TV

Celebrity Treasure Island's Edna Swart has found the one

She introduces the man she wants to marry and start a family with

It's like the plot from a Hollywood rom-com… When Celebrity Treasure Island star Edna Swart moved into her apartment on Auckland's North Shore, the last thing she was looking for was love. But cut to a few months later, and the skincare CEO found herself falling for her handsome flatmate and landlord.
Christchurch-born Hirepool manager Reid Stephens, 26, had recently purchased the four-bedroom property that Edna, 31, was renting. "Apparently there were hundreds of applications," she marvels. "How I got it, I don't know – it was fate!"
"Initially we were just mates," recalls Reid, smiling. "We got along really well, and the way we talked was really open and honest. Then one night we went to the speedway and grabbed dinner. After that, I started thinking about her in a different way. Edna's got such a great heart and she's a genuinely caring person. I love how she thinks outside the box."
Mutual attraction simmered until eventually the flirtatious flatties confessed their feelings – at their own housewarming party! "It was very organic," Edna tells Woman's Day. "But I definitely made the first move. I go after what I want!
"We were a bit worried in the beginning because we were forced to live together already, but the fact we still have our own separate spaces made it OK. During the week, I hardly see him because I'm so busy working!"
Reid is fully supportive of his partner's drive to succeed – and of her working relationship with business partner and ex-boyfriend Harry Fereirra. This is a welcome change for Edna, who founded swimwear and skincare company Ed&I, later rising to TV fame on the reality show Boss Babes.
Two peas in a pod! The pair are on the same page when it comes to tying the knot.
"In past relationships, when I started getting success and being given opportunities, ex-partners didn't want me to do them," reveals the entrepreneur. "Reid said to me right from the get-go, 'I want you to
flourish – I'm there to support you to do everything that makes you happy.'
"He's the first boyfriend who hasn't had a problem with me working with my ex. It's been so refreshing. This is what a secure man looks like!"
"Honestly, I didn't even flinch," shrugs Reid. "It's just not an issue."
Even though the couple have only been together six months, they're both clear that they're in it for keeps – and while Edna isn't quite ready to move into Reid's bedroom upstairs, the CEO and her beau have taken the step of introducing one another to their families.
"They love her," grins Reid. "Her drive and the way she treats me."
"And Reid slotted in really naturally with my family," continues Edna. "Even my dad said he was lovely! That means a lot because my dad is old school – if he doesn't like someone, he'll say it. And I think my mother would have loved Reid."
Edna's mother Sandra tragically passed away from a stroke when Edna was just 17. She and Edna's father had adopted her as a baby in South Africa – a fact that has profoundly impacted the reality star's life.
"I never understood why I was so different to my family and why I wasn't kept by my biological parents," confides Edna. "I suffered from severe identity issues, which led to me becoming a very rebellious teenager. I made choices that would keep most parents up at night. That unfortunately put a wedge between my father and I at the time. My adoptive mother's passing played a big role. She was the only mother I knew."
Despite the hardships, Edna now remembers her troubled teenage years with gratitude. "It shaped my outlook on life and family," she says, adding that it was during this time that her dad encouraged her to reach out to her birth mother.
Finally, at the age of 18, Edna managed to make contact, starting a relationship she now treasures. "She and I are like sisters now," smiles Edna. "And she loves Reid. She hasn't met him yet, but the way that I talk about him and how he treats me… She's obsessed!"
Grinning, the former swimwear designer continues, "He's very romantic and cute.One evening, early in our relationship, he surprised me with an impromptu screening of my favourite movie, The Lion King, complete with a bag of South African snacks and a toy Simba.
"He went over and beyond thinking of me. That's when I knew he was the one."
"We've talked pretty openly about marriage," confirms Reid. "I'm excited to take that step one day."
"And we've definitely talked about how we're going to do it," continues Edna. "It's not going to be how people would expect! But we're keeping that under wraps for now."
Although the couple are in no rush to tie the knot, timing is something that's on Edna's mind when it comes to starting a family.
"I've got so much to give to my career, I'm not ready for kids," she insists. "But because I have PCOS [polycystic ovary syndrome], I have to make that decision in the next year or two – or else adopt, which I'm not opposed to. There are kids like me out there who need homes.
"Deep down, I'd love to have a child. I'd love two, but if we were blessed to have one kid, that would be nice. With PCOS, you just never know."
In the meantime, the happy couple are content just to have found each other.
"I was a bit worried being 31 and single!" confesses Edna. "I did go on a few dates and I was just like, 'Is this what I'm dealing with?!' I wish I'd known that Reid was just upstairs! Love usually happens when
you don't look."