As if being a mom to her four darlings, Ella, Brendan, Grace and Michael, and wife to her A-list actor husband Mark Wahlberg, isn’t demanding enough, Rhea Wahlberg, embarked upon a new business venture this year and started the fashion-forward handbag and accessories line, Ella Grace. The former model had a flourishing career in the late 90’s and early-mid 2000’s but left to become a stay-at-home mom so it goes without saying that Wahlberg used her fashion and mommy sense to create a unique and attractive brand. We were delighted to once again check in with the busy mom to see how her fashion line, which was inspired by her gorgeous daughters, came to life. “I’ve always wanted to design a collection after my kids were born. Once I had this opportunity to design a handbag collection it made sense to call it the names of my daughters…” the beauty tells Tinseltown Mom. “…However, my sons asked when I would call a line Michael Brendan,” she continues in jest.
If you’re looking for stylish holiday gifts then Wahlberg’s collection is very timely and the hands-on designer even models her own products, giving shoppers insight before they commit to a purchase. As her business expands she looks forward to other fashionistas, models and celebrities wearing her bags. “…This will be the next step as our company grows, but for now it has been fun and economic for me to model my own collection,” the Hollywood mom shares. If you’ve already checked out Wahlberg’s products you’ll see that they are ultra stylish. Never would we have envisioned a lip wallet looking so chic! Our favorite item is the lavender bucket bag, and the budding designer shares insight into what stimulates her taste. “Fashion should be fun and I want my bags to bring a smile to the customer’s face. My design inspiration can come from shopping trips, surfing the internet or ideas that pop up in my head from things my kids say or wear. I make sure all my designs are something I would wear so I try to keep it modern, fashionable, fun and classy.”
Wahlberg is also intimately involved with the design of all of her products and she even named a bag after each daughter. “…My whole team is 3 people including myself. We work together at my kitchen table at home so I am very hands on with the whole design process. I design all the products with my team and make sure I approve everything from the leather, hardware, bag construction to the packaging.”
Since the trendsetter spent several years as a model, gracing the covers of major fashion magazines such as French Vogue, Marie Claire and British and American ELLE, it’s not surprising that certain designers are inspirational in her journey. “I’ve worked many years as a model and traveled all over the world working with top designers. This opened up my eyes and I was very inspired by them. I love what Gucci is doing right now. Chanel and Celine is always a classic for me….” With that said, the former model admits that she’s not always stimulated by high-end designers, as she also enjoys finding great items by emerging artists and she’s “…in love” with Target.
Because of Wahlberg’s past modeling career it also seems appropriate that she’d be a leader on style, but we wanted to know what set her merchandise apart from other products in the market. “My collection is not only fashionable but the designs are practical. I try to think about the woman wearing the bag and how the bag fits into her lifestyle. I want quality bags at an affordable price point.”
So with parenting a house full of kids, supporting her superstar husband and running a growing fashion line what’s on the horizon for this Mompreneur as the holidays are in full swing? Quality family time. Wahlberg and her husband, whom she’s been with for over 17 years now, have a large extended family and although their schedules stay busy she’s looking forward to the holidays so their families and friends can all be together.
Stay tuned. Soon, we’ll see Wahlberg’s products on Amazon, but for now be sure to check out her collection at ellagracewahlberg.com. Happy shopping!