffing company with her sister and soon found herself fulfilling many more roles within the company than originally anticipated. This led to an opportunity for developing and marketing products under the name Red Carpet Ready.

From Baylor Student to Real Housewife: The Rise of Gretchen Rossi

How she became a Real Housewife

In 2009, she competed on Dancing with the Stars, which made her a household name and gained her more followers. Shortly after, she began fielding offers from Bravo for various reality shows in different cities. One day she just happened to be in an airport when she received a call that would change her life– the call came from none other than Jeff Beitzel, the producer behind RHOC, who asked if she was still interested in coming on as a new cast member.

Her family life

Gretchen Rossi was born and raised in La Crescenta, California. In 2002, she graduated from La Crescenta High School and soon after went on to attend Baylor University. Gretchen’s dad is a fireman, while her mom works as a home health care provider. Her two younger sisters were both involved in the military – one served four years as an Air Force pilot while the other joined the Navy before being discharged with an injury after three years.

Successful businesses

We’ve all had it drilled into our heads that succeeding in business means extreme long hours and sleepless nights, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, as one small business owner recently revealed, It can also be less work-intensive than your average day job. Maybe you need some better management skills so you’re not always the bottleneck at your company. Or maybe it’s time for some outside help with administrative tasks so you can focus on the creative stuff.

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Personal life

Born and raised in La Crescenta, California, the entrepreneur went on to study psychology at Baylor University. Graduating in 2008, she then moved on to develop her beauty brand Gretchen Rose.

In 2010, she made an appearance as a model on America’s Next Top Model Cycle 17.

From Baylor Student to Real Housewife: The Rise of Gretchen Rossi

Husband & Kids

It’s been an incredible journey, but the best part is being able to share it with my husband and kids. We have created a truly unique family dynamic and I am so grateful that they’ve accepted me as a mom and step-mom.


What is your background?

I grew up in La Crescenta, California, and attended a small university in Dallas called Baylor University. I was studying Psychology.

Why did you decide to join the cast of Real Housewives?

The show has been a part of my life for so long that when the opportunity came about, it just seemed like the right time.

What happened to Gretchen from Housewives of Orange County?

Ever since joining the cast of the hit Bravo TV show, The Real Housewives of Orange County, in Season 4, Orange County housewife and entrepreneur Gretchen Rae Berg-Rossi has risen to stardom. It all started with her appearance on an episode called Therapy Dogs that aired on July 13, 2009. She met former college friend Vicki Gunvalson in this episode.

Did Gretchen Rossi have a baby?

Born and raised in La Crescenta, California, Gretchin grew up dreaming of being an actress. She studied Psychology at Baylor University in Dallas, Texas where she met her future husband Slade Smiley. In 2009, she got engaged and married Slade on New Year’s Eve. In 2011 they became parents when their son Troy was born prematurely at just 28 weeks old and died shortly after the birth.

Who is Gretchen Rossi’s husband?

Gretchen’s husband is her college sweetheart, Slade Smiley. They married on May 15, 2006 and reside in Newport Beach, California. The couple has two children together, a daughter Kaitlyn (born in 2008) and a son Fordham Ford (born 2010). Slade is a former professional baseball player who now works as an announcer for the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

Are Gretchen Rossi and Tamra Barney friends?

Despite their rocky relationship on the show, Tamra and Gretchen were friends for about 3 years before the show started. Although there was some tension in their friendships, it wasn’t until 2004 when Tamra got pregnant and she called up her best friend, Gretchen, to see if she would be a surrogate for her. When they found out they weren’t compatible (Tamra is RH negative and Gretchen is RH positive), they still maintained a level of friendship through shopping dates.

By Bio Life Story Team

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