‘The Bachelor’ spotlight: Meet Raven Gates, fashion boutique owner and small-town contender

Raven -There’s generally something very appealing about some of the small-town contenders on “The Bachelor.” They have a charm and a spirit about them that is largely unparalleled, and you get more of a sense of wide-eyed enthusiasm about them that you don’t often get from some of the big-city contestants who are more used to seeing celebrity and other superficial things.

Do we get the sense that Raven Gates will check many of these boxes? In some ways, it is a little too early to tell, but we have to say that the first impression of her is a positive one both in terms of her personality and her potential with Nick Viall this season.

Age – 25.

Occupation – Fashion boutique owner. She owns a small store in Arkansas known as Grey Suede, which you can see more about over at its Facebook page. We can’t speak to whether or not she went on the show specifically to promote the store or find love, but it may serve both purposes before all this is over.

Location – She’s from Hoxie, Arkansas, a tiny town of less than 3,000 people that is more than an hour away from nearby cities Little Rock and Memphis. Her store is located in Jonesboro, which is than thirty minutes away. She’s from Arkansas, she went to school in Arkansas; Raven basically is Arkansas.

Things to know – Chris Harrison spotlighted her in his semi-annual piece with Yahoo!, suggesting that she will be a big player this season:

“Raven is a professional woman but from a small town. She is from Arkansas and went to the University of Arkansas. She is a very straight-shooting, no-nonsense Southern belle. She has a very sweet quality to her, and she is friendly to everyone, but she is sharp as a tack and will not be walked all over. I dare you to underestimate her. Some of the girls will learn that lesson. She is around fashion and clothes as a boutique owner. She is always ‘put together’ and dreams of the big country wedding. She does fit that stereotype. She is very kind, loving, and sweet, and Nick finds that very attractive. He very much enjoys being comforted by her. She is that girl who makes him forget and relax and takes him away from all the nonsense in the house, and that girl is always someone you have to watch out for on The Bachelor.”

What makes her so dangerous to us is that she brings some of the endearing small-town qualities that many other women from the franchise have had over the years, but also a little bit of the aggressiveness and the hustle that many women have used to defeat the small-town contestants. She’s a threat.

How is she actually going to do? – It seems clear that Raven’s going far, and there’s no reason to be bummed out about that. She has a unique southern accent, she seems like she’ll be a calming influence on the season, and we imagine production / viewers very much liking her. If she doesn’t win the season, odds are high that we see her again on this franchise in some form moving forward.

If we could give Raven a bit of unsolicited advice, it is this: Don’t move out of Arkansas. If she finds fame on this show, her business could be a local boon to the community for years to come and be immensely successful there. If she moves to Nashville or Los Angeles, she’s a smaller fish in a far bigger pond.

How well do think Raven will do this season? Share in the comments, and head over here to see some further spotlights of Nick’s contestants! (Photo: ABC.)

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