Episode 09: Shep Rose


While the majority of us move through life in pursuit of acquiring culturally approved “merit badges” of career, family, and wealth, our latest Life on Tour subject, Shep Rose, keeps his focus on living in the moment, embracing all that is fun in life, and remaining free of encumbrances. For those of you who know him from TV, you will not be surprised by this statement and the question he posed when we first sat down with him last month in Charleston: “You’re only young and good looking once, so do you want to be rich, wrinkly and old, or do you want to live life to the hilt while you’re able bodied?” As you will learn, Shep is decidedly focused on the latter.

We met up with him in Charleston last month to get introduced to America’s friendliest city and one of Bravo TV’s most charming characters. It was a rainy Thursday evening when Shep pulled up to our hotel to meet the crew and chat through the plan for the next couple of days. Shep recommended grabbing a beer at a buddy’s bar close by, so we hopped into his car and set off to get acquainted.

As we walked into the bar, it was clear that he was a regular as he slapped fives with a few fellow Charlestonians and the bartenders, who seemed more like friends. We grabbed seats at the bar and beers were plopped down in front of us, but before we could raise our glasses for a customary cheers, Shep snuck in an order of Goldschläger shots for the group. Sensing both our amusement and approval, he dawned his sheepish grin and said, “never miss an opportunity to increase your net worth.” The line, like the man, were equal parts jest and wit.

Over the course of the next two days we got an insider’s look into the man many feel that they know from watching him on TV, but likely ask whether they really know him at all. Rest assured, his real life is much like that of his TV persona. Shep himself admits this much: “I am who I am on TV, I get to play myself.” The more time we spent with Shep the more we began to see there is more to him than meets the eye. Sure he’s a true professional when it comes to all things leisure, embracing the fun in life, finding the party and impressing the opposite sex, but what we learned during our time with Shep was his refreshing take on all aspects of life, whether it’s work or play.

While life is mostly the pursuit of fun for Shep, he does have to “afford groceries,” as he says. He has an MBA from Vanderbilt and puts it to use when he’s not filming. Shep is involved with multiple local restaurants and bars around Charleston, including Palace Hotel, The Commodore, and The Alley. When it comes to business, Shep chooses to focus on investing in passionate people and ideas that make him happy, and a little money, rather than getting caught up in the day to day grind of big business. He tried that route earlier in life, but it just wasn’t for him. This approach to business sets himself up for the freedom to do what he wants, when he wants and have fun along the way.

Near the end of our visit with Shep, he quipped “my only job in life is to keep a smile on my face as long as I’m here.” It rang more as a reminder to himself, but feels a very apropos way to conclude this piece. After all, “life is generally pretty good” for Shep, so raise a glass, and possibly a shot, and hope you enjoy the episode.