Side Hustles Of The Vanderpump Rules Cast That Made Them Extra Bling

The ultra-successful Bravo reality show "Vanderpump Rules" made its cast of waiters and bartenders into household names who now have net worths that stretch into the millions. In the early years, however, they weren't always so rich. "There was a long time where I couldn't afford health insurance, and I lived out of my car for a short period," Ariana Madix told People. Now-departed cast member Brittany Cartwright added that when she first moved to LA, she really was a struggling waitress. "I would take out loans just to pay Jax rent," she said.

These days, though, they're all doing much better. Spending a decade on reality television pays pretty well, and as such, many of the cast members have built their wealth by taking advantage of all of the other opportunities that come along with reality TV fame. "It starts as club appearances, and suddenly you're paid to post on social ... A lot changes," bartender-turned-proprietor Tom Sandoval told The Hollywood Reporter. Not all "VPR" side hustles have been successful; in fact, the majority have since failed. Still, the cast has clearly picked up some serious coin along the way. Read on for a look back at the most memorable side hustles of the "Vanderpump Rules" cast that made them extra bling

Placing a cork in Witches of WeHo wine

For much of "Vanderpump Rules," a lot of the show's drama surrounded the mean-girl bestie trio made up of Kristen Doute, Katie Maloney, and ringleader Stassi Schroeder. The triumvirate of terror leaned into their bad-girl reputations in 2018, announcing on Instagram (via Bravo) that they would be launching a wine label together called "Witches of WeHo." In the announcement video, Maloney sipped and quipped, "It tastes witchy, in the best way possible."

Unfortunately for the brand, its main appearance on "Vanderpump Rules" came during a Season 8 episode called "Witches of WeHo Whine." In the episode, Schroeder decided that her struggling friendship with Doute was basically over, and she was sick of having to run a business with her. She, of course, decided to break the news at a party thrown by the brand. "I get that Stassi wants to put an end to Witches of WeHo, but I'm here to promote a business. And I'm certainly not going to ruin that because she's insecure," Doute told the camera.

Regardless of their feelings about one another, Witches of WeHo Wine got corked when Schroeder and Doute were fired from "Vanderpump Rules" due to past racist behavior. Us Weekly reported that Nocking Point, the vineyard behind the collaboration, had no plans to work with them anymore. "The term of our agreement with the ladies expired months ago and we have taken any remaining inventory down from the website," the rep revealed.

Schwartz & Sandy's may have ended a marriage

In Season 9 of "Vanderpump Rules," Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval stepped out from under Lisa Vanderpump's shadow and announced they would be opening a restaurant together without her involvement. They decided to call it Schwartz & Sandy's, over the objection of Tom Schwartz' then-wife Katie Maloney. Schwartz told Us Weekly that Maloney's disapproval "caused a lot of tension and probably the most tension that we've ever experienced in our friendship and our partnership," but even Bravo head Andy Cohen agreed with her on "Watch What Happens Live" that the name was... lacking.

Nevertheless, they went with it... even though Schwartz's marriage to Maloney didn't survive. They announced the end of their union in early 2022, mere months before the bar opened in 2022 for a party sponsored by Daily Mail. Vanderpump showed up for the event and spoke with Extra about the dissolution of the Schwartz-Maloney marriage, explaining, "I wrote their wedding vows. Of course, it's hard. I'm probably more emotionally invested than I should be, but then I think we all are. That's why it's a good show." Can't argue with that!

The second episode of "Vanderpump Rules" Season 10 revealed that Maloney also attended the opening party. In an emotional conversation, looking around the bar, she asked her ex-husband a haunting question: "Was it worth it?"

Scheana Shay's music career wasn't good as gold

In the early days of "Vanderpump Rules," most of the cast was only concerned with their jobs at SUR, spending their days slinging drinks and goat cheese balls while acting up on camera. Scheana Shay, on the other hand, had more going on in her life. Namely, her storyline in Season 1 was about her attempt at launching a music career, including singles "What I Like" and "Good as Gold." She performed the former during a showcase attended by a number of her castmates, including Stassi Schroeder, who quipped, "I knew I should've been a hooker."

That being said, Shay wasn't willing to commit to pop stardom until she got a sense of what people thought. "I was actually kind of waiting to see the feedback I got before I jumped full force into this," she told Reality Wanted in 2013. "I didn't want to do too much until the audience saw it." In 2019, when a fan said they were glad Shay didn't pursue music more directly considering her talent level, she shot back that she never intended to make a career of it. "Just a hobby," she clarified.

She hasn't left music behind entirely. Alongside castmate Lala Kent, Shay performed a song for the 2020 film "Like a Boss." Ahead of "Pump Rules" Season 10, she also teased a potential collab with Kent and DJ James Kennedy. Who knows; more "gold" may be headed our way!

