Andy Cohen on the making of a ‘Housewives’ brand

There’s one proven way to extend 15 minutes of fame: monetize it.

netted over $100 million when she sold Skinnygirl Cocktails to Beam Global, the maker of Jim Beam, in 2011.

Excluding cocktails, Frankel still owns the rest of her successful Skinnygirl empire. In 2016, the entrepreneur landed a spot on Forbes’ list of America’s highest-paid reality stars.

But that doesn’t mean everyone can do what she did — not that they haven’t tried.

There’s been clothing, shapewear, sunglasses, jewelry, handbags, skin cream, cannolis, cocktails, wine, cookbooks, novels, tell-alls, a toaster that never quite got off the ground and even sex toys (which proved hugely popular).

“Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t,” Andy Cohen, the executive producer of the “Real Housewives” franchise, told CNBC at a Purina One event in New York City, which promoted the pet food and raised funds for shelter dogs through the Petfinder Foundation.

“The viewers are really smart,” he added. “When it’s organic or a great idea, they just go for it. They know when it’s ridiculous or when it’s amazing.”

One of the best — and most underrated — business women is Kandi Burruss on the Atlanta Housewives, according to Cohen, citing Burruss’ bedroom accessories, which are sold directly by “consultants” at parties similar to Rodan + Fields skin care or Stella & Dot jewelry.

“They’re doing very well and they’re really expensive,” Cohen said of the Bedroom Kandi products.

Other business ventures that have resonated with viewers included Beverly Hills Housewife Lisa Vanderpump’s sangria and rosé as well as New York Housewife Ramona Singer’s skin care (relaunching soon), Cohen said, in part because those products are closely associated with the women behind them.

“They’re continuing to build their brand,” he said of the “Housewives” turned entrepreneurs, “as they should.”

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns Bravo.

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