Julia Haart Talks Netflix Reality Series And Helping Female Entrepreneurs
Julia Haart talks about life after a messy divorce that played out in the second season of her Netflix reality series “My Unorthodox Life” and how her focus now is helping women succeed in business.
By Dana Feldman
“I am good! I am standing strong!” said Julia Haart when asked how she’s doing following the December 2 premiere of the second season of her hit Netflix reality series My Unorthodox Life. “Good things are coming my way!”
Her tone is upbeat as she talks about the new nine-episode season, which shows in detail the messiness of her divorce and the legal battles that followed. “It has to be the least scripted unscripted series ever made. There’s nothing scripted in it. Usually, I would say reality TV is reality on steroids, but this is just crazy, and we made it through each day not knowing what the next day could be. There was no planning; it was just so raw.”
Haart is definitely resilient, but she’s also human. She described her initial feelings when she learned that what she thought would be an amicable divorce and continued business partnership would be anything but. “It was whiplash! To say it was whiplash is the biggest understatement in the world. Honestly, the part that hurt me the most is that anybody believed what was said.”
The headlines and claims made against her were painful. She was called every name in the book and accused of wrongdoing. Though she continues to fight those allegations and legal battles, her focus these days is on helping women.
Before we discussed her new business ventures, she opened up about heartbreak, a gutting feeling that is as universal a human emotion and experience as there is. She has some advice that can apply to anyone: Listen to your gut instincts. “I have a tendency when I like someone, and it’s not that I don’t see the signs; it’s that I don’t always listen to myself. I put those thoughts aside and take them out of my head. There were signs I ignored.”
Asked what she’d say to a woman today or anyone going through heartbreak, Haart has another piece of advice. “I would say, ‘Don’t do it alone.’ You cannot do it alone. Don’t think you should be embarrassed or uncomfortable or that you don’t want people to know your problems. You’re going to need massive support. You’ll need those who love you to hold your hand because it will be incredibly painful and difficult.”
This isn’t the first time she’s had to start over. When we met her during her show’s first season, she had taken a strong stance against extreme fundamentalism. The nine-episode season detailed her escape from an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Monsey, New York. Viewers watched as she and her four children learned to navigate an entirely new way of living as they reconciled the two conflicting cultures of their orthodox roots and the modern world. She also detailed her journey in her memoir “Brazen: My Unorthodox Journey from Long Sleeves to Lingerie.”
We learned how she went from housewife to shoe designer to CEO and co-owner of the modeling agency Elite World Group. Her co-ownership was questioned throughout her divorce, and though she’s still fighting for what’s hers, Haart is laser-focused on several new ventures.
As she said in our original interview for season one, her interests have always been to give women longevity in their careers and to empower them in their lives. Currently, Haart is working on funding to build a women’s shelter. She is also preparing to launch her shapewear line +Body by Julia Haart.
Simultaneously, she’s working on a metaverse company, and she and her daughter Miriam are forming a company to bring VC funding to young female entrepreneurs. “Only 2% of VC financing goes to female-started companies,” explained Haart. “It’s crazy! And companies started by women tend to perform two times better, but still, they invest in us less.”
As for her personal life, Haart is exploring the world of online dating. “It’s actually the first time in my life that I’m dating! I left my community, and it was more of a sexual exploration. Then, I met a guy who became my boyfriend, and then I met my second husband. I realized I’ve never dated!” Haart said she’s enjoying making her own choices. “I have found swiping left and saying no to be really empowering because I realize I’ve never said no to men!” And, she adds, she is still open to finding a relationship. “I believe in love, and I’m open to love.”