Reality star Kristen Doute is known for her antics on Vanderpump Rules, but her role as t-shirt entrepreneur is a much calmer side of the Bravolebrity
Reality star Kristen Doute is known for her antics on Vanderpump Rules, but her role as t-shirt entrepreneur is a much calmer side of the Bravolebrity. Doute recently re-launched her line, James Mae, and wants fans to know the brand’s name it has nothing to do with her tumultuous relationship with ex-boyfriend and costar James Kennedy.
“Yeah I shot myself in the foot I think a little bit with that,” she told PEOPLE last week at the James Mae re-launch at Estrella in West Hollywood. “But no, it’s not about DJ James Kennedy. The line I named at the two most important people in my life, other than my mother, which are my niece and nephew. “
“The only important James in my life,” she added with a laugh.
James Mae originally launched in 2014, but Doute explained why she’s waited until now to create more tees: “I never really let go of James Mae to begin with, but I just needed a new direction when I started the previous line, I really didn’t know what I was doing. It was just a passion project, I wanted to do it and I was going to make it happen regardless.”
Doute, 35, wanted to make “stuff that I seek out when I’m shopping that I don’t necessarily almost never find.” The line includes tees emblazoned with phrases like “Always Choose Dare,” “Gypsy,” “Daydream Achiever” and even a graphic of the Los Angeles skyline.
“Kristen’s vibe is definitely ’70s rock and roll,” her business partner Magen Mattox told PEOPLE. “So we figured, why not theme the entire thing around the t-shirt?”
“I wanted them to have that vibe,” Doute continued, “but I always wanted them to be affordable because a lot of the shirts that you see that have these really cool boho ’70s classic rock type vibes, you’re looking at like double or triple my price point. I wanted to make sure it was available to everyone.”
Doute said she is in a place where she now has “all of her ducks in a row,” but she still wanted input on the line from some of her BFFs — who happen to be her Vanderpump Rules castmates.
But the one castmate that was the most involved with the new James Mae collection was Tom Schwartz.
“Tom Schwartz modeled our photoshoot, so he did our e-commerce and sort of our campaign vibe. But when it came to specifically the vagina mafia shirt, Tom Schwartz came up with that slogan. Most of the fans of Vanderpump Rules know that Tom calls us the Witches of WeHo, and he also calls us the Vagina Mafia. So when it came to creating that design, we knew exactly what we wanted but it was kind of, well does this color work or maybe that background, do we want it to be a little more neon, like the very nitty gritty tweaking the specifics. So I was sending all them to Tom Schwartz and I was letting him approve the final design. So shout out to Tom,” she cheered.