Having a place in “The Real Housewives of Dallas” cast has changed Stephanie Hollman’s world. The reality TV star grew up in a small sheltered town in Oklahoma and told CBS that she’s never experienced drama before the franchise -- and there’s tons to gossip about when the Lone Star state’s socialites come together. But when the cameras aren’t around, Hollman’s true passions shine. CBS spoke to Stephanie Hollman about how she’s tackling domestic violence.
How has being on “The Real Housewives of Dallas” changed your life?
It changed my life in every aspect. I’ve grown more in the past year and a half than I have in my whole life. I grew up very sheltered and I never experienced drama or conflict with other people. When you live in a small town, there’s only so many girls. You have to be kind to everyone because it is such a small town.
Was there a particular moment on the show when you realized this is now your life?
Marie’s cocktail party when LeeAnne threw the glass. I thought, “Oh my goodness, this is not good.” That’s when it became real. She was upset at me and it scared me. I didn’t know how to take it and I didn’t know how to reconcile everything.
What can you tell us about season 2?
It’s going to be great. We are a little over halfway done. I think going in for the second time you know what to expect. That can be a good and bad thing because it can be a little scary. The worst case scenario is that you’ll get some mean tweets. But I cannot wait!
I know you’re really passionate about philanthropy. How did you get involved in that?
Before I met my husband [Travis], I worked in social services. I worked for a homeless pregnancy center in Oklahoma and that’s where I met a lot of my clients. Most of them left a violent relationship and needed to seek shelter for both them and their unborn babies. So I’ve always worked with women dealing with domestic violence.
My passion really came after I met my husband and I had my first son. I decided I really wanted to be an advocate for domestic violence and have my family take a stand. I feel it’s something no one really wants to talk about. It’s not like being an advocate for breast cancer awareness where many people come together. Domestic violence is uncomfortable. With this opportunity, I want to be a voice and stand up. As a community, it’s something that we should not accept and not tolerate.
I want my boys to know they have to be respectful and kind. That situation is not okay for them or any of their friends to be in.
From decorating, entertaining and family gatherings, you’re obviously into party planning. What are holidays like at your house?
I love Christmas decorating. I want the kids to be involved so we have a huge Christmas cookie jar in our window and we have elves on our shelves. The kids are five and seven so I like to have fun. They believe in Santa, magic, elves and I’m not going to tell them any different.
A lot of the things we do are based on the kids. I really like doing things with our children and their friends. It’s about the memories rather than spending a lot of money. They will never remember the decorations but they will always remember the fun they have.
What’s your favorite thing to do with your family during the holidays?
There’s a lot of fun things to do in Dallas. Every year we do these horse and carriage rides. The kids love doing gingerbread houses. There’s a few places kids can make gingerbread houses with friends after school. There’s this awesome hotel in Dallas where they have indoor sledding and ice sculptures. It doesn’t get too cold so you can do a lot of fun things outdoors.
How did you become into fitness?
My world changed when I ran my first half marathon. I ran a little at a time and it was something that I could gradually build on and at the same time gain more self-confidence. I was running toward a goal not running toward a number on the scale. I never weigh myself because that can mess with your mind and it can become very unhealthy. I think you should figure out what you want to learn and master that -- yoga, running, whatever.
How did you get into fashion and how would your describe your personal style?
It’s something really fun that I do for myself. I would say that I’m very girly. I love bright colors and very feminine things. I love to share great deals or something on sale. I try to find things that are affordable because not everyone can afford a $1,000 dress. So I try to find things that are reasonable and stylish.
As a mom with two kids, you must always be on the run. What is something that you cannot leave the house with out?
My kids spill everything and are messy with sticky hands so I always, always have little disinfecting wipes. Mother of the year award -- I bring an iPad with me. If you are out with the boys and they are going crazy you can always put on a cartoon or something and it will settle them down. I’m a skincare junkie and actually used to own a spa for about eight years. There’s this EltaMD sunscreen and it’s amazing. There’s a little bit of a tint so I never wear makeup. There’s this foundation tint to it and it’s not that expensive and it’s the best thing that I’ve ever used.