By Claire Stern
Updated Oct 10, 2017 @ 5:45 pm
Credit: Courtesy of Crate and Barrel

Make way for more Reese Witherspoon. Starting today, the Nashville-bred actress and budding entrepreneur will further expand her southern-inspired lifestyle brand Draper James by partnering with Crate and Barrel for the holiday season, with co-designed collections to follow in spring and summer 2018.

"I've always loved presentation, entertaining, and parties," Witherspoon told InStyle. "I grew up in the south, and my grandmother always had people over and was cooking tons of food." (Fun fact: Draper James is named after Witherspoon's grandparents, Dorothea Draper and William James Witherspoon.) The new collaboration joins the list of Witherspoon's other side hustles, including her production company, Type A Films, and multimedia firm, Hello Sunshine, which is geared toward telling female-driven stories. Here, more from Witherspoon about her ever-growing empire.

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You have your own lifestyle brand. Why team up with Crate and Barrel?

I started Draper James three years ago with the idea of bringing southern entertainment to everybody. Crate and Barrel is a great brand that's dedicated to style and infusing classics with southern charm. It was a natural fit!

I read your post about the 15th anniversary of Sweet Home Alabama on the Draper James blog. I had no idea that the movie was a catalyst for Draper James.

[Sweet Home Alabama] was a big moment for me. I don't think people knew I was southern until I did that movie. And 15 years later, running [Draper James], people now pass me on the street and say, "Hey y'all!" People send me photos of anything with "y'all" on it. The friendliness and open-heartedness of the south is a great thing to be associated with.

People still quote Sweet Home Alabama today. Why do you think it's held up so well?

I think people grew up with it. There's a nostalgia for those kinds of movies—I don't think we see a lot of movies where women are at the center of a funny romantic story. It's about values, too, when you're trying to find where you really belong in life.

The Crate and Barrel partnership is just in time for the start of holiday season. What's your favorite family tradition?

I love making gingerbread houses with the kids, usually around the second week of December. They sit around the house and petrify—we're tortured every day looking at sugar. [Laughs] I also host a Christmas party every year where I force everyone to sing Christmas carols. People hide in other rooms.

What gift will you be giving this year?

Holiday-themed tea towels. They are a nice way to cheer up your kitchen and get you in the mood. Or a Christmas mug. Who doesn't want to have coffee in a Christmas mug every day of December? Any kind of holiday-themed mug just makes my day. Or at work—it breaks the monotony.

What are you reading right now?

Right now, I'm reading the September pick for my book club, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. She's a great gal—I read her first book and was blown away, but then I read this one, and it's just as incredible.

What's next for Draper James?

We're really trying to bring prices down on certain items so that everybody can afford a piece of it. More inclusive sizing is another initiative that's really important to me, because I want every woman to feel beautiful. We say at Draper James, "We want to make pretty easy." So, I want to bring that to as many people as possible.