Following a high-profile wedding, How2Girl Courtney Bingham-Sixx is busy promoting her brand to help people live fabulously on a budget
By Taylor Van Arsdale
What you’ll appreciate most about How2Girl Courtney Bingham-Sixx is that she’s a regular gal who just happens to have married Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx. The wedding garnered big attention by the tabloids earlier this year, but lost in much of the hype was Bingham’s story, one that includes creating a successful lifestyle brand called How2Girl.
The brand centers around making some of the most unique decorating and designer tasks easy and affordable. Bingham quite honestly could be well on her way to becoming the next Martha Stewart, something it seems she’d be completely fine with.
“I love her,” she says. In fact, she was on Stewart’s site one day looking at how to make Eggs de Cloche; how to do this and how to do that when an idea struck. “I thought, ‘How to’ what a great name, but I figured How2Girl was probably taken, but it wasn’t,” she said.
Bingham launched her website How2girl.com in 2012 and a year later started How2Girl Radio on iHeart Radio with easy, two-minute how-to tips of the Day. She is now in negotiations with a production company for her own How2Girl lifestyle show with Emmy Nominated producers Tracey Finley and Carl Buehl.
Truth be told, what’s great about Bingham is that she’s the real deal. She’s easy to chat with and delightful company. Over lunch at Montana Avenue’s Rosti Restaurant, she shares her story, her hopes and dreams, and how she inadvertently got started with her brand.
“I was always into doing my own stuff, creating designer looks on a budget,” she said while digging into a Caesar salad. (Yes, models eat—though Bingham smartly opts for lemon wedges instead of dressing.) “I started making curtains,” she continued. “But I didn’t know how to sew so I figured it couldn’t be that difficult.”
She also taught herself how to use a circular saw, a carpet knee kicker and has partnerships with The Home Depot. But it wasn’t as though she set about trying to become the How2Girl. Its inception was simply organic and started on Twitter.
“In the beginning, all my friends were on Twitter but I felt like it’s so narcissistic, and I thought, ‘I should probably Tweet, but what am I going to write about? ‘I just had a cup of coffee?’ ‘I let the dog out?’” she said. “Nikki had just moved into a new house and I was helping him decorate and I was rebuilding a table of his, so I thought, well you’re supposed to tweet about what you’re doing so I tweeted about the table and three easy steps I took to fix it and shared exactly how I did it.”
Then she started posting some projects just for fun. “It was really crazy because in the beginning it was mainly Nikki’s followers that were just following me because I was his girlfriend,” she explained.
But then she started receiving positive response from women. “It was great because women were telling me, ‘Oh wow! I have something I’d like to do like that!’ or ‘You made it look really easy’ and ‘It only cost you how much?’”
The 5’10” Bingham, who’s lived most of her adult life in Santa Monica, left home from Orange County when she was 18 years old. She made her living modeling but explains that she was always on a budget. So she had to come up with inventive ideas on how to decorate her apartment, entertain dinner guests and have parties on a limited amount of money.
Bingham is clearly a take-charge, forge-ahead kind of gal, and a self-taught expert on finding everything fabulous on a dime, but it wasn’t always that way.
“I never thought of myself as eventually creating my own lifestyle brand in the DIY space,” she said. “I didn’t even know what that was, it didn’t cross my mind. Everything I did was out of necessity and because I had fun doing it.”
On the day of the Kentucky Derby, Bingham put together a beautiful luncheon at the Four Seasons Westlake for 30 of her girlfriends. The star-studded red carpet was even broadcast by Entertainment Tonight.
“We had a Southern Brunch filled with Fried Chicken, Collard Greens and Peach Cobbler. We sipped Mint Juleps and made custom Derby hats courtesy of Michael’s Arts & Crafts,” says Bingham. “One of my favorite aspects of the Derby is all of the gorgeous red roses. I wanted to stay true to the Derby traditions so I made all of my own flower arrangements out of red roses as well as an eight foot tall rose-draped arbor.”
For her centerpieces she placed roses in floral foam, added a little bit of lemon grass stems for texture and pops of green. The result was an incredible event, with lovely How2Girl items, gift bags for the guests and a stunning arbor—one that Bingham is quick to point out may be used again for other events—for under $75.
Even at lunch, while admiring her outfit, she’s quick to point out that her shirt and skirt were both under $20 from Forever 21, and her only vice is her love of expensive shoes. We can give a girl that, can’t we?
The only thing hard to imagine that this demure, well mannered, polite-to-a-fault, Martha Stewart loving woman is the wife of glam-metal rocker Nikki Sixx. A three-year courtship followed by a fabulous wedding in March of 2014 at the Greystone Mansion—for which Bingham, in typical Martha Stewart fashion, designed her dress—inspired by Jennifer Lawrence’s white Oscar dress and aided by her aunt Janene, owner of Janene’s Bridal Boutique. She also supervised the decorations, and made sure to order her favorite cake, Triple Berry, from Sweet Lady Jane. The lush wedding was followed by an equally enchanting tropical Honeymoon on the island of Bora Bora.
Bingham also wrapped up her second endeavor with The Home Depot this spring when she hosted The Home Depot LA Garden Party in Marina D Rey. And she recently decided to take up a cause that is very dear to her heart; a charity devoted to helping students survive the effects of cyber-bullying called “Don’t Read: Don’t Listen.”
The idea being that negative comments posted on social media when used for bullying can have a detrimental effect on teenagers’ self esteem and teens should not read remarks or give them any credibility.
“The How2Girl brand charity, the campaign, the website, it is all geared to helping people, even the little things can bring a smile,” Bingham said. “And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to smile?”
The website www.dontreaddontlisten.org will be up and running shortly. In the meantime Bingham urges followers to join her on Twitter @dontreadlisten to share their thoughts on bullying and why they feel it is important to join the fight to stop it.