Emily Maynard is a young woman who's had her fair share of triumph and tragedy. For those of you who haven't followed the 15-plus seasons of the reality shows The Bachelorette and The Bachelor, you may not know exactly who Maynard is. She's appeared on both iterations of the prime time juggernaut, first as a contestant vying for the affection of Brad Womack, then as the girl-of-the-hour looking for her own love. Her stints on TV were sadly preceded by an engagement to a NASCAR driver who tragically passed away in an accident, leaving Emily pregnant with their daughter who is affectionately called "Ricki" after her father. See what I mean? She's been through the wringer. And yet, one look at her beauty blog and line of jewelry, as well as a Q&A conducted over the phone, showed her to be amiable, full of good humor and not at all what you might expect a pretty blonde girl from the south to be.
Her new line of jewelry brought to us by TOWNE & REESE offers more than what you might expect as well. A deft understanding of trends, in both materials and colors, makes for a line that is more than just a publicity stunt. The same goes for her beauty blog. Written in a humble, down-to-earth way, I found myself wanting to adopt Emily's favorite products into my own collection. Read on to find out where her inspiration comes from and why you might be hearing a lot more from her in the future.
theFashionSpot: How did your relationship with TOWNE & REESE come about?
Emily Maynard: Christi and Jessica, the girls who started TOWNE & REESE, they live here in Charlotte and I wore a lot on the show and in my everyday life, all over the place. I just formed a friendship with them. We had a lot of mutual friends, we became girlfriends.
tFS: Nice! So one of you just suggested a collaboration?
EM: Yeah, well I was talking to them and trying to figure out what was next for me. I got home from The Bachelorette and everything went back to normal, thank goodness. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do, I thought about opening up a children's boutique and a bunch of other things and they said, "Why don't we do a line together?" And obviously, that's like every girl's dream. So, how could I pass up on that?
tFS: Have you always had a particular interest in design? Or did you just decide to try and see how it was going to work out?
EM: I've always loved making my own jewelry, just beaded stuff, nothing fancy, but it's something my daughter and I like to do together. And I teach classes in my church, so I've always loved jewelry. But never in a million years did I think this could even be a possibility.
tFS: You were obviously very involved with conception and sketching and the production of the line, when you first started to conceptualize, did it come naturally, or did you have to work at it?
EM: Oh, no, I tried drawing what I had in my brain down on paper, it never turned out. I'm not an artist!
tFS: How did the shapes and sketching come about? Did you have someone draft jewelry?
EM: Well, I would find different pieces I liked, I went to a lot of antique shows, and then I worked with designers in Rhode Island. I would Skype with them and talk on the phone, and describe what I wanted and they would sketch it out. We would go back and forth a lot, change this, change this color.
tFS: So you had a lot of vintage inspiration?
EM: Absolutely. I went through my mom's jewelry box. Definitely very vintage inspired.
tFS: I looked over the line on your site and the pieces are very cool and very on-trend. I noticed a little bit of an ethnic/tribal aspect to it.
EM: Absolutely. I got a lot of inspiration from traveling around. One of the necklaces is inspired by a trip I took to Croatia. I went to Africa last year and fell in love with the beads, and the detail of their work too. I wanted to incorporate that into my line.
tFS: Do you have any personal favorite pieces that you've been wearing lately?
EM: Yeah! I love the Leela necklace. I wear the Scarlett and Susie bracelets a lot — I love bracelets. I'm wearing the Morgan bracelet right now.
tFS: I wanted to mention your beauty blog too because I had an opportunity to look at that. It's so comprehensive, you talk about all aspects of beauty from makeup to haircare. Is this something that you got interested in as you experienced the world of professional makeup, or have you always had a love for beauty and beauty products?
EM: Oh yeah, I've been a product junkie since I was a little girl. And I blame it on my mom! She's even worse than I am! But I found on Twitter and Facebook that people wanted to know what I was wearing, what color my nail polish was and what dress I was wearing. So I figured I'd start a blog and it's been really fun! It's a lot more work than I ever thought it would be, but it's been a lot of fun.
tFS: Is there anything you love most or aren't a fan of when it comes to blogging? Because there are so many women who aspire to start their own blogs…
EM: I love interacting with everybody and talking to the women on the comments section and talking about it over Twitter. It is a lot of work, but it's fun work. It's easier than I thought as far as the computer goes. I'm not the best with the computer and that's where I think it scares a lot of women off.
tFS: Well, it's well-written and has an easy tone of voice…
EM: Yeah, I'm not a professional writer, that's for sure! I write it exactly how I would say it. Sometimes it comes out okay and sometimes it comes out, where you would wonder if I was speaking English! That's the fun of having your own blog, it can be whatever you want it to be.
tFS: I know you have a lot of fans from your days on The Bachelorette…what are your thoughts on this last season?
EM: I think this has been a great season. I think Desiree is so beautiful, so sweet. I thought she did a great job. I'm glad that she's so happy now and I think she looks beautiful!
tFS: Do you have any plans after this first launch to continue with a second line of jewelry or venture into apparel?
EM: We're already working on the next season of the jewelry line, it should be out around the holidays. As far as clothing or anything else, I think that would be so much fun, and I would love that, but for right now I'm focused on the jewelry, it's been such a blessing. If I ever did do anything beyond this, it would just be an added bonus.