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5 Questions with Kandi Burruss on 'Housewives,' Her New Show 'Kandi Factory,' & Dating

The reality star on launching her own show and sex toy line.
This season, your favorite Georgia peaches are back, giving us a taste of what it’s like to be one of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

We sat down with Grammy-wining songwriter, singer, mother, and businesswoman Kandi Burruss for some insight on her line of personal pleasure products, Bedroom Kandi, her new show, “The Kandi Factory,” and a little advice on keeping your business on track while playing the dating game.

ESSENCE.com: Where did you get the idea for “Bedroom Kandi?”
KANDI BURRUSS: I’ve been doing my show Kandi Koated Nights for almost two years. Last year, I was invited to Dr. Laura Berman’s show to talk about sex and love, and saw that she had her own line of adult toys. I was thinking, “Well damn, I have a talk show, I should be able to have my own toys.” That’s what sparked the idea and then I started doing my research.

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ESSENCE.com: Now tell us about your new show on Bravo, “The Kandi Factory.”
KANDI: Well, the first episode is a special and they are going to green-light the series depending on the ratings. I’m excited, reality TV is fun and everything, but it’s something I do on the side. “The Kandi Factory” is actually going to show people what I do for a living: music. It’s similar to what I did for Kim, where I take somebody people didn’t really consider to be an “artist” and help them have a real song.

ESSENCE.com: Why is it important to have images of business-savvy Black women like you in the media?
KANDI: I never really thought about it that way but I think it’s good, as women, to inspire each other, team up to do business ventures together, and push each other. I may inspire somebody to do what I’m doing the same way I look at Queen Latifah, and she inspires me to do what I’m doing. Years ago I saw her win the Sammy Davis Jr. Award. I was like, she won because she had a successful management company, she had her own TV show, and she was an artist. I was like, what do I have to do to win that? I’m going to manage somebody. So as soon as I got home, I called Wingo from Jagged Edge, like “You still got that group? I wanna manage y’all.”

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ESSENCE.com: With all of your ventures, how are you balancing the dating life?
KANDI: I have met someone that I’m really in to. It’s really hard when you’re working a lot, you’re single, you’re a parent and you’re trying to date because you don’t have that much free time. But you don’t want to be single forever, so you still want to work in that quality time. It’s not easy but it’s necessary.

One thing I do tell women is, until you are married you cannot put the man before your business. I feel like a lot of times men are more successful than us because they always put their stuff first. If we’re all caught up in a dude, we’re like, ‘Oh, you know I don’t want to leave.’ We’re going to do everything so we can keep catering to this man and slack off in our business. Guys tell us, ‘Look baby I gotta get this money,’ and we understand. Well ladies, you gotta take that same type of mentality and he just has to understand that you gotta do what you gotta do and that you’ll be back.

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ESSENCE.com: Is there any likelihood we’ll see your current boo on this season of “Real Housewives of Atlanta”?
KANDI: No. For one, he and I met or started dating at the end of taping, so I wasn’t going to put him on the show. And I don’t know if I would ever want to focus on another relationship on TV again. Honestly, I feel like it puts unnecessary pressure on a relationship when you’re dating on camera. And it’s new. New relationships are hard. And then it’s like, ‘Well, what do you want? Are you looking for fame?’ When people are too happy-go-lucky to be on TV I get worried.