'She Pivots' with Kristin Cavallari: Growing as a CEO and Mother Amid Divorce

After years of reality television producers, Cavallari was ready to gain more control over the narrative of her life. As the final guest of 'She Pivots' season 1, the Uncommon James founder emphasizes the importance of finding yourself during life’s most challenging moments.

(Image credit: She Pivots / Kristin Cavallari)

Kristin Cavallari has been in the public eye since she was a junior in high school in 2004. At just 17, Cavallari became a reality star on MTV's Laguna Beach, and was launched into the world of celebrities, gossip, and drama. Now, nearly 20 years later, after a few more stints on reality television—including The Hills then Very Cavallari—a very public divorce, and opening her own business, she is owning who she is, the good and the bad. 

When MTV first came to her high school, Cavallari knew exactly how to land a spot on Laguna Beach and how to leverage her time on screen. “I was 100 percent the villain back in the day and I'm okay with that now,” Cavallari confesses.  

As an adult in her mid-thirties, she returned to reality television. But in 2020, Cavallari made the decision to leave her marriage, a decision that continues to make headlines. Despite the media buzz around her ex-husband, former NFL player Jay Cutler, Kristin maintains that it was the best decision she ever made for her family. 

“I had to do what was best for me and for my kids,” says Cavallari, “I want my kids to see me happy, and I think I'm a better mom now because I'm happier.”

During the divorce, there were countless media outlets making proclamations about Cavallari, her love life, and her family. The barrage of headlines never seemed to end. But, somehow, she was able to gain the most clarity during those difficult, chaotic moments.

“I've always wanted to push sadness away. I hated being vulnerable. Now I've realized that that's where the growth comes from,” Cavallari notes. 

Growth didn’t happen overnight for her, but she has always prioritized her kids. Cavallari is uncertain about the future for her kids, especially after the recent ban on abortions in Tennessee, where she lives. 

“I mean, having three kids it's like, How do we raise kids to live in this world and go off on their own?” asked Cavallari. ‘I'm really hoping that things change by the time [my daughter is] a little bit older. I have to believe that it will. I just do.”

Cavallari runs her multi-million dollar business, Uncommon James, from Nashville. After years of producers, cameras, and playing a role on TV, she was ready to gain more control over the narrative of her life.

“Being the founder or the CEO, the sole owner, I have complete creative freedom to do whatever I want and that has been a dream come true,” says Cavallari, who launched her company in 2017. “Not having to answer to anybody is a treat for me.”

And as the final guest of 'She Pivots' season 1, Kristin Cavallari emphasizes the importance of finding yourself and your happiness through life’s unexpected pivots. 

"This is the first time in my life I can truly say I'm really happy,” she says.

Hear all about Cavallari’s experience as the “villain,” how her divorce impacted her life for the better, and how she is being the best version of herself for her kids, below. 

Emily Tisch Sussman
Contributing Editor

Emily Tisch Sussman is the Founder and Host of “She Pivots,” the podcast in partnership with Marie Claire about women, their stories, and how their pivot became their success. She is a contributing editor to Maire Claire and the guest host of the Marie Claire Instagram Live series “Getting Down to Business.”