The 25-year-old former reality TV star, who welcomed with fiance, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, son Camden in August, partnered with celeb-shopping website OpenSky.com with Cavallari acting as a curator. (She also shares the profits.) She's designing a new shoe line for Chinese Laundry, and she'll launch a jewelry line in February with jeweler Pascal Mouawad, who has worked with Nicole Richie and Kim Kardashian.
"If you would've asked me five years ago if this is what I'd be doing I probably would've said, 'No way,' but I've had so much fun, and it's great because I can (design) from anywhere. It's been perfect with the baby," said Cavallari in a recent interview.
Cavallari gives a snapshot of where she is today:
AP: Have you always had a knack for fashion?
Cavallari: I think just being in the business you learn, you pick up different tips, and I've worked with some great stylists over the years. But, no, coming out of high school I wore like those platform flip-flops which were awful, and jean skirts, so I had no style, really. Or, that black choker I always wore was awful.
AP: Do you feel pressure to look good when you go out?
Cavallari: I have a great balance. In Chicago (where she and Cutler live), no one cares about what you look like and there's one paparazzi who's around randomly, so I really don't put too much effort into what I look like in Chicago. When I come to New York or L.A., where I know I'll be photographed, it's fun to go that extra mile and get dressed up and get my hair and makeup done. I actually enjoy it then.
AP: Would you ever want to design clothing?
Cavallari: I'm having a lot of fun designing just accessories. Maybe eventually one day. I really want to do things that are more organic to my life at the moment. I obviously just had a baby and I'm breast-feeding and what I realize is there are no cute nursing bras or tank tops. So I want to do a nursing bra or tank top line and do something with that. Designing clothing is nowhere on the horizon as of now.
AP: Football is obviously taken seriously by a lot of people. And it's big business. Do you have to watch what you say about your fiance?
Cavallari: The sports questions are tricky. You just have to be so careful about what you say. Any little thing can be taken out of context or like what happened to Gisele (Bundchen) over the Super Bowl last year. She said one little comment and it got completely blown out of proportion. (Bundchen, who is married to New England Patriots Tom Brady, was recorded making comments about the Patriots' loss.) I try to stay very neutral on that subject and not say too much ... I'm learning as I go.
AP: On "Laguna Beach" and "The Hills," you were portrayed as more of a mean girl to Lauren Conrad's nice girl. Did that do you justice?
Cavallari: (Laughs.) The one thing people always say when they meet me is, 'Wow, you're actually really sweet!' Someone one time actually told me the best advice they could give me was to meet as many people as possible because I'm so different. So, you know, it just is what it is.
AP: Does it ever bother you that people have that perception?
Cavallari: It really bothered me at first. The first episode of 'Laguna Beach,' I cried and cried and cried. I was so upset. Now it's been so many years I'm used to it. You know with 'The Hills' it was fun because I was playing myself as a character so I could play it up and have some fun, and I actually enjoyed that more rather than 'Laguna Beach.' I felt they tried to manipulate us more and put us in situations and put things in our heads, so I sort of embraced it more with 'The Hills.' ... It's gotten me where I am today so it's working, I guess.
Alicia Rancilio covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar