Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe Relaunch Gymwrap Athleisure Line with QVC: 'It Was the Next Logical Step'

The And Just Like That... actress came up with the idea for the Gymwrap headband in 2011 and decided to expand the line with her husband

Boris Kodjoe Nicole Ari Parker
Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker. Photo: Arturo Holmes/Getty

Like so many of us, cute workout clothes motivate Nicole Ari Parker to exercise. Hence why the actress and her husband, Boris Kodjoe, decided to relaunch her athleisure brand Gymwrap with QVC.

"I have to say five prayers, read some self-motivation quotes and lay out my gym bra and my Uplift Leggings on the bed or on the chair next to the bed the night before," Parker, 52, tells PEOPLE of what it takes to get her into the gym. "So I put my Gymwrap on, my leggings and my shirt, and I feel ready. That's why I created it, to have just something in your fitness toolbox that supports you even when you don't feel like it."

Nicole Ari Parker relaunching her Gymwrap brand. Credit: Chris Frara
Chris Frara

According to the And Just Like That… star, working out "comes naturally to Boris." And he likes to keep the whole family, including their daughter, Sophie, 17, and son, Nicolas, 16, active.

"I was an athlete," Kodjoe, 49, tells PEOPLE. "We do a lot of active stuff together when we're on vacation, hiking and going on zip lines and four-wheelers. Then at home we do cold plunge, which has been our new thing as a family."

Sophie also got in on the Gymwrap relaunch. "She's really a production person and a great photographer," Parker says. "She helped curate the shots with the props and the models. She has an eye where she's like, 'Mom, turn this way. Mom, could you stand up, sit up straight?' She's really awesome in that way."

Nicole Ari Parker & Boris Kodjoe

Gymwrap started as workout headband to keep hair dry during exercise. The new line, launching on Friday, includes more hair accessories as well as leggings, tops and jackets.

"Women really flocked to the brand and continuously talked to Nicole and asked her about doing a whole yoga line," Kodjoe says. "So it was the next logical step for us to expand in that direction."

The partnership between Gymwrap and QVC marks the first time the vCommerce retailer has "ever done anything on this scale," according to Parker, and she played a big role in crafting the pieces.

"The fabric we found for the Uplift Leggings, for example, is very supportive, but it's not compressing you beyond healthy circulation. And it's very soft," she says. "And I'm a girl, so I put a pocket on them for your phone or whatever it is when you're on the treadmill and you just need a pocket."

RELATED VIDEO: Boris Kodjoe and Jay Hayden on Why Their Station 19 Roles Are a "Dream Come True"

Because of the initial success of Gymwrap, Kodjoe says he's "been bugging" Parker about doing a men's line. "It's definitely in the works in terms of us brainstorming about it," he continues. And one of the things that she keeps stressing is that it's about active comfort. It's not just about going to the gym. It's about supporting women in their everyday activities, whether it's running errands, having meetings, going out with a friend, picking up the kids or going to the gym."

The couple, who tied the knot in May 2005, met on set and have collaborated often since, so "when we're together and being creative, it's smooth sailing," Parker says.

"I admire her and her brain for how creative she is and the ideas that she comes up with," the Station 19 actor gushes. "I'm in awe when I just watch her navigate these kinds of environments."

Ari Nicole Parker HBO MAX And Just Like That... Season 1 - Episode 10
Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max

Sometimes, business flows into their personal lives — "everything blends," Parker says — but the parents of two prioritize dinnertime as a time away for the family away from electronics.

"We always cook dinner every night at home and we don't have electronics around the dinner table," Kodjoe says. "When we gather, we don't play on our phones. We engage with each other. Even in the car when we're driving together, the four of us, there's no phones. We talk to each other. I think that's the most important part."

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When asked whether she gave any Gymwrap pieces to her AJLT costars for them to wear on set, Parker quips, "We don't have any comfy downtime looks. It is all glamour, all day, all the time."

"Some of the beautiful pieces I've worn on this show have just blown my mind," she says. "It's like a dream come true. Even the pieces that you can't even see, the stack of bracelets that's under my coat that I'm wearing in that day, are gorgeous. The sunglasses inside of the purses that I'm carrying, everything."

Unfortunately, Parker can't offer up any info about the latest on Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Aidan (John Corbett). "I've signed over both of my kids," Parker jokes about keeping AJLT season 2 details under wraps. "But I will say that this season is on fire and there's a lot of sex happening in the city."

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