Guerdy Abraira arrived as part of the reboot of "The Real Housewives of Miami" last season, and showed the returning cast members and new ladies alike, she was no shrinking violet.
Arriving with strong business acumen and zero problems expressing herself, Abraira quickly became a fan favorite. I sat down with Abraira to chat about her second season as a “Housewife,” what it was like showing a bit more of her own marriage on-camera this season, and what it takes to truly “Guerdify” an event.
Michael Cook: Welcome back for your second season of "The Real Housewives of Miami," the franchise’s fifth. What is it like to return after such a phenomenal return for the show?
Guerdy Abraira: We were back my merit, that is for sure. I think that this season, those that were surprised or skeptical are going to be fed, we are going to feed the people … we are going to feed the hungry. Appetizer, salad, whatever you want; we have the whole enchilada in here baby!
MC: Last season, you were arguably one of the fan favorites to emerge from the new crop of Miami Housewives. What was different for your second season?
GA: That is so interesting I appreciate all of it, I love that they love it. And if they liked it then, they are going to adore it now. Last season, it was hard for me to be “Guerdy Guerdy” because I was in a professional setting. I was mostly doing Alexia's (Nepola’s) wedding so most of my communication was in relation to the wedding. Now, this baby has said “no more weddings” and it is a whole different ballgame. So you definitely see me more on the social side, having fun, taking shots, and having the best of times with my girls. It is pretty at times, but it is what it is, and it ain't what it ain't!
MC: Were you friends with a great deal of the women prior to joining the show? Was the decision to initially join the reboot of "The Real Housewives of Miami" a difficult one?
GA: I wasn’t friends with people because of the show, but I was in the same social circles as many of them. (Dr.) Nicole (Martin) for example, Alexia, Marysol (Patton) I knew of, but we never hung out in that sense. Kiki (Barth) and I were Instagram buddies, and then the show came about. There is definitely a layer to the friendships that evolved much more because of the show. It definitely was eye-popping for me to be in the mix. This season is more than the last, based on my dynamics, but it is live, brutal, great, and all of the above. You will see lots of emotional spectrums happening in the group.
MC: We didn’t get to see too much about you and your husband Russell last year, but it looks like this year we may be seeing a bit more about your life at home and challenges that may arise. Was it difficult to decide to pull the curtain back on your home life? Your dynamic seems very tight.
GA: Yeah, twenty-seven years later it better be tight (laughs)! The thing is, it was definitely a vulnerable place for us, but we had to share what was really happening, If not, you are sabotaging yourself in a sense. We didn’t want to fake it, we wanted to make it raw and real. I was more surprised by him not holding back on some of his feelings and emotions regarding how our relationship is evolving. I had surprises to hear him articulate some concerns within our marriage. You’ll see that whole experience happen with the two of us. He surprised me in the best way, but it was very concerning also. Listening to him, knowing that this is being filmed, and you are saying really what you feel. He was a definitely real one, that is for sure.
MC: With your own marriage being so solid, seeing Lisa Hochstein’s marriage unraveling and Dr. Nicole Martin getting engaged, is there an extra appreciation for your own rock-solid marriage?
GA: Not really because when we see it and we are part of it, it is happening as it evolves, articles are coming out about her and Lenny, the whole thing. We experience as the viewer in that sense and in real-time, I was so emotional and flabbergasted that this was happening to her. She has a perfect life and the whole thing, and I said “Are we okay”? That is where you see my evolution with Russel and our relationship, the kinks and the links that we need to fix. It affects everybody, Julia (Lemigova), me, it affects everybody that has a pulse.
MC: Your name is so well-known, and your professional reputation speaks for itself, especially after Vogue Magazine named you as one of their "Top Planners" in the country! When joining the show, did you want to take extra care of your reputation to ensure that it was not marred by any drama on the show?
GA: That is exactly right, that was in Season 4. Then I said to myself, now, I have put that on the shelf and it is time to put the real Guerdy, the fun, the dramatic Guerdy on display and that’s okay. I have been doing my career for 20 years; those who know, know, I don’t have to defend anything. It’s funny because Alexia, as you will see this season, is doubting and saying she has another planner and it’s like “night and day.” Well guess what, I was the first planner that she hired, and she hired the best, that’s what she said. Unfortunately, due to really sad circumstances I wasn’t able to do that wedding the first round, but the wedding was already planned, designed, and already a Guerdy product. Her doing the party this time around shows that a lot of the vendors that came through for me still (did so) with me not being able to plan; so getting a thank you wouldn’t have been a bad thing. At the end of the day, she wanted the best, she had the best, and she could have had the best, but she settled for number two; and that’s okay.
MC: I think the fans knew that you would be an absolutely stunning Housewife when you spoke so openly about your family’s struggles. What has been the reaction that you have received to that?
GA: It was a hard thing to do, but I knew that I had to do it; it makes me who I am. That story is never going away, it is the foundation of who I am and why I do what I do. My brother believed in me, he wanted to invest in my company, and I said absolutely not, no business with family. So you see how that affects my drive. People tell me, “Stop you’re good, stop doing so much,” but they will never understand that drive within me to say “I did it … brother.” It is a really big struggle in my life for me and it is something that I am working on. Balancing life is everybody’s problem, everyone goes through it and you see me literally go through it and try to figure out what is a good solid place to be where everything is good, and it is a struggle, day to day.
MC: What do you think it takes to truly “Guerdify” an event?
GA: First of all, you have to look at it through a different lens. It’s not just a checklist of flowers, everybody can do that. The first thing is demanding command of the whole project. My clients know, when you come to me, you are getting an innovator - not a note taker; that’s the first thing. Second thing is, we don’t speak basic. We are always going to try to elevate. Traditional with a twist. People can look at a floral arch and then go “ooh behind it there is something else” … and there is a reveal and it is an experiential event. A Guerdy event is like a movie script and I am the director.
MC: "The Real Housewives of Miami" has always been loved by the LGBT community. Have you traveled to Wilton Manors or hit Lincoln Drive and felt the love from the boys?
GA: Been there done that. In my industry alone, I am so blessed to be around so many creative and amazing people, many of them are in the LGBT community. Being able to now get the amplified love because of the fact that now they’re like “yes fashion”! I love giving people what they are asking for. What until you see the fashion and the drama! I can't wait to see how they receive it this season they are either going to love it or say “oh girl” (laughs)!
"The Real Housewives of Miami" is now streaming on Peacock.
Follow Guerdy Abraira on Instagram @guerdydesign.