The Partner

For 'The Partner' Winner, Real Life Begins When 'Reality' Ends

Winning 'The Partner' and Stepping into Marcus Lemonis' Shoes

As Julianna Reed discovered, there's no downtime between winning The Partner, CNBC's recently concluded primetime reality competition, and taking on the real-life role of partner to serial entrepreneur and host of The Profit, Marcus Lemonis. Reed, a California native with a background in fashion and the non-profit space, got her "feet wet" fairly quickly working within Lemonis' lifestyle-focused M.L. Creative Group after filming wrapped. But before she could publicly reveal her true identity as winner, she was forced to assume and operate under a fake identity.

"I had an alias, Rachel Smith," says Reed. "So I could start to send emails to people that [weren't] allowed to know who I was. And so now people still call me Rachel. So hopefully that'll change."

While Reed is now at liberty to embrace her new strategy role overseeing the fashions brands that comprise M.L. Creative, like Susana Monaco and DiLascia among others, she says her everyday still somewhat resembles life in front of the reality TV lens -- specifically that of Lemonis'.

Says Reed of her current day job, "I honestly feel like I'm shooting an episode of The Profit with no cameras. It's all the emotion. It's all of the ups and the downs and the reality. And then it was in my face, like, wow. ...This is the work I get to do."