BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – Craig Conover from Bravo’s hit TV show Southern Charm turned his passion for sewing and home decor into a successful business.
Students in LSU’s Flores MBA program had the opportunity on Thursday, February 17 to hear Conover talk about his successful Sewing Down South business.
Conover explained to the students how he turned his passion into his work and regained direction in his life.
He wanted students to realize that they too can find the purpose and fulfillment they deserve.
LSU’s College of Business was also the first stop on his book tour for his book entitled Pillow Talk: What’s Wrong with my Sewing?. which officially hits shelves on March 29, 2022.
In Conover’s book, he reveals the series of events, both on and off screen, that led to the creation of Sewing Down South, which in its third year has managed to open a brick and mortar store and forge huge partnerships with Thomasville and HSN.
WAFB’s Lester Duhe’ had the opportunity to ask Conover a few questions before meeting with students.
“Tell us about your new book that’s coming out,” asked WAFB’s Lester Duhe’.
“It’s called Pillow Talk, what’s wrong with my sewing?” It is a memory for my life so far. I didn’t know I already had so many stories to tell. But through this process it became a really great project. So it’s my come-up in the whole school. I’ve dealt with some pretty bad bullying at times. And then through college, law school, obviously Southern Charm, and then how I found myself as a 30-year-old starting this sewing business and storyline. So you get a little bit of business, a little bit of gossip from the show, which the network sometimes gets mad at me for. And a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that people don’t know about,” Conover said.
What would you like to say to the students at LSU?
“So here I am at the (LSU) Flores MBA program and I’m just going to respond from a unique angle. I have not followed any traditional path in any way. I was in law school and then I got on this silly TV show called Southern Charm. And then I started this home decoration company. And I love breaking out of gender stereotypes and responding to them. And tomorrow is the next day of the rest of your life, it’s never too late to start anything, don’t feel guilty if you leave what everyone else thinks is right, start a side hustle and ask any questions they might have . So a lot of times people don’t want to hear me talk about too many business things, but I’m an open book,” Conover said.
If you didn’t have your platform (Southern Charm), what do you think would have made you successful anyway?
“The platform is a big part of our success, we understand that. My partner Jerry says even though we have the platform it’s still not that easy, or everyone would do it. Honestly, start reaching out to the local media. I have a great relationship with my local media which helped a lot in the early stages. Find a partner, give them some equity, that’s how our whole business exists. Because I found two partners who can do it better than me. Of course, that foundation was great, but if you don’t have the same foundation as me, or if you do, charity stuff is always a great answer. Start helping the animals, children and any cause you can find and hopefully the local media will start covering you and it will get people involved.”
What advice would you give to people who have a standard 8-to-5 job but how to expand and have multiple sources of income?
“Just start moving. A lot of the time this movement will be backwards. But eventually you will start doing enough things right. Don’t feel selfish about spending a little time on your side hustle. That’s what I started with and it became what Sewing Down South is today. I didn’t have anyone who thought it was a good idea either, so I hope your partner supports you. And often you come into your office and your colleagues say: how is this stupid project going? It’s out of jealousy. just keep walking If you think it’s a good idea, it probably is. The chances are good.”
Any updates on the new season of Southern Charm?
“Yeah, it’s going to be wild. It’s definitely the classic old school Southern charm with the twists that will come out, you’ll say there’s no way it’s going to happen. So I think it’s going to be a really great season, I’m really looking forward to it.”
Do we have a release date yet?
“I would probably have a little more trouble telling you that. But it’s not too far away.”
One more thing?
“It’s my first time in Baton Rouge. i love it here And I will definitely come back for a football game this year.”
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