Craig Conover Discusses Change He Had to Make After Winter House, New NYC Restaurant Venture, Plus Where Pillow Passion Began and Business Plans

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Craig Conover on Life Changes Prompted by Winter House, Losing 20 Pounds, and NYC Restaurant, Plus Where Pillow Passion Began and Southern Charm Season 9

Credit: Bravo

Craig Conover filmed a second season of Winter House earlier this year. And, as he watched the Summer House spinoff air on Bravo weeks ago, he had a bit of a rude awakening.

After admittedly exhibiting some questionable behavior, much of which was prompted by his drinking habits, the Southern Charm cast member revealed that he actually lost 20 pounds and embarked on a very exciting business opportunity after dedicating himself to making some serious life changes.

“We had a lot of fun up there. But here’s the thing, life isn’t so pretty all the time,” Craig admitted of Winter House during a December 19 interview with Men’s Health magazine.

“I got to a point when we were filming Winter House where I was like, ‘This isn’t the person that I want to be,'” he continued. “I am not the person on the outside that I feel like I am on the inside. I should have made this realization in my 20s, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen ‘til I was 34. It’s never too late. I was just like, ‘Craig, you’re not the person that you could be. You’re not being your greatest self.’”

So after filming wrapped, Craig met with an incredible trainer and started eating cleaner foods and avoiding carbs.

“All of a sudden my life changed,” Craig recalled, noting that he was “happier and healthier” after just one month.

“I hated to see where I’d let my body get, but it was really just my mental [health],” he explained. “I didn’t have anything else other than an unhealthy routine of drinking and procrastinating. Really what changed my life [was] just waking up and meeting my friends at the gym and my trainer. I’ve lost 20 pounds.”

He’s also seen in increase in his business life after being presented with an opportunity to open a restaurant in New York City’s West Village with Austen Kroll called Carriage House.

“Our restaurant is going to be a new take on American classics: peanut butter and jelly and London Broil but Wagyu beef. It’s a really cool take. Jordan Andino is an incredible chef,” he revealed.

As for where his pillow passion began, Craig said he learned to sew from his home ec teacher in the seventh grade but returned to the hobby after a breakup.

“All I had with me was my sewing machine. I was like, ‘There’s got to be something I remember how to make’—and it was a pillow … The moment that I turned the first pillow I made right side out, I just knew that it was a new passion of mine,” he noted.

And, because he knew he had a “huge platform” with Bravo, he decided to throw the idea of a sewing line out on social media in the form of an Instagram post.

“I posted a picture with the pillows on the side. I didn’t make it about the pillows; I just made it about like a lazy Sunday, but people could see my sewing machine, and the messages started to pour in. I just knew it was unique enough and different enough to get into,” he shared.

While Craig was inspired by his love of sewing, he struggled to control his perfectionism and OCD before building a team with two partners who “really helped me get out of my own way.”

“Finding a team is what helped, because I wanted to do everything myself,” he explained.

Also during the interview, Craig revealed he’s currently in the process of releasing a new Sewing Down South line with girlfriend Paige DeSorbo, preparing to take his and Austen’s podcast “back on tour,” and launching the Craig Conover Foundation.

“Our immediate future is pretty exciting,” he confirmed. “The philanthropic side has always been the goal … The only reason I’ve ever wanted to make money is because I enjoy giving it away. I just enjoy helping.”

As for Southern Charm season nine, Craig teased new episodes are “always on the horizon.”