Flipping their first home wasn’t glamorous for Edina’s Brad and Heather Fox. It had a foot of water in the basement, lead paint and mold. The project involved piecing together scavenged materials and DIY projects with no money, no help, and certainly no cameras to document it all.
“We bought the worst house you can possibly imagine,” Heather remembers. “But it was kind of fun—we’d watch HGTV to get inspired, and that’s where the dream started.
They flipped one house, and then another—and the reno bug bit, hard. After the recession, they walked away from their jobs to launch a real estate company, Fox Homes in Minnetonka.
When they were contacted by a production company for HGTV in September 2016, they thought it was an advertising pitch and immediately said, “No, thanks.” About the time they realized the invitation to star in a renovation show was legit, they also realized the huge shift it would mean as leaders of a growing company—and parents of Wesley and Graham, ages five and seven.
Their first order of business was to develop a “sizzle reel”—a short commercial, of sorts, designed to give a feel for their on-screen presence—which they completed in May 2017. They got a green light from the network in July and immediately lined up a project for the pilot episode: renovating a home in St. Louis Park for Brian and Liza Hill and their growing family. They filmed in October, finished the episode by February, and it aired in July, with the Foxes and 150 of their friends seeing it for the first time.
“This is 100 percent what we do. Sometimes a plane would fly overhead so we’d have to resay things, but that’s it,” says Heather, who describes long days on set using a frigid port-a-potty between takes. “We were nervous, but they did a good job capturing us. They watched every minute of film—days and days of it—and they really made us, us.”
The Foxes have a strong philosophy to their work. Whether they’re helping a client find a perfect starter home or flipping a space for a national audience, they say, don’t overthink. Just do it! Trends come and go, and rules are meant to be broken. “You have to be a little free-flowing to do a fixer-upper,” Heather says. “Houses have a million different moving parts, so you have to let your Type A tendencies go a little bit.”
At every turn, Brad and Heather sourced sustainable pieces and used their new national platform to show a little love to Minnesota-based makers. To that end, here are a few of the brands you would have seen spotlighted in the pilot episode:
The master bedroom nightstands and office credenza, and some of the photography on the walls in several spots.
The live edge mirror, wooden box in Hazel’s room, and the kitchen clock.
The funky abstract wall mural in daughter Hazel’s room.
Wallpaper on an accent wall in the office—and for the dreamy nursery.
The girls’ wall bunnies—and the “Girls Rule” bathroom pennant.
The live edge mantel above the fireplace.