She’s a princess, a temptress, a pretty mess -- and a businesswoman.
Only ET got an invite up to Erika Jayne’s ultra-glam, ultra-private workspace, the Pretty Mess Clubhouse, for an exclusive tour with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Mess.
“Well, hey, this is where we do interviews, we have photo shoots, we create,” Erika explains. “We have everything right here and it's a great spot, and I can thank Los Angeles traffic for that, because, you know, this is a central point. This is the office. Erika Jayne needed an office.”
As Erika’s brand and team got bigger, she had to move the “Erika Jayne Project,” as she calls it, out of her Pasadena, California, mansion and into a proper office. Or, as proper of an office as Erika Jayne can handle. The space is actually a nearly 2,000 sq. foot, one-bedroom condo converted into a workplace, with the vibe of a Hollywood crash pad.
“Fortunately, things are good, so I can afford it,” the 46-year-old reality star jokes, artfully dodging the question of how much the space actually cost her to rent and redesign. The decor is a mixture of leftover artwork from the condo’s landlord, including a ceiling covered in framed artwork and a structural column wrapped in The Notorious B.I.G.’s face, and Erika’s own personal touches, like a blown-up portrait of herself, nude in a bathtub.
“Biggie was one of the conditions of me getting the space,” Erika says. “I said, ‘Biggie has to stay,’ and then, you know, I blew this [portrait] up. This was in Flaunt, [shot by] Dennis Leupold.”
From the second you walk into the space, you’re immersed into Erika’s perfectly imperfect playground. Almost immediately you’re greeted by a Barbie-pink pedestal surrounded by three full-length mirrors. It’s all so Erika and her team can inspect her costumes, which is how she describes outfits for everyday life and the stage. Next to the tailoring station is a rolling rack filled with clothes for both Erika Jayne and Erika Girardi, including some iconic catsuits from Erika’s performances and music videos.
“I mean, this definitely says, ‘Erika Jayne lives here,’” she notes.
Take a small turn around the corner and you’ll find yourself in Erika’s “glam room.” It’s the biggest splurge in the space, but again, Erika won’t share numbers. All she’ll say is, “This is where the money is.” Even so, she’s quick to point out that not one bit of the room is custom. The cabinets and fixtures all come from Ikea and Home Depot!
Above those aforementioned cabinets, which are filled with thousands of dollars worth of products, is a signed photo of Marilyn Monroe (Erika’s “guardian angel of glam”) and the space’s pièce de résistance: a giant mirror surrounded by the brightest bulbs Erika and her glam squad could find. When she flicks on the light switch, the room turns almost completely white, as if you were standing inside a lamp.
“It's a little intense in here,” she jokes. “But if you look good in this light, you look good anywhere. And let’s face it, HD is no one’s friend. Not even a fetus looks good in HD, because it’s just really intense.”
Erika says it takes $40,000 a month to be her, and glam is a big part of that cost.
“You realize that's low, for some people,” she says. “It's low. Yeah. You're talking hair, makeup, wardrobe. Stuff like that. It sounds big, and it isn't.”
“They don't understand my business,” she continues, addressing critics of her spending habits. “And that's what it is. They don't understand, and that's OK .... When it's showtime, it's showtime and when it's not, it's not. And that's what people need to understand. When you have this 'persona,' that all gets put away and that's done. When you're working, you're working and when you're not, you're not.”
Back out in the main workspace is a small desk for Erika, featuring chairs covered in her favorite print, banana leaf, a la Erika’s favorite Los Angeles hangout, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and a wall of collectibles, including copies of her book, awards and gifts from fans. Then, in the center of the room, is an acrylic conference table where Erika says the real work goes down. That’s where she penned a lot of Pretty Mess and some of her new music! The singer let it slip that she’ll drop a new single in a couple weeks, called “Cars.”
“It's Erika Jayne, over-the-top fun,” she dishes of the track. “It'll be great. Trust me. You'll love to dance to it … I would say it's more in the sound of ‘XXPEN$IVE.’”