“Some people could get lost in being an athlete’s wife, but I learned from it. It really teaches you that dedication and hard work pays off. I attribute so many of the high quality characteristics that Jeff and other professional athletes have to their success,” Reagan Charleston said about her husband, aformer New Orleans Saint.
Charleston is the newly nominated Off the Field Players’ Wives Association (OTFPWA) and Pro Player Insiders dynamic NFL Woman of the Month honoree.
Theresa Villano of Pro Player insiders was able to catch up with the extremely busy wife and designer. The interview below allows fans to see a different side of the life of an NFL player and their family. Reagan not only reveals her amazing design accomplishments, but more importantly, she uncovers stories of her life with former New Orleans Saint, Jeff Charleston.
Pro Player Insiders: We have to start by asking about the obvious… is your hair as good as your husbands, Jeff Charleston? What is the story behind his long locks?
PPI: What are your thoughts on the Saints 2014 season so far? What does Jeff say about the team this year? Which players are you rooting for?
RC: The most interesting thing about football is no matter who is the favorite, anyone can win. I am from New Orleans and Jeff played the majority of his career there. He won a Super Bowl with the Saints and is a transplant New Orleanian; so the Saints are our team. We are both excited to see where the season is going to go for them.
Woman of the Month…
PPI: We want to get to know you. Describe yourself in one sentence.
RC: I like to consider myself as pretty dynamic; a balance of creativity, common sense, faith, and determination.
PPI: Tell me a little about your passions outside of supporting your husband’s NFL career?
RC: I feel so fortunate to have experienced the life of being a professional athlete’s wife. I feel like some people could get lost in being an athletes wife, but I learned from it. It really teaches you that dedication and hard work pays off. I attribute so many of the high quality characteristics that Jeff and other professional athlete’s have to their success. I like to apply them to my every day life. I am of course very passionate about my business, but I live each and every day for my husband, my family, and our pets.
PPI: You have a passion for fashion. How did your Reagan Charleston Design business start? How did you come up with the name?
RC: I gave my company’s name a lot of thought and had come up with so many places and words that really meant something to me. However, at the end of the day, I am my line. It’s my art. I feel like art can lose something when you give it another name. My grandparent’s art collection and gallery was known by their last name, so it was only natural. That and I just happened to marry a guy with a really great last name. I mean, Charleston? It doesn’t get much better than that.
PPI: You use a lot of lions and animals in your jewelry. What is the significance of that?
RC: I am a classic Leo, so of course I love lions; but I also love gold and I love really strong powerful symbols. There is so much power in nature. I didn’t realize until after I had finished my first line that there was such a story there. I just find such beauty in the world around me. I never have to go very far for inspiration.
PPI: Was there a moment thus far since you started that you’re like this is exactly why I wanted to start this company?
RC: I feel like it’s a continuum of that emotion. One thing happens, and that’s the “it” moment. Then a month later, there’s another. The most rewarding thing about the career I have chosen is seeing other people enjoy the things I make. Each little project, each little piece is so personal that for someone to share in my love of it, there’s nothing else like it.
PPI: What events/shows/products have you been focused on recently that we can look forward to?
RC: I’ve got quite a bit in the pipeline right now, but I’m super excited about my Spring/Summer jewelry collection and my leather goods collection for next year. I’m also scouting spaces for my first brick and mortar location in New Orleans.
PPI: If you could fast forward, in the next couple of years, what are your goals for Reagan Charleston Design?
RC: I plan to expand the line beyond accessories. I eventually want to have a very small bespoke ready-to-wear collection that echoes my love of New Orleans, travel, refined statement pieces, and comfort.
PPI: In addition to work you do a lot of philanthropy. Tell us more about your families work in the community.
RC: I work with the Louisiana SPCA in New Orleans. I love animals, and our brood is made up of the most amazing adopted rescues in the entire world. The work that the Louisiana SPCA does for animal welfare in our community is astounding. They are made up of the most dedicated and passionate people. I’m a co-chair this year for the Howling Success Gala on November 15, which is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year. Jeff and I started working with them about 3 years ago. I feel very lucky to get to participate with such a fantastic group of people that work for such a wonderful cause.
