- HGTV is one of TV’s most popular networks.
- Many HGTV stars had humble beginnings.
- Its home design and renovation shows have made moguls out of designers, realtors, and contractors.
HGTV is one of television’s most addictive networks. Whether you’re a homeowner or not, it’s easy to get sucked into binge-watching a marathon of home improvement shows.
Since its inception in 1994, the home and garden network has had a hand in launching the careers of some of the most successful figures in real estate and home design, renovation, and improvement.
Here’s a peek at where your favorite HGTV stars came from and where they are now.
Tarek and Christina El Moussa from “Flip or Flop” were not only business partners but also husband and wife.
The couple met while working together at a real estate office and began flipping houses after the housing crisis in 2008.
The show quickly became a success, thrusting the couple into the spotlight amidst situations in their personal life. Tarek was diagnosed with cancer, the couple had two children, and they experienced a public separation.
The “Flip or Flop” stars have since divorced, but continue to work together.
In 2017, Tarek and Christina filed for divorce after seven years of marriage, after what they called “an unfortunate misunderstanding” in 2016 during which the police were called to the El Moussa home. No charges were filed in relation to the incident.
The couple said in a statement to People magazine, “We are committed to our kids and being the best parents we can be. We will continue to work through this process civilly and cooperatively, and plan to continue our professional life together.”
Despite the couple’s split, they continued to film “Flip or Flop,” with the show’s 7th season being the first after their separation. The hit show will return in Spring 2019 for its 8th season and The Hollywood Reporter noted that more people have actually been watching since the couple split.
It was also announced that Tarek is filming his own pilot for the network. According to HGTV, the show will feature Tarek mentoring “real estate newbies” on the art of flipping houses.
“From start to finish, I’m giving these first-time flippers everything they need to score a profitable deal and not a bank-breaking flop,” Tarek told HGTV.
Christina will also be starring in her own show on the network. Titled “Christina on the Coast,” the show will focus on her design business.
The HGTV star, who got remarried in 2018, said, “Design is my favorite part of the house-flipping process and I can’t wait to be able to now work directly with clients and create a space they’ve always dreamed of having.”
Jonathan and Drew Scott of HGTV’s “Property Brothers” were “child real estate prodigies.”
In 2004, the duo founded Scott Real Estate, Inc. which helped clients purchase, renovate, and sell homes in Canada. In addition, the company offered design consultations and home staging.
Drew was also pursuing a career in acting at the time and was approached for a realtor reality show. Though the show never took off, the production company later learned that Drew had a twin brother who was a contractor and home designer and eventually “Property Brothers” was born.
The Scott brothers continue to film “Property Brothers” and related spin-offs. They have also had massive success in their production company and line of home decor.
The hit HGTV show is currently on its 13th season and the pair can be seen on multiple spin-offs like “Buying and Selling,” “Brother vs. Brother,” “Property Brothers: At Home,” and more.
The pair’s entrepreneurial spirit shows no signs of slowing down. They have launched their own production company, Scott Brothers Entertainment, and home decor company, Scott Living, both of which helped them earn half-billion dollars in sales in 2018.
The brothers are also set to appear in another HGTV show. Called “Property Brothers: Forever Home,” the series will follow the Scott twins as they help homeowners renovate their current homes into their ideal “forever home.”
Home design moguls and married couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, started with humble beginnings.
- Fixer Upper/HGTV/Hulu
According to Joanna, she brought her passion for design to Waco in 2003 when the couple opened the original Magnolia Market, or “Little Shop on Bosque.” The shop was an homage to the small vintage stores and unique design shops that Joanna frequented during a college internship in New York City.
After having their first two kids, the couple shut the market down to focus on Magnolia Homes, a now legendary construction business.
For years, Chip and Joanna worked together updating local homes. Joanna recalls the joy surrounding the idea that they were “making Waco beautiful one home at a time.” The team had worked on 100 homes in Central Texas when they filmed the pilot episode of “Fixer Upper,” the series that would turn the Gaines into household names across America.
Chip and Joanna have transcended HGTV by turning Waco into a popular tourist destination and launching multiple curated home collections.
Although the show only ran for five seasons, their farmhouse-chic design style and relatable relationship made “Fixer Upper” and the Gaineses bona-fide superstars.
Fans can get their very own touch of design by Joanna via the Magnolia Home Collection, a curated selection of furniture and home accessories inspired by Joanna’s farmhouse style aesthetic. In 2018, she launched Hearth & Hand, a curated collection of home accessories, with Target and in 2019, it was announced that Joanna would create an exclusive line of globally inspired pillows and rugs for Anthropologie.
The couple, who has been together for 15 years, recently had their fifth child. Chip and Joanna continue to run their Magnolia empire in Waco, which consists of the Magnolia Market at city’s famous silos, a bakery called Silos Baking Co., a reopened Little Shop on Bosque, and a restaurant called Magnolia Table.
Recently, the Gaineses purchased a castle in Waco, which fans hope will be restored the Magnolia way.
David Bromstad was a Disney illustrator before winning HGTV’s “Design Star.”
Bromstad attended the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida and joined the Disney team after graduation. After his work with Disney, Bromstad went on to create a business that specialized in designing children’s bedrooms.
In 2006, he auditioned for HGTV’s “Design Star,” a reality competition program that seeks to find the next star for the network. Bromstad made it on the show and won the first season.
As a result, he got his own HGTV show, “Color Splash,” which ran until 2012.
After “Color Splash,” David Bromstad went on to host another HGTV show and founded a design company.
In 2015, Bromstad began hosting the HGTV show “My Lottery Dream Home,” where he assists newly made millionaires in finding properties to invest in. The show has been on for five seasons. Bromstad also joined other HGTV stars on “Flipping the Block.”
