Pillow Talk with Southern Charm’s Craig Conover
Get cozy with the reality-star turned lifestyle expert at the Southern Ideal Home Show September 29 and 30.
Craig Conover – a fan favorite on Bravo’s hit series, Southern Charm – certainly isn’t taking the path well-trodden by so many of his reality TV predecessors. While many go the way of Cameos and club appearances, Craig is stitching his own path one pillow at a time, turning his passion for the textile arts into a thriving company – and he’s aiming high as he aspires to be the next Martha Stewart.
Grab a seat and get cozy Southern Charm fans, because Craig is spilling the tea with guests at the upcoming Jacksonville Home + Patio Show at the September 15 Prime Osborn Convention Center. He appears at the show on Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at Noon.
We asked him to stitch together some Q and A for us prior to the show:
What led you from reality TV star to start Sewing Down South?
I’ve always loved to create, and I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart — ever since selling golf balls as a little kid on the golf course behind our house. So after a break up, I left behind my garden and workshop, and all I had with me was my sewing machine. I didn’t know how to make clothing, but I did remember how to sew a pillow from Home Economics class in 7th grade. So I ripped up some old shirts and stayed up all night sewing pillows and listening to Taylor Sift and Eminem. After posting a picture on Instagram the next day, I ended up getting a ton of messages from people who wanted to buy a “Craig” pillow. It wasn’t until a year or so later that I found my two partners, Jerry and Amanda, and they helped turn my vision into the business we see today.
How do you go about finding inspiration for your Sewing Down South collections?
Most of my creations are inspired by places I have lived in, or places I have traveled to. All of the places I have lived I’ve been on the coast in coastal towns, but I have traveled all over and it’s from these places, and these memories that I pieced together different designs throughout our collections.
We heard you dabbled into gardening and remodeling, what are some of your favorite projects you’ve done?
I have had growing shelves in my garage for the last decade, where I started all of my vegetables and cooking herbs from seed. I also built growing shelves and raised garden beds myself, along with different trinkets and treasures around the house. My newest project and favorite project has been my backyard where I have citrus trees, berry bushes, and a full herb and vegetable garden.
If you could spend the day with anyone to pick their brain about business and entrepreneurship, who would it be?
If you weren’t famous, what would you be up to right now?
I would be working to make partner at my mentor’s law firm. Either that, or working on growing my law firm into a formidable force. Being able to help people while chasing financial freedom.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Golf, cook, make soup, travel, snowboard, watch tv on my screened-in porch, hang with best friends and family, garden, becoming highly passionate about new hobbies.
What do you envision are the next steps for Sewing Down South?
We’ve got some really great things on the horizon. We have a national collaboration coming this holiday season, we have a new candle line made in Charleston launching, a new store next year, and our sleeping pillows in hotels up and down the eastern seaboard.
What tool should every homeowner own?
A cordless drill and $20 household tool kit will equip you to handle a wide range of basic repairs and DIY projects around your home.
Best home purchase for under $100?
Two things: (1) Home organization solutions like storage bins and baskets. An organized home looks rich and fashionable without having to purchase much. Besides, minimalistic is very on trend right now. (2) Home decor and accents like throw pillows and blankets, wall art and mirrors, and decorative vases and plants (real or fake).
What’s your favorite paint color?
Lulworth Blue or Passive Grey
What are your best landscaping tips?
Keep it simple. And leave space between plants. Plant herb seeds or buy little herb plants if you see them out around the grocery store. It is an incredible feeling being able to walk outside and pick your own herbs. It also makes your yard or porch smell amazing.
Favorite room in your home?
My living room. It’s a comfortable space to unwind and relax. It is both cozy and a welcoming place to socialize with friends and family. It’s also a great place to snack and watch a movie.
What home trends are you loving?
Open floor, natural elements, and smart home technology. I love bringing a touch of nature indoors. I also love anything that makes me feel like I’m living in the future. And it makes your home that much more comfortable.
What is an outdated home trend you hope doesn’t come back?
What’s your favorite part about speaking at a home show?
I love connecting with people whom I might not have had the chance to. I love meeting everyone and interacting with people around the country. It’s always been my favorite part. Also, I love having a front row seat to all the newest things for the home.
For more information on Craig’s appearance, please visit Official Jacksonville Home + Patio Show (Fall) | September 29-October 1, 2023 (jacksonvillefallhomeshow.com).