WE tv’s reality series Braxton Family Values has made singer Toni Braxton and her sisters more popular than ever as audiences watch the group struggle to (barely) keep it together, and see each sister work to establish herself independently with her career. BlackEnterprise.com sat down with Towanda Braxton, known as the “responsible one,” to talk about all the new professional and personal changes in her life as the show prepares for its new season.
BlackEnterprise.com: What is it like now that you are no longer big sister Toni Braxton’s personal assistant?
Towanda Braxton: The only thing that has really changed about me since we first started filming the show is that I am no longer Toni’s personal assistant! How about that? Seeing yourself on television can sometimes help put things in focus and put a fire up under you to make the changes you need to make.
Tell us about your new business, Secret Squirrel.
Toni would always compare her assistants to me and I would end up training her new assistants. I was very good at being a personal assistant, so I decided I should create a school that develops top-notch personal and executive assistants. We made a call out for applicants earlier this year and the response was huge; but we are being very selective. We have 18 people who definitely made the cut and another 25 maybes. I’m very excited! We will start up this summer in Atlanta, but eventually I’d like to have schools all over the country. You’ll also see me getting more into acting, one of my other passions.
What’s the origin of the name Secret Squirrel?
There was an old school cartoon called Secret Squirrel and that’s what my family used to call me. It fits for the name of the school because a personal assistant needs to be the person getting everything done in the background.
What are three qualities a great personal assistant must possess?
First, you have to have a thick skin because everything is ‘your fault.’ The second thing you need is great organizational skills. Those skills should be evident in your personal life as well as your professional life. Lastly, a great personal assistant needs to know how to talk to people from all walks of life. You have to know how to be a true professional. You can’t just call somebody up smacking on gum talking about you’re Toni Braxton’s assistant. No.
What can we expect from the new season of Braxton Family Values?
It’s not really season 3, it’s still season 2, so I call these six new episodes season 2.5. There’s a lot packed in there! Trina has some crazy stuff going on that will make you clutch your pearls and Tamar makes her decision on whether or not she’s going to try to have a baby with her husband, [Vince]. Chiiiild. You’ll get updates from all of us. Tune in on August 16th!
How are you and your husband Andre?
How are Andre and I? Girl, we are. That’s really all I can say. You know how you have that one girlfriend whose relationship nobody really understands, but it works? I’m raising my hand. That’s me!
What do you think about the other reality shows that are on television now?
A lot of these other reality shows that feature black women are all about fighting and I don’t like that. I don’t even bother watching that stuff. If you have a problem with someone, you talk to them, you don’t put your hands on them. My mama taught us that words can cut a lot deeper than a punch. But I do watch Hollywood Exes. So far it doesn’t have all that fighting on there, so that’s good. I also like Big Brother, but my main show is [soap opera] Young & the Restless! I get alerts and everything. I love that show.
What would you say is the best thing about Braxton Family Values?
There’s a Braxton in everybody. You or somebody you love is the dramatic one or the responsible one or the bossy one. You can walk away being positive and hold your head up high. The root of everything is love. That’s the Braxton way.