Naya Rivera rose to fame as feisty Santana Lopez on Fox’s former musical-comedy Glee. While she used to spend her time on the show performing various covers of top-hit song numbers, Rivera is singing a completely different tune these days as a working mother of one.
Rivera, 31, launched her own gender-neutral children’s clothing-line brand, JOJO&IZZY, earlier this year, which she was inspired to do following the birth of her son, 2-year-old Josey Hollis.
“Josey inspires me in so many ways that it felt natural to want to create this for him and I. Starting this company from the ground up is something I’m really, really proud of. I know that my son is proud of it too. It’s a sweet bond that we share together,” Rivera told People.
Although she now heads her own children’s lifestyle company, Rivera continues to juggle her business with her acting career. She currently stars in the YouTube Red series Step Up: High Water, which is a spin-off from the popular Step Up movie franchise, but when it comes to her son, he comes first.
“First and foremost, everything I do is for Josey. He’s at the best age! He’s talking so much and [he’s] so cool, kind and sweet,” she said.
Fans might remember that Rivera and her ex-husband, actor Ryan Dorsey, had a rather messy, ugly, and very public relationship. The former couple reconnected in 2014, having dated prior to Rivera making it big on Glee, and following her split with then-fiance rapper Big Sean. The Devious Maids actress married Dorsey that same year and they welcomed Josey in 2015.
After finalizing their divorce in June, Rivera and Dorsey now focus their attention on co-parenting their son, who the At the Devil’s Door actress says plays a huge role when it comes to the designs she comes up with.
“I’ll take things to Josey for his input, especially the capes. He really loves the capes and thought he was a superhero. He kept running around the house saying, ‘I’m a superhero!’,” she gushed.
Rivera describes her company’s clothing as “affordable, edgy and unisex,” and while she enjoys coming up with new ideas to expand her brand’s reach, the fact that it’s something she can share with her son is her main reason for calling it “a great experience.”
“It’s really, really fun. It’s something that is new and something that is a different creative outlet that I don’t get to do outside of acting, singing or dancing. And I do get to do it with my son. It’s been a great experience,” she concluded.
All of Season 1 of Step Up: High Water is available to watch on YouTube Red, and fans can catch Rivera in Season 2, which is expected to premiere in 2019.