Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 | 4:33 p.m.
It’s difficult to believe or understand somebody spending $30,000 a month for a year shopping for luxury items at Crystals in MGM’s CityCenter. That’s $360,000 in the year since Heather Marianna moved here.
It’s actually been a 10-year addiction since she became an heiress inheriting millions from her grandmother. She had such a barrage of bags (300), shelves of shoes (200) and jam-packed jewelry worth thousands that she was literally being forced out of her home.
The one-time marketing executive’s outrageous obsession was featured on the premiere of Oxygen’s series “My Shopping Addiction.” The beautiful, sassy lady now says her compulsion is cured thanks to it being exposed, and Heather has channeled her energy into her own online show “Beauty Kitchen.” It’s a great way to stay spa fabulous without the high spa prices.
As part of her determination not to slip back into the spending sessions, Heather is ramping up a hoped-for TV career and already landing small parts in movie projects being shot here locally. You’ll eventually see her in a valet scene at Caesars Palace for “The Hangover, Part III,” and she’s in a scene at a theater when Michael Douglas plays Liberace in HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra.”
I asked her how being an addict and the cravings had affected her life. She told me: “I definitely had a shopping problem. I actually had to move away from the Strip and live in Boulder City. When I first moved to Las Vegas, I had an apartment at Veer Towers next to Crystals. It was so much temptation, I was in there every day.
“This was credit card shopping, not just window shopping. Fortunately, I am in a good financial situation, so I don’t have any debt. But I was spending $30,000 a month easily. The people at the top-line boutiques knew me by name. They kiss your butt when you come in every day to shop on the platinum card.”
I wanted to know why her constant compulsion to shop developed as large as it became. She said: “I moved here and I didn’t really know anyone, so it became my hobby. I don’t think anybody needs the amount of stuff that I was buying. I haven’t shopped in months now. I go through my closet and I am, like, ‘Wow, I forgot I had this,’ and it still has the tags on it.”
Heather moved from Indianapolis to Las Vegas as marketing VP of a global consulting firm setting up its casino division. As the shopping addiction took hold, she quit.
“It took me a while to figure out what I could replace shopping with, but I knew I had to figure out something else to do. That is how I created ‘Beauty Kitchen.’ I went from one addiction to another because now I am obsessed with creating my ‘Beauty Kitchen’ show. It’s more of a passion than addiction, I would say!
“I am already well over the 1 million mark on views with my YouTube videos, and its success now lets me get involved for charity work with the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth.
“In a wonderful way, the exposure of my shopping addiction changed my life for the better. I was forced to figure out what was causing my outrageous shopping splurges. It was basically just boredom. I had to find something to fill my time, and with ‘Beauty Kitchen,’ I love it so much, I could work on it 24 hours a day.”
Heather’s also active taking TV hosting classes in L.A. with the goal of having “Beauty Kitchen” air on one of the major cable networks.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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