When Reba is asked to finish the sentence, “Retirement is. . .,” she laughs and quickly responds, “Not in my forecast!”
More than 40 years into her career, the country queen continues to add venture after venture to her empire. This year, that includes a new management company, Reba Business, Inc., and a new retail line. Rockin R by Reba, available exclusively at Cracker Barrel, includes home décor, toys, furniture, jewelry, dinnerware and clothing, among other items. The products are inspired by the Oklahoma native’s upbringing and her unique style.
Reba worked with the designers to put her stamp on each item. She says the one thing closest to her heart is a Bible box, inspired by her maternal grandmother, Reba Estelle Smith. “It had a growing tree on it,” the icon tells Rolling Stone Country of the first sample of the box she was presented. “And I said, ‘Can we engrave a cross, like you’d engrave your initials in a tree? Let’s engrave a cross, and that way it’s our Bible box.'”
The Cracker Barrel line sits on Reba’s résumé alongside her Dillards clothing line and lines of luggage, shoes, home goods, accessories and makeup. Fashion has been an ongoing learning experience for the entrepreneur, who grew up on a ranch with a steer roping champion father and schoolteacher mother.
“When we started with Dillards, I didn’t know anything about fashion,” Reba admits. “During Fashion Week, I went to a style show and a reporter asked me, ‘Who’s your favorite designer?’ I said, ‘Uh, Levis?’ It was either gonna be Levi’s or Wrangler, because that’s all I knew!”
The Rockin R by Reba collection doesn’t neglect the singer’s day job. It will also include My Kind of Christmas, an album of holiday standards Reba recorded acoustic. Each track simply includes the country legend on vocals and Catherine Marx on piano – with no other instrumentation.
“Catherine and I were just messing around about five years ago and I said, ‘Let’s go down to the studio and record some Christmas songs,” Reba recalls. “So we did from ‘Hard Candy Christmas’ to ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’ and just kept recording. And then five years later, Cracker Barrel says, ‘We’d love to release a Christmas album on you.’ Well, I just happen to have one!”
My Kind of Christmas will be released in Cracker Barrel stores and online September 2nd. The rest of the Rockin R by Reba line is available now.