PPI: On a different note, another one of your passions is decorating.I totally read your blog (http://reagancharleston.com/blog ) Tell me about it, especially your Fall center pieces.
RC: Oh! My pumpkins! I love those pumpkins. While Jeff and I were engaged, I worked at Perfect Presentations Floral and Event Design in New Orleans on Fulton Street under the super talented Johnny Lopez. I really cultivated a passion for creating floral arrangements and centerpieces. My mom brought me two of my grandmother’s garden urns a few months back and I have been planning to stick some pumpkins in them since then. The glitter is just the icing on the cake, because you can never have enough gilding.
PPI: What is your go to design item?
RC: It’s definitely the jewelry designer in me, but I love a good geode. I have them on my coffee table, on my desk in my office, and use them whenever I am setting up a display or vignette for my accessories. They supposedly create a serene energy in a room, and I am all for feng shui. Sometimes I think that serenity comes from pleases your eye aesthetically, and while gemstone geodes are mine, I think any thing that brings a sense of balance to a room is essential.
PPI: Tell me about the role faith has played in your life.
RC: I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I trust God to guide me on a path through life that will bring me to certain places for certain reasons. On those days where everything seems to be going wrong, I know that one day it will all make sense. When Jeff blew out his elbow and tore his tricep, we obviously didn’t anticipate that. He was young and healthy. We had, like everyone in that position, envisioned a few more good, solid years in the league. It seemed like the crappiest thing to happen at the time, but looking at him now as he works towards his Masters in Business Administration and his Masters of Energy Management and how happy and healthy he is, I know it couldn’t have happened any other way.
Your husband, Jeff Charleston, and Football…
PPI: How did you two meet Mr. Charleston?
RC: I was out celebrating one of my best friend’s birthday and he was out celebrating the Saints win against the Patriots. We started talking and never stopped. He actually photobombed one of our pictures about an hour before we met.
PPI: How many years have you been married? What are your family plans for the future?
RC: Jeff and I just celebrated our second wedding anniversary this past July. Next month, we celebrate five years together. With Jeff embarking on a new career journey and my growing business, we hope to expand our family in the next five years or so. We have also talked about my heading back to school for a law degree, so after we get settled and enjoy each other for a few years, we definitely plan on having our own children or adopting.
PPI: Is there something fans would be shocked to know about Jeff? We know he has good hair.
RC: He hides all of this secrets in that hair! You know, with the hair, the beard, the height… It’s all pretty intimidating. He doesn’t necessarily look like someone that would be easy to talk to, but he has this incredible ability to relate to anyone. He is a great listener and is able to connect with just about anyone he speaks to. It’s definitely his greatest quality, and definitely the one that comes as the greatest surprise.
PPI: What was your favorite moment watching your husband play? Was it the Saints Super Bowl victory?
RC: Any time Jeff made a big play, it was a rush of emotions. A goal line stand, stripping the ball, a sack… Every time I was so immensely proud of him, but there was nothing like seeing him play in the Super Bowl game. It was such a great achievement for him just to be there, but they won and that such an incredible moment, not just for him and the rest of the Saints family, but for the city of New Orleans.
PPI: Which of Jeff’s former teammates has he remained close to?
RC:Anytime he gets around any of the guys he played defense with on that Super Bowl team, it’s like no time has passed at all. They shared an experience that created such an amazing bond.
PPI: What is Jeff up to now, besides supporting your growing jewelry company.
RC: Jeff is currently attending Tulane University in New Orleans where he is enrolled in an MBA program and also working towards a second Masters in Energy Management.
OTFWPA and being a wife…
PPI: You’re involved in Off the Field Player Wives Association. Has there been a fellow NFL wife you have looked up to or bonded with. If so, who? Tell me about her.
RC: Rachel McKenzie is such a go-getter. I look up to her so much! She truly is a dynamo. She and Mike have launched the most amazing wine label, in conjunction with like 5 other businesses and their charity, 34 Ways. She literally can do it all, and look beautiful the entire time.
PPI: So Jeff spent a lot of his time in NOLA. Was there a wife or family you connected with when you first got there.
RC: Defensive End Will Smith’s wife, Racquel, immediately embraced me. She was the first one to approach me and tell me she was there for me if I needed anything at all. She went out of her way to make me feel welcome.
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