Ty Pennington opens up about pioneering home improvement craze: ‘I’ve been told I’m an OG’
Designer and handyman Ty Pennington has been at the forefront of providing families with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for decades, The “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” alum told Fox News he enjoys the challenge of giving deserving people life-changing breaks and helping them garner new outlooks on life.
While discussing the newest season of Deluxe’s “Small Business Revolution on Main Street,” a town makeover series in which he stars alongside business guru Amanda Brinkman, Pennington wasn’t shy about pointing out the impact he has had on the do-it-yourself community and the explosion of the celebrity designer.
“Well, I’ve been told that I’m an OG when it comes to the design profession,” he joked. “But yeah, I have to say. I was on a show called ‘Trading Spaces’ and started putting tools in the hands of homeowners, so I think it very much started the DIY craze.”
“I’ve had a very lucky sort of life in that I’ve been able to be part of some really cool shows and really cool projects and really cool makeovers that make a difference.”
The 54-year-old explained that his latest venture, “Small Business Revolution on Main Street,” is the perfect vehicle for him to help as many people at one time as possible.
“What’s really unique about this is there have been people who have made over houses and businesses, but nobody can tell you that they’ve made over an entire town in a way that is the most important – which is helping the business survive so that Main Street comes back,” he said.
He continued: “I think it’s interesting – I was on another show called ‘American Diner Revival’ and we would go in and help these guys who were trying to save this restaurant – and we realized that in these small towns, this is where people gather and the local diner is the town hall or the local bar is the meeting place, so these businesses house the community and they have to survive and I think that’s why this show is so important is because it’s these pieces of America that make up all of us.”
The two-time Emmy Award-winning host noted that “Small Business Revolution” lent its resources to a number of small business owners in the town of Alton, Ill. and was able to shed light on the difficulty that comes from operating a small business in America.
“What I love about it too, is we’re having people of different cultures and races and backgrounds, and from different neighborhoods who are working together for the entire better good of the community – and boy, we could sure use some of that right now,” he said.
Pennington’s co-star Brinkman chimed in as well and explained that the overall goal of the series is to inspire other small business owners and give sound advice that can potentially change the success and failure rate associated with entrepreneurship.
“When you hear the stories about small business and about how hard they work, how many hours they spend away from their family, and then you find out how little they make – it just changes your perspective on supporting small business,” she lamented.
“And I think on the outside it’s easy to look at a restaurant owner and think that they’re just backing up the truck to take the cash in at the end of the day and it’s not like that. It’s really a makeover show with heart and it’s one part inspiration, one part education and we hope one part entertainment. We love making people cry for the right reasons.”
Season 3 of “Small Business Revolution on Main Street” is available to stream now on Hulu.