Best known for her role in Real Housewives of Dallas, Stephanie Hollman’s most important and favorite role is that of mom to sons Chance and Cruz and wife to husband Travis. She spoke to Upscale Living magazine about life as she knows it.
Tell us a bit more about yourself.
My name is Stephanie Hollman. I am a mom to two little boys, Chance (8) and Cruz (6), I am a wife and a cast member on Real Housewives of Dallas.
What were your formative years like?
I was raised by a very religious, middle class family in Coweta, Oklahoma. I always played by the rules, never snuck out of the house, never drank. I am the oldest, so I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to set a good example for my sister. I was very shy until you got to know me, and I guess you could say I am still that way today. I was all about my grades, church and family!
You obtained a degree in psychology from Oklahoma State University. What made you decide to study psychology?
My mom had her masters in social work, so growing up I always helped her make food baskets for clients or help babysit clients’ children while she was in meetings. I loved watching her help people and the life change she was about to bring to someone else life. Going into college, it just seemed like a natural fit for me.
You then worked as a Social Worker. That must have been a challenging and rewarding experience. Talk us through the highs and lows of that.
I love it because I worked with children and their families with Head Start. I spent most of my time at the school, which was so much fun for me. During the evenings, I would work with homeless pregnant women and that was the best and worst job I have ever had. I loved it because I got to work with babies, but I hated it because a lot of the mothers were dealing with addictions, so to see someone relapse while pregnant was very tough. Knowing that a baby is born with a drug addiction is heart breaking.
You also have a philanthropic side. Please share your most profound experiences of that.
Our family’s motto for charitable giving is to pick your passion and make a big impact rather than spread yourself thin and do little for a bunch of organizations. Right now, we are heavily involved with The Family Place, the largest domestic violence agency in Texas, as well as Big Brothers Big Sister which is all about mentoring. Women and children’s issues are the focus of our family and companies’ charitable contributions. I also recently donated bone marrow and through that I developed a passion for speeding awareness on bone marrow registry with DKMS.
You are probably best known for being a reality star in The Real Housewives of Dallas. Please talk us through the filming of such a series – is it grueling, lots of fun – what really goes on behind the scenes?
It is a blessing and a curse, just as most things are in life. There are definitely things that I enjoy about the show such as some of the fun trips that I get to take with my girlfriends or filming silly scenes with my boys, but there are also forever long parties that we have to attend, and what seem like never-ending confessionals. With the confessionals, I think you can tell when I start to get restless, and that’s usually when I say things that get me in trouble. Overall, I absolutely love the experience and I am very thankful that I get to call this my job!
You donated stem cells earlier this year to save someone’s life. That could be seen as the ultimate sacrifice. What happened and how did it make you feel?
Four years ago I was at a cancer walk with Chance, my oldest son, when DKMS approached me and asked me to swap. I did it without really thinking, but 4 years later I got a call that I was the perfect match for a patient in need! I was on vacation at the time with my family, in the car when I got the call and Travis was sitting right next to me just picking up context clues from what he could hear and when I got off the phone, before I could say anything he said “If you want to do it, we support you 100%”. It wasn’t before a second thought crossed my mind that I called DKMS back and started to make arrangements. Having the support from my family was everything for me. DKMS made the process so easy; they helped me through every step of the process and really made me feel at ease about my decision to donate. I can’t say enough good things about my experience!
You seem to have a perfect family life – an adoring husband and two gorgeous children. We would like to know more about them.
It is so funny to me that you say that because I definitely do not try to portray that I have a perfect life whatsoever! When I agreed to film a reality show, Travis and I sat down and agreed that if we were going to do this, we were going to be 100% authentic and show our honest, true life. The truth is I have two young boys that like to make messes, I am crazy unorganized and we have a chaotic life. I try to juggle it all to the best of my ability and there are many days that I would wake up at 5am, do hair and make-up, take the boys to school at 7:30am in full glam and a dress then come home and start filming my confessionals by 8:30 so that we could be done in time for me to pick them up from car pool. It’s a crazy life that we are living, and it is not perfect by any means, but it is my life and I love it!
What is it like being a Mom to two boys?
The biggest blessing that I have received in this life was the gift of my two boys. If they asked me to give it all up for them, I would do it in a heartbeat. I live and breathe for those two little guys! My favorite job is not being a Real Housewife or a reality star, it is being their mom! I thank God for that blessing every day!
How do you balance family life with everything else that goes on in your day?
It is tough, but just like with anything you have to set boundaries and keep some sort of routine. We have constantly changing sports practice schedules; I have a long day filming, someone is home sick, so we just roll with the punches and handle whatever is thrown our way. The one thing that I keep consistent every day, no matter what is going on, is carpool! That is my absolute favorite time of the day, when I can sit in the car and talk with my boys about their day while we are sitting in traffic, before we get back to the crazy of our everyday lives.
Important tips to make your marriage work?
Communication! And that is so easy to say, but as my schedule got busier, and Travis got busier with his work, we had to start finding more creative ways to communicate with each other because we were not seeing each other nearly as much as we used to. Sometimes, when I have an extra 10 minutes, I will run up to his office and leave a sweet little note for him on his desk while he is in a meeting, just to let him know I am thinking of him. Or he will go into work a little late and we have a coffee date before he starts his day; it is just little things like that, that makes me smile and keeps our communication going.
How do you go about maintaining the gorgeous girl-next-door look – your shape, fitness routine, beauty regime – what are your secrets?
The one thing that drives me nuts about having a more jam-packed schedule is not having time to work out. I literally will put on my workout clothes first thing in the morning and I figure if I am dressed, I will eventually do something with those clothes and find time to get on the treadmill. It sounds funny, but it is true. I will come home from carpool, answer some emails, get some stuff done around the house, but I make time for working out just like I do fixing my hair. I know I have to use these clothes before I change out of them so I work in a 20 minute workout before I change clothes for the day.
Are you a fashionista? Please elaborate.
I would not say I am a “fashionista” but I am a girl who loves fashion! I try to always pair affordable pieces with some more classic investment pieces. I launched my fashion blog, StephanieHollman.com, about a year and a half ago and I have really had fun with it. Funny enough, in Season one of Real Housewives of Dallas, I wore a lot of Lululemon, but I would always get questions about some of the outfits I would wear when I wasn’t in athleisure. That kind of pushed me to start my fashion blog and the amazing response encouraged me to continue. I then started to hunt for some more fun fashion pieces for my everyday life that I could post for my readers and that pretty much broke me of the athleisure phase.
Shoe Addict and Wine Lover? You have quite the shoe collection. Is there a favorite pair? Do you even own a pair of flats?
Okay, I do own a pair of flats, but that is just as of recently. Christian Louboutin definitely makes the prettiest shoes, and I do have quite a collection of his creations, but my favorite pair is probably a pair of metallic silver Jimmy Choo’s that I purchased about a year ago. They are so comfy and surprisingly go with just about everything in my closet; I absolutely love them!
Your Home Office is absolutely gorgeous! What are key pieces you cannot be without?
When I was re-doing my home office, I wanted to create a space that prompted creativity and thought. I sit in my office and write my Bravo blog posts as well as my fashion blog posts so I wanted something fun, fashionable and girly. I call it my Girl Cave because I have these two fabulous pink chairs that the boys refuse to sit in so it is like my quiet little corner in the house where I don’t have Pokémon or Legos at my feet!
We would love to see the areas of your home you would like to share with Upscale Living magazine readers. Favorite room(s) and why?
My favorite room in the house has to be our kitchen! We spend more time in the kitchen than any other room in the house. The boys do their homework on the island while I get dinner started after school, we have family game night around the kitchen table, it’s just our go-to room and I love it!
What are your future plans?
I am not sure what the future holds. We are only a few weeks away from moving into our new house so we are really looking forward to that. The boys are very excited to be closer to their schools and I am excited to unpack all of these boxes that we have been working on for about a month now!
| Photographs by Bobby Quillard