It’s the season of love – Happy Valentine’s Day – and who better to talk to then the first lady of reality love, Trista Sutter.
We were first introduced to Trista as a contestant on season 1 of The Bachelor. She finished runner-up, but won the hearts of America and was rewarded with her own chance to find love as The Bachelorette. Her final rose went to Ryan Sutter and on December 6, 2003, the couple was married. Two children later -Max, 4, and Blakesley Grace, 2- Trista has created a whole life she loves; masterfully using the opportunities afforded her by fame to bring her professional passions to life.
Stephanie chats it up with Trista on how this gorgeous mom-of-two balances family and career, her advice for working moms, plus her take on the evolution of The Bachelor – when you read on.
SG: How has starring in Season 1 of the Bachelorette helped or hindered your career as a businesswoman and in what ways?
TS: It has completely changed my career. Before the show, I was a pediatric physical therapist and I have no reason to think I wouldn’t have stayed in that profession until retirement. Taking the risk and asking for a leave of absence, changed the course of my entire life.
SG: You’re beautiful with an equally gorgeous husband and two small children, where do you find the time to pursue your career passions with Vintage Couture Inc.? What gets compromised in your juggle?
TS: #1…I ask for help if I need it. I’m not too proud to beg, and luckily I have in-laws who love their grandkids and can come up to play “trusted sitter” every so often. #2…I take advantage of ANY and all the time I can where the kids are sleeping or at school in attempting to get my work done. We [with husband Ryan Sutter] don’t have a manager or publicist, so I work on that as well as designing for Vintage Couture, Inc. I won’t say that it’s easy, and if anything gets compromised, it’s me. On the priority list, my needs are WAY toward the bottom, but truly my needs are all about everyone else’s, so it’s all good.
SG: You are now designing for a beautiful children’s clothing line, Vintage Couture, what can mom’s expect from your fashion line?
TS: Vintage Couture is a children’s clothing that was started based on vintage patterns. My involvement with them started after they had a successful business and I was just brought along to join in the fun. I thought it would be incredible to not only design something and use my creative juices, but to also do something in which I could see the fruits of my labor on my kids. They look adorable in VC’s clothing…that is, when they let me dress them! Women and moms can expect one-of-a-kind prints and patterns that will make you, your princes, and especially your princesses stand out in a crowd. They can also expect to help support working moms who have started their own Fashion Stylist business as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to where we donate a percentage of the profits from my designs.
SG: What advice would you give working women and/or mothers who want to start their own business?
TS: There are SO many avenues out there for working women and mothers these days. I think it’s a matter of really knowing yourself and what makes you happy and researching the opportunities out there. Vintage Couture, like so many other direct sales companies, allows mothers to personally raise their children and also contribute to their family’s bank account through super fun parties and adorable clothing. I’ve worked in direct sales and got involved specifically so that I could continue to be home with my babies, but also feel like I was using my adult brain cells…and that felt great. Go for it and believe in yourself!!
SG: Change of topics! What are your feelings about how the Bachelor(ette) show has evolved?
TS: I’m not necessarily a fan of how things are handled these days, but I will say that I am thoroughly entertained. Bottomline, I’ll always be a fan (and tweeting every Monday night it’s on @tristasutter) because it reminds me of how I fell in love with my husband and that all things are possible in love.
SG: Finish this statement: I wish I could tell my 20-year old self that…
TS: …everything truly does happen for a reason. Heartbreak and loneliness are no fun, but they have a purpose and will get you to a world of dreams come true for you so stay the course and be grateful.
YES – many wishes that you find love in your whole life; personal, professional and beyond!