There are so many things to be grateful for this year and one of them is that JoAnna Garcia Swisher is set to be everywhere on our screens very soon. Not only does the delightful actress have Season 3 of Sweet Magnolias in the can, she’s also featured in AMC+’s upcoming holiday feature Christmas with the Campbells (written by Vince Vaughn and A Christmas Story‘s Peter Billingsley), hosting Netflix’s The Ultimatum: Queer Love and building out her home-decor line for HSN.
A longtime favorite of TV Insider, we jumped at the chance to speak with her about taking the leap into design and how she has “battle-tested” her pieces with the help of her two daughters and husband, retired MLB star Nick Swisher. So just in time for your Black Friday frenzy, here she is being as lovely as her collection.
OK, as soon as I saw as ad for your HSN line pop up on my Instagram feed, I was like, “Oh we need to talk about this.” Because this is so exciting!
JoAnna Garcia Swisher: Oh my God, you’re so sweet. Yes, it’s been fun.
So when did this actually all start to germinate?
It really started during COVID. I was approached to kind of start this line and we started talking with HSN. Our original launch was supposed to be in the fall of 2021 but because of shipping delays, we weren’t able to launch then. So we ultimately ended up dropping in the spring of 2022, which was great. And every line has felt like a baby to me now, right? We were looking to do a holiday collection this year, but because of Covid-related issues, we weren’t able to do it. But we are gonna do a holiday capsule collection next year and I can’t tell you how excited I’m about that.
That’s what I’ve sort of been working on lately, that and our fall of 2023 line. That’s how far in advance we’re doing these things.
I am guessing you are sort of used to that kind of schedule with filming? You work on something for so long and then it doesn’t come out for six or eight months.
Well, that’s kind of what this year has been like! We just finished Season 3 of Sweet Magnolias, literally a couple of weeks ago, and then this movie Christmas with the Campbells I shot last January, which is coming out in December. And then I am hosting another show called The Ultimatum, which I shot even prior to that, like a year ago now! So pretty much everything that I worked on last year is coming out now. [Laughs]
So let’s talk about your HSN line. It feels so well-curated and there’s a coziness to it, but it’s also really sophisticated. Like the pillow tassels are such a touch.
Thank you! I really appreciate you even noticing that. Yeah, it’s been a real learning curve. And I have to say, originally when I was approached by HSN — I am a customer, so I know how they have this incredible standard — I knew that this stuff was gonna be really, really high quality. I felt like, “OK, they really know their stuff in that way.” But what I didn’t realize is that I was gonna be so amazed by the team of people working with me to help bring my vision to life. The amount of education and information that I get from them has been enormous. And because of my passion for home decor and design, I have an awareness of different textiles and their function and and how they will perform.
But then it goes to a whole other level with the HSN team of people. It’s been really incredible to work with these women because they have essentially given me carte blanche and I come to them with these insane vision boards of products and they find them. It’s amazing. The other day my husband was like, “What did we get from India?” And I was like, “Oh, that’s right, they found some fabrication that I wanted to see.” And so they have single-handedly been able to kind of bring my dreams come to life. Now, having said that, there is a very strong commitment to the HSN shopper—they are everything to us. So they have also helped me navigate the waters and really understanding who’s shopping our line and really gearing our line towards them.
Your price points are so affordable. How did you build out the collection?
It’s really been a work in progress. And I have to say, it hasn’t taken long, but this last collection that they sent me samples for, I was just so ecstatic because the decor is really where I think we’re gonna be able to do unique things that I really wanted to do. Things that you’re not finding in other places, right? So I wanted staple pieces that will work time and time again. Really, timeless pieces. But now, we’re also peppering in these [unique] items that feel really special, affordable and high quality that are specific to HSN. So that’s kind of where my head is at right now.
So now that you’ve got the base coat down, you can start to add more touches. And I love the way you talk on the site, about taking risks, mixing some patterns, and being daring.
Yes! When trying to create and style that elevated look, mixing patterns is one of those the most daunting things I think, right? Most people when they’re putting their homes together are like, “How do we do this?” Oftentimes, it just takes confidence. And so for me, that is something that I thrive on…my eye is drawn to a mix of patterns and textures and all of those things. The idea was to make this palatable and exciting for our customer so that she would feel like she has this really elevated look that isn’t too far out there. Because I can get a little far out there. I can get a little cray. [Laughs]
But that’s also the fun part, too, right? Having something that pops.
Exactly. I just want to make it easy and make it kind of a one-stop shop. I’m Cuban, I’m very practical and so I really need to have an understanding of the story behind why every piece is in our collection. It’s really important for me, especially when they’ve asked me to go on-air and talk about these things. And these products are battle-tested in our home. They’re a part of our life. They’re very much in our world. And I also wanna feel like the things that I’m investing my money in, I can reinvent in a million different ways. That is so important, too.
Like the Water Hyacinth storage ottoman, which is gorgeous.
Which I’m literally sitting right next to! [Laughs] Literally. It can be your coffee table, it can be a side table, it can be in a bedroom, and you can put all the throws in there. That’s how you can restyle these things. And it has found its way into a few different places in our home. Right now it’s in our living room.
And it’s also really sturdy. This thing feels like you could stack coffee tables on it, a lamp on it. It’s not flimsy on any level because it has high-quality construction, which was essential for me. That was one of the most important things.
I’m obsessed with the throws. it’s winter and every room should have something you can wrap yourself in. Especially the pom-pom one.
That was our baby. That was my first and it was the thing that I loved the most. And yeah…I have them everywhere. [Laughs]
Hilarious. And how are you spending the holidays?
We are gonna stay put in Florida. We’re really excited because Nick’s birthday and my mother-in-law’s birthday are over Thanksgiving. The girls will be home [from school] and we’ll get to take a deep breath. Honestly, it’s been really crazy year, with a lot of being all over the place. Oh, and I’m gonna be on HSN for early Black Friday stuff. I’m really excited about getting to talk about the line and HSN is right here in Florida, so it’s like my backyard!