Jax Taylor's sweater line

In the early seasons of "Vanderpump Rules," reality TV supervillain Jax Taylor was best known as Stassi Schroeder's on-again, off-again ex. By Season 2, Schroeder was sick of Taylor being A) older than her and B) still working at a bar, so he tried to clean up his act and find a passion project. He settled on sweaters. "You want me to do something with my life, and this is a thing I..." he told Schroeder, his voice trailing off as he realized his ex wasn't into the idea. "You think you can just wake up and have a sweater line?" Schroeder said in a talking head interview. "Just because you wear sweaters does not mean that you know how to design them. That's not how life works." She went even further in her blog for Bravo, writing, "It's just all so ridiculous."

Ridiculous or not, Taylor's sweater line actually did get off the ground. In collaboration with a now-defunct brand called XCALIBUR, Taylor released a line of knitwear in 2014. He told Beauty & Style Beat that he was involved in designing the clothes, not just promoting them. "I tweak this and tweak that, everything from the collar and hoodie to the buttons," he said, adding, "different designs and color to match my taste and style." That being said, the line didn't exactly set the fashion world on fire. It's no longer available, and we never heard about it again on the show.

Tom Sandoval and the Most Extras

In the Season 10 premiere episode of "Vanderpump Rules," Tom Schwartz told his bestie (and frequent business partner) Tom Sandoval that he was miffed Sandy took his band on the road, leaving Schwartz to deal with important decisions about the opening of their new restaurant. Sandoval's latest musical venture — R.I.P. "Charles McMansion" and their one song, "Touch In Public" — is called Tom Sandoval and the Most Extras. Living up to the group's name, the cover band consists of Sandoval and a surprisingly-large group of musicians, as though he were a director trying to fill the stage with the most extras he could find. There's also the fact that Sandoval himself is extra, as he told E! News. The idea came to him from a friend, who said, "You're extra. You like to do extra things."  

Speaking with Bravo's Daily Dish, Sandoval explained that his band has "such a crazy mix" of songs they like to cover. "We want to do songs that people don't normally hear in cover bands," he said, giving the example that they would avoid "Don't Stop Believin'" were they to choose a Journey song to play. Unlike some of the cast's other projects, Tom Sandoval and the Most Extras has been a success! Their East Coast tour — the one that bugged Schwartz — evidently sold well, and it even included a hyped-up show at BravoCon. "It was amazing and I'll never forget it for the rest of my life," he said.

Peter Madrigal produced a sci-fi movie

Peter Madrigal isn't part of the main cast of "Vanderpump Rules," but the SUR manager has been around from the beginning of the show, a constant presence in the background of restaurant scenes. He even occasionally tags along on group trips and sometimes gets invited to the main cast's various weddings; for the most part, though, Madrigal's appearances on the show tend to revolve around him trying to hook up with girls. 

In Season 5, however, the muscular manager actually got his own storyline outside of the restaurant. He picked up a side gig producing a film called "The Raiven," a science fiction short about a war in space. "It's kind of like 'Star Wars' meets 'Halo,'" Madrigal explained. He managed to rope Tom Sandoval into acting for him, and he told his buddy from the bar, "It's gonna be eight minutes long so we can get a bigger budget for a bigger feature film... $100 million project, y'know?" Sandoval then struggled to remember his lines while shooting his role.

The episode where Sandoval filmed his cameo aired in early 2017, and it wasn't until early 2020 that the film — now called "The Raiven Destiny" — was finally released online. Madrigal shared the special effects-heavy film himself on the "Vanderpump Rules" subreddit, telling fans, "So here it is!" As of 2023, the $100 million feature doesn't seem to have gotten off the ground, and as of "Vanderpump Rules" Season 10, Madrigal still works at SUR.

Lala Kent launched a 'bRand New' clothing line

Like many of her co-stars, Lala Kent understands what a branding opportunity it is to be a reality television fixture. She has beauty and clothing lines called "Give Them Lala," which is also the name of her podcast and her book. In an interview with Nylon, she explained that she started her side gigs so that they could someday be her main gig, once "Pump Rules" gets canceled. "My manager came to me and told me I have to create something to fall back on when this show is no longer and he asked, what are you interested in?" she recalled. "I love beauty so much and that's how Give Them Lala Beauty came to be."

The tumultuous end of her relationship with producer Randall Emmett made her realize that getting a tattoo with her man's name on it was probably a mistake. Understandably, she covered it up. As People reported, Kent's new ink incorporated the old tattoo, and her tat now says "bRand new."

