I follow several of my favorite HGTV/DIY shows on Facebook and Instagram, but never in a million years did I ever expect I’d have an opportunity to interact with one of them. Well that is exactly what happened at 11:20 pm Monday night. Last June, Nicole Curtis @rehabaddict posted a fundraiser event on her page to raise money in honor of Tessa, the daughter of one of her construction crew members (Bobby) who lost her battle with cancer at age 9 in 2017. Love, Team Tessa proceeds go towards building projects for families going through similar battles. I’ve bought a t-shirt in the past, but last year anyone donating $150 or more would receive a 30-minute Zoom with Nicole. SOLD! I was in the throws of restoring Ms. Inez so of course I wanted to pick the brain of a woman who inspired me to want to restore old houses.
Needless to say she underestimated her fan base. I can only imagine the 1000s of responses she received, but my turn in the cue finally came up. I got an email from her assistant stating she had times Monday night at 10:40 and 11:20 and in the afternoon on Thursday. I responded that if still available, I’d take the 11:20, but I also sent exterior before and after pics of Ms. Inez and shared a link to my Restoration Complete post letting her know if the spot was gone it was OK to take me off the list since my project was complete. About an hour later I got a response “Gorgeous!!!!! We are adding you to the 11:20 est tonight. Congrats on the Sales!!! I was emailed the link and at 11:20 I had one of the best 30 minute conversations of life. I can ride this high for the rest of the year.
The 30-minutes went by so fast. She actually took time prior to go through my post. She admired the restoration of the front door knob and knew instantly the house’s age because of that hardware. I now can stop beating myself up over taking a year to complete my flip. Her first flip, where she did most of the work herself, prior to having a crew, took her five years! One of her houses in Detroit took over two years, primarily because she wouldn’t compromise on finding the right sized salvage door for the entry. I totally related to that. She found the door at Columbus Architectural Salvage, a store I used to find the last missing interior door at my house and the living room closet door at the flip. We talked about windows, wood vs. vinyl, and I shared how I was able to find a craftsman that made my diamond window. She said sometime she’s in need of people that can make wood windows, so I shared my contact (Tim Jansen, Cincinnati Wood Products) with her in chat.
She was so down to earth and so true to the persona you see on her show. We were just two women talking about our love of restoring old houses. I’m grinning ear to ear just writing this. Darn Zoom cut off right at 30-minutes, but within minutes she sent me an email that stated: “We got cut off. It’s Nicole and I just wanted to tell you that your zoom made my day. Please keep in touch. And I will be sure to let you know when our next event in Detroit happens (come up and be one of the house guides -we make it a great party). Have a wonderful night!!” I am so there. We were on the same brainwave, as I sent a similar message to her assistant volunteering to make a run to Columbus for her if she needed something and her crew didn’t have time to go it. To that she replied “Will do!!!” and asked if she could share my blog. Of course I said yes.
This Zoom was more validation for me. Nicole said she hoped I’d work on another house. I hope so too. My soul needs another old house to save. In the meantime I have at least been inspired to start writing about the Sidney house journey, something I was considering not doing. This call was the perfect ending to a great day as I can officially announce that Phase 2: The Garage project is under way at my Henshaw property. After weeks of searching and waiting JT King & Co., land surveyor, came out to stake the foundation corners. That allowed me to move forward with scheduling Wood Fundi Pavement, LLC, based in Camp Washington, and Neiman Plumbing to start the concrete and plumbing work on the foundation. My goal is to have a tenant in the apartment by fall.