He also launched his own design company, Interior Design by David Bromstad Studio.
“Love It or List It” duo Hilary Farr and David Visentin were both actors.
Before auditioning for “Love It or List It”, but Hilary and David had experience in the world of acting. Hilary appeared in classic 1970s films like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “City on Fire” while David had experience in high school theater and television.
Hilary, a Canadian native who grew up in the UK, eventually moved to Los Angeles where she worked renovating and staging television sets. According to HGTV, David had been practicing real estate in Canada with Country Living Realty Limited since 1987.
The two met in 2007 at the audition for the show and their chemistry was an immediate hit. The show, which originally started in Vancouver in 2008, was moved to the US in 2014.
The pair continue to work together on “Love It or List It” while pursuing their own avenues.
- Facebook/ Love It or List It
Hilary founded Hilary Farr Design 15 years ago, and through it, she continues to fulfill her mission “to translate what people love into the reality of a great space.”
David has continued to work on television, appearing in shows like “Brother vs. Brother,” “Makeover Manor,” and “HGTV Insider.”
“Love It or List It” has been renewed for a 15th season and is set to premiere on HGTV in 2019.
Relatively new to HGTV, Erin and Ben Napier have already gained success on HGTV’s “Home Town.”
The couple, who married in 2008, were discovered on Instagram when an HGTV executive followed Erin after her home was featured on Southern Weddings. The executive, Lindsey Weidhorn, asked if Erin had considered doing a TV show, and the rest is history.
The show features Erin and Ben’s mission to revitalize historic homes in their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi.
The couple continues to film “Home Town” and recently had a baby.
In addition to filming for HGTV, the Napiers run Laurel Mercantile Co. with friends Emily & Josh Nowel and Mallorie & Jim Rasberry in Laurel. The store features the Scotsman Co. signature collection of furniture, gentlemen’s workwear, and housewares.
A week prior to the second season premiere of “Home Town,” Ben and Erin had a baby girl named Helen.
“Home Town” has been renewed for a 4th season and is set to air on HGTV in early 2020.
The mother-daughter team at the center of HGTV’s “Good Bones” used to be a defense attorney and waitress, respectively.
In an interview with Indianapolis Monthly, Karen Laine and her daughter Mina Starsiak said that Mina’s own home was their first renovation project.
“Lots of my friends were getting big-kid jobs, and my grown-up thing was buying a house. Mom co-signed with me, and we bought a house and renovated the whole thing,” Mina said. “We tore it down to the studs, did the flooring, tile, cabinets. Literally watched YouTube videos.”
After doing a few more homes, Karen said they realized they’d created a business opportunity for themselves.
Mina said they were discovered by HGTV “by accident,” explaining that a talent scout found them and after a lengthy interview process, they filmed a pilot that would eventually turn into the hit show, “Good Bones.”
The show, which is a family affair, continues to air on HGTV.
Every episode of “Good Bones” highlights various members of the home renovation team, many of whom are relatives of Karen and Mina.
Mina had a baby with husband Stephen Hawk in 2018.
Real estate expert Egypt Sherrod started out as a radio host.
- Lawrence Lucier / Contributor/Getty Images
Self-described “She-EO” and “mompreneur” Egypt Sherrod began her career in media as the host of a jazz radio station at just 18 years old. She would eventually become a top radio personality at New York City’s WBLS.
At 24, she bought her first property and flipped it for a profit. In an interview with Vibe, she recalled the emotions surrounding her first flip by saying, “Oh, this is cool. So I can use my radio salary to live, and the money I make from real estate can go towards retirement.”
She operated as a real estate agent amidst working her radio job. Of course, her work in realty would eventually grow into the famed HGTV program “Property Virgins,” a show in which Egypt Sherrod helps first-time home buyers invest in their first property. She became the host of the show in 2011 via an audition that was offered by a casting director who knew her from her daily radio show. Previously it had been hosted by Sandra Rinomato.
The show, along with its spin-off “Flipping Virgins,” skyrocketed Egypt Sherrod’s career.
Egypt Sherrod continues to make a name for herself in real estate, radio, television, and publishing.
- Paras Griffin/Getty Images
In 2012, Egypt Sherrod accepted a position at WVEE V-103 in Atlanta, just four weeks after giving birth to her daughter. In 2015, she wrote a book for homebuyers titled, “Keep Calm… It’s Just Real Estate: Your No-Stress Guide to Buying a Home.”
She made appearances on television and hosted the New Jersey leg of Oprah’s “The Life You Want Tour.”
She continues to work on “Flipping Virgins” and recently gave birth to a baby girl. In an interview with Essence, she opened up about struggling with endometriosis and life-threatening postpartum complications.
“Flip or Flop Vegas” couple Aubrey and Bristol Marunde met in 2009 and built a real estate business prior to earning a spot on HGTV.
According to HGTV, realtor Aubrey and her husband, a contractor and MMA fighter named Bristol, met ringside at a UFC fight in 2009 and were married in a small backyard ceremony in 2015.
Aubrey, a real estate expert and designer, bought her first house at 20 years old and said, “I always knew I would own my own business.” Bristol, a handyman and designer, joined her in the house flipping business in 2009.
After being discovered by HGTV via Bristol’s Instagram, the couple filmed a pilot for their show which, at the time, was called “High Stakes Flippers.”
“Flip or Flop Vegas” premiered in 2017 and continues to be a success for the network.
After the show’s premiere, Aubrey and Bristol proved to be more than just a copy of Tarek and Christina from the original “Flip or Flop.” Fans loved Aubrey’s “Vegas glam” designs and Bristol’s penchant for demolition as well as the couple’s relationship and family.
The show was renewed for a third season, and it is set to premiere Spring 2019.