Craig Conover from ‘Southern Charm’ Has a Message for Anyone Taking the Path Less Traveled

Like most young adults, Craig Conover from Southern Charm did what was expected of him. He went to college, dove into law school, and was on track to become a successful attorney in Charleston, South Carolina. Then, along came the series Southern Charm, which took him on a path he never knew would be possible.

Craig Conover | Photo by Sewing Down South

Joining the Southern Charm cast while also exploring his creative side may have completely changed the trajectory of Conover’s life. But that’s not what you are supposed to do when you are on the brink of becoming an attorney. Conover received considerable grief about his career diversion from his crew on the show.

But Conover walked through the fire and says he is thankful he endured the heat. He recently launched Sewing Down South and feels more fulfilled and happier than ever. He shared a message with The Cheat Sheet for those who have a passion they’d like to pursue and find themselves in a similar situation. “Try not to worry about what other people think,” he advises. “Your happiness comes from what you really and truly love.” And when it came to launching his brand he said he put on the blinders and took the plunge.

He admits to being at a low point

Conover says his biggest inspiration came once he left Charleston. “Charleston is such a small social circle,” he says. “After being here like 12 years I felt like I couldn’t break out of these walls around me. Plus I just wasn’t meeting anyone who wasn’t connected to my ex and it just wasn’t the best atmosphere to allow me to move on.”

So he started to travel and ultimately found what he considers to be his “happy place.” After hitting New York and Los Angeles, he fell in love with the Bahamas. “Whitney [Sudler-Smith] called me and said he was casting a new show and asked me to come down to Bimini,” Conover recalls.

Conover ended up staying in the area for more than two months. “While I was in the Bahamas I really started to find some inspiration,” he says. “I borrowed a sewing machine from friends and just started to design stuff.”

His path became clear

He credits getting out of town and being able to sink his teeth into designing as being the catalyst to his new company. He partnered with friends to launch and develop Sewing Down South, but they also helped him stay focused and on track.

People took note and Conover’s designs were in hot demand. “When we came back to the states we had a bunch of pillow orders we were trying to keep filled,” he recalls. The orders were coming in so fast Conover knew it was time to further develop his business.

He tapped into his connections to meet the demand. Conover worked with local artists and a friend from law school with a business operations background to provide support too.

This is what he says to the haters

Now that he is riding the wave of a successful company, he wants to leverage his business to be a reminder of inclusion. Plus he wants people to know it is OK to be different. Anyone who rejects you because you are different or have an out of the box idea is just jealous, he adds, “because they aren’t doing what actually makes them happy.”

“I hope I can be an inspiration to people who are a little different and don’t get to see themselves represented in other places,” he remarks. “I’ve always been against living a certain way because someone did it that way for the last 100 years. You only get one shot on this planet. I talk to so many people who tell me they’d trade places with me in a heartbeat. And I want to tell them they can.” He adds that it is never too late to follow your passion.

He’s also going to have a lot of fun with the business too. “You’ll see we are going to have a lot of giveaways,” he dishes. “Like fun, special contests where I’ll hand deliver your pillow to you. Or use some of my favorite hand-picked fabrics that take a little more time to design too.”

Conover spills a little tea about the upcoming season

While he was very tight-lipped about what Southern Charm viewers can expect this season, Conover shares that fans will get to see his company develop. He eventually joins forces with Patricia Altschul and this new partnership comes after what can only be summed up as a painful business exchange between the two last season.

“You’ll see another rollercoaster of a year with me where I have huge opportunities in front of me and you’ll see my self destructive tendencies a little bit, which will keep you either rooting or worried for me,” he hints.

Good news too: Conover says he and Shep Rose are still very close friends. The trailer shows the two possibly warring (again), but Conover says they are extremely tight. The two are also collaborating on a business project. “We’re probably closer than we’ve ever been, which is great,” he laughs. “We were playing golf with these special forces guys. They said they didn’t know they’d be playing with an old married couple!”

He’s also single, ladies, though he is dating. “Nothing serious, I don’t have a girlfriend,” Conover shares. “I’m trying to enjoy life right now and am having fun and talking to different people.”

Southern Charm returns to Bravo on May 15.

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