It seems that the savvy star saw a bRanding opportunity, and she began selling clothing with the slogan. "I didn't need to cover it completely," she wrote in an Instagram post announcing "bRand new" hoodies. "It was never powerful enough to do that. But the new me is powerful enough to take away any significance in that name. Brand new, baby." Fans on Reddit mocked the merch, with one writing, "Aw girl, that's embarrassing."

Stassi Schroeder's controversial podcast

At this point, there's a serious "Vanderpump Rules" SURver-to-podcast-host pipeline. Scheana Shay has one called "Scheananigans," Kristen Doute leads "Sex, Love, and What Else Matters," Lala Kent gives them "Give Them Lala," and Katie Maloney fronts "You're Gonna Love Me" — or at least, she did, until announcing the February 3, 2023 episode as the show's last. The OG "Pump Rules" podcast, though, was "Straight Up with Stassi," hosted by "VPR" villain-turned-antihero-turned-fired-star Stassi Schroeder.

Almost from the beginning, Schroeder's podcast repeatedly got her in trouble. On a Season 6 episode of the Bravo show, Billie Lee confronted Schroeder about comments she made on the pod complaining that "African Americans" were complaining too much about #OscarsSoWhite. The discussion ended with Schroeder in tears, protesting, "To s*** on my podcast, to s*** on my values, to s*** on all of that... makes me really upset." (Bravo's description of the video clip: "Stassi Schroeder denies the fact that she's racist." We're just saying.)

In 2017, People reported that she lost podcast sponsors after complaining on air that the #MeToo movement had gone too far. Still, in 2019, she toured with a live podcast show. "Straight Up With Stassi" lost sponsors for good in 2020 when its host was fired from "Vanderpump Rules" for racist behavior, and the show was pulled from the internet, according to Us Weekly. The former "VPR" star re-launched the podcast in 2022, evidently hoping that the hubbub had died down after her firing. 

Tom and Ariana's cocktail book landed them in hot water

Tom Sandoval has a number of endeavors outside of his "Vanderpump Rules" filming commitments. The man runs multiple bars, plays music, models and acts — remember when he would call himself a "mactor?" Still, when his longtime girlfriend Ariana Madix first announced that she would be writing a cocktail book in Season 5, Sandoval was clearly jealous. "Everybody came up to me and they're like, 'Why is Ariana doing a cocktail book and not you?'" he complained. "Somebody's a bitter betty," Madix shot back.

Madix's solo book never materialized, but a few years later, they ultimately released a book together. "Fancy AF Cocktails: Drink Recipes from a Couple of Professional Drinkers" came out in 2019. Madix told the New York Post that the book was meant to be lighthearted, explaining, "We just want to show that making drinks doesn't have to be taken so seriously." 

What isn't so lighthearted, though, is that its existence landed the "Pump Rules" stars in legal trouble. According to People, they were sued for royalties by the ghostwriter who was supposed to work on Madix's original book. "We will vigorously defend ourselves against these baseless claims," the couple said in a statement. According to Hey Socal, the lawsuit was finally dropped in 2022.

James Mae, Kristen Doute's t-shirt line

Kristen Doute was one of the original SURvers on "Vanderpump Rules," causing drama by the dumpster behind the restaurant as she fought her co-stars, made up, and fought again. Her behavior finally caught up to her in 2015, when Lisa Vanderpump fired her for getting in a fight with one of the managers and telling her to "Suck a d***." 

After her firing, Doute pivoted from slinging drinks to hawking t-shirts. She launched James Mae, a clothing line featuring quippy sayings on shirts. While promoting her new brand on a Sirius XM interview with "The Morning Jolt," the firebrand explained, "My issue is any time I'm going shopping and I'm thinking, 'If only this shirt kinda looked more like this.'" She realized, "Well, why don't you create it?" Things kind of stalled out, but Bravo reported that she re-launched the line in 2018. Sample clothing slogans on the new shirts included "Always choose dare." and "Vagina Mafia."

Doute was fired from "Vanderpump Rules" for racism in 2020. She told E! News that she was trying to use her clothing line to "make changes" by partnering with Black women designers, explaining that she was "donating to them, and creating, like, a protest collection with a Black graphic designer, and then, you know, giving the proceeds to that. So, it's like all of those things on top of listening and learning, but donating and taking action." Unlike most "VPR" side hustles, James Mae seems to still be going strong.

Jax and Brittany's Mamaw's Beer Cheese

"Vanderpump Rules" fans — or perhaps fans of "Vanderpump Rules: Jax and Brittany Take Kentucky," if any exist — know that Brittany Cartwright prides herself on being a down-home girl from the South. Ahead of Season 7, she gave an interview to Bravo, promoting the fact that her upcoming storyline would involve her and then-fiancé Jax Taylor launching a business. The product? Mamaw's Beer Cheese, a retail version of her grandmother's beer cheese recipe. "I love beer cheese and just cause my meemaw makes it and it's her recipe, it just makes it special for me," she said.

Early in the season, they went shopping to find the perfect cheese to put in the dip. "It's like, a Kentucky thing," Cartwright told a cheese shop employee. "I'm just bringing it to LA." Later on, despite already having plans for a company, she tried making the spread for the first time and then forced her friends to try it. "If you don't like it, there's something wrong with you, not with my beer cheese," she insisted. The spicy concoction made Beau Clark and Katie Maloney's eyes water, but Tom Schwartz was all for it. "Mamaw's Beer Cheese is dangerously delicious," he dutifully told the camera.

With a ringing endorsement like that, you might think Taylor and Cartwright would have rushed a product into stores. Years later, Taylor and Cartwright are no longer on the show, and Mamaw's Beer Cheese never materialized on shelves.

Brock and Jax's separate fitness apps

During Season 2 of "Vanderpump Rules," Jax Taylor became the face of Jax Taylor Fitness, an app designed to guide users through home workouts. On the second season's "Secrets Revealed" special, footage was shown of SUR manager Peter Madrigal directing Taylor through filming his workouts for the app. To put it mildly, it went horribly. Taylor couldn't remember his lines, complaining, "I'm really good at doing these exercises. Maybe I don't know the name of them all, but I can do them all." Ultimately, the workout videos on the app were, weirdly, silent.

Taylor isn't the only "Vanderpump Rules" alum to launch a fitness app. In Season 9, Scheana Shay's newest man Brock Davies promoted Homebody, a fitness app with a twist. "What we want to do at Homebody is take celebrities, let them coach classes and post them, and you can join them and do a live workout with that celebrity," Davies told The List. He went even further on the show, calling it "OnlyFans, but for the health and fitness space."

In true "Pump Rules" form, the app caused drama between Davies and his fellow cast members. In a Season 9 episode, he roped some of the cast into shooting promos for his app, and there was an argument when James Kennedy didn't want to participate. He also caused controversy when he promoted his app on Lala Kent's Instagram, even though they have beef on the show.

Pucker and Pout, Katie Maloney's on-again, off-again beauty blog

In 2013, Katie Maloney gave an interview to RealityWanted about her hopes and dreams for a professional career outside of SUR. "My ultimate goal would be to own a small record label that was also under the umbrella of a music supervision company as well — doing songs for movies and television, work with artists and supervise them," she said. "That's kind of my main goal." So, naturally, Maloney started a beauty blog.

The website was called Pucker & Pout, and Maloney held a big party during Season 4 to launch the site. "The purpose of this launch party is to gain exposure," she said, inviting all of her friends and co-stars to the event. "It feels so official and so, like, real, you know?" she told Scheana Shay. The exposure may not have worked out the way she hoped, and she re-launched the site a few seasons later with — you guessed it — another party. 

The site's domain name has since expired. Thanks to the magic of the Internet Archive, though, we can relive Pucker & Pout posts with titles like "How to Blot Lipstick" and "OMG Scented Nail Polish," which sports the teaser, "Each time I'm flipping through a magazine and I see an ad for a new cosmetic, hair, or beauty line I get ecstatic!" An essential voice in the beauty space, that Katie Maloney.

Vanderpump Dogs got its own reality show

It's no secret that Lisa Vanderpump loves dogs. For a while, she would bring her beloved pooch Giggy with her wherever she went, but she announced on Instagram in 2020 that her dog had passed away. In memory of her furry friend, she wrote, "Our sweet Gigolo was such an incredible, unique dog, but mainly, because of him, we started The Vanderpump Dog Foundation and embarked on our mission to save as many dogs as possible. He inspired us to start our work in rescue, and for that we will always be grateful."

Vanderpump Dogs is a charitable organization, so it wouldn't necessarily belong on a list of "Pump Rules" side hustles were it not for the fact that "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star attempted to spin off her animal rescue into a television show of its own. The six episode Peacock Original series focused on the staff at the Vanderpump Dogs location on Melrose Ave, detailing adoption tales they helped facilitate. "It mainly focuses on the dogs and the people that are adopting them, and it's the stories about the dogs – how they got there, and how it's their second chance," she explained to Dog O'Day. "And it's also about the people and their stories, so it's basically who's rescuing who."

After the show aired in 2021, no announcement has been made about if and when "Vanderpump Dogs" might continue, as of this writing. Safe to say, a "Vanderpump Rules" level success, it ain't.