Long flowing dress, perfectly coiffed blonde locks, a smile that could launch a thousand ships — these are attributes commonly ascribed to a beauty queen not a warrior, but I have to inform you that Beth Stern is a fighter. She refuses to acknowledge the word “impossible.” Instead, she sees a challenge and runs toward it. What many would see as daunting or hopeless – such as the countless number of animals left homeless and in need by the recent tornado devastation in the Southeastern US – led Beth to spring into action. “There were hundreds of pets that had been lost, abandoned, and displaced. So many families that were homeless could no longer take care of their pets,” Beth tells me over lunch. “It was heart-wrenching. Kill shelters were suddenly flooded with animals, so our team at North Shore Animal League America sent emergency rescue vehicles to take hundreds of these pets out of the municipal shelters in Alabama.” You might think that after helping spearhead such a large rescue, Beth would kick off her Louboutins and get a little rest, but not so. She immediately made an appearance on Good Morning America to get the word out. “It’s not enough to rescue the pets; it’s also important to get them adopted,” she tells me. The passion in her voice is infectious. In fact, it was her love of animals that initially made me aware of the horror of puppy mills, the largest suppliers of pet store animals. Beth makes every effort she can to bring awareness to shelters and dispel common misconceptions about the adoption process. For example, there are animals of all ages that can be rescued. It’s important for the world to know that sweet, cute little puppies and purebreds can be found at a shelter, not just pet stores. The sooner people stop buying animals at pet stores, the sooner we can eradicate the misery induced by puppy mills.
Beth is doing all she can for her cause, and she is doing it in style. Recently, Beth launched a high-end jewelry line called Beth O For Bling Bone. Her designs are unassuming and delicate – making the pieces perfect for daytime wear as well as a nighttime galas. The jewelry is sold on the East End at Jennifer Miller as well as London Jewelers, and, in true Beth Stern spirit, 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the North Shore Animal League America. Of course, there are accessories not just for you but also for your four-legged partner in crime. And the question on my mind at this point is: How does Beth’s two-legged partner in crime feel about her animal crusade? “Howard is the most supportive person in my life. There is nothing I do that he doesn’t get behind 100 percent. Sometimes, I will show up at the show and he’ll help me with adoptions. During an interview with Kim Cattrall, I recently showed up with a dog that needed a home. By the end of the interview the dog was adopted.” A lot of the couple’s time is spent in the Hamptons communing with nature. They like to bike around town – Howard in a high-speed racer bike and Beth in her vintage, old-fashioned two-wheeler. Other days, they stroll along the beach and, incidentally, have rescued several animals. Upon hearing of their daily routine, the images that come to mind are more akin to Disney characters than the shock jock and buxom beauty that are often discussed and over-analyzed in the media. When I confess to Beth that her Howard sounds more like a fairy tale Prince Charming than the Bad Boy of All Media, she blushes. “Oh he’s got a naughty side,” she says. “That’s for sure.” Recently, Howard took up a new hobby, photography. “He takes pictures of me all the time. Snap, snap, snap. I’ll be in the bathtub and there he is with the camera and suddenly the pictures are up on Twitter.” She giggles like a schoolgirl gushing about a new crush, and I have to say it is really endearing to see someone so in love. “Oh, we have a new policy,” she confesses. “He can take all the pictures he likes, but I have to be able to approve the ones that he tweets out.”
It’s amazing these two can find time to spend together when they seem to be the busiest people in show business. Besides Howard’s well-known, time-consuming schedule, Beth has several new projects of her own. Beth will be starring in a television show for HGTV about designing “mom caves,” well-deserved mommy sanctuaries for busy women across America. “I’m really excited about filming,” Beth says, “The goal is to create a beautiful space where busy mothers can have time for themselves.” By this point, I’ve noticed that all of Beth’s projects are centered around positivity. “I definitely want to make people happy,” Beth says. “I find it rewarding.” And if that upcoming show weren’t rewarding enough, Beth will also be hosting Gossip Cop, a show dedicated to revealing the truth behind the celebrity rumor mill. Of course, her busy schedule doesn’t stop there. East Enders will have a chance to catch up with this girl-on-the-move over a good sweat when Beth visits Exhale Spa Bridgehampton to lead a core fusion class – it probably won’t surprise you to hear that all proceeds will go to the Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons.
Considering everything that Beth has achieved is exhausting – I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to live it. But I can say this: The world is a better place for having Beth Stern in it. There are few people who recognize the responsibility that comes with being in a position of influence. She helps those who are powerless and she sets an example for everyone who has the good fortune to come in contact with her. We can all learn a valuable lesson about the importance of giving back and how to lead a rewarding life.