Halfway through the first season of HGTV’s Hidden Potential, host Jasmine Roth said the experience is “a dream I didn’t even know I had, coming true.”
The show follows the Northeastern University graduate as she transforms ordinary houses into custom homes that reflect the personalities of the people who live in them.
She’ll take on projects such as creating more usable space for couples expecting children, perking up the cookie-cutter home of a couple of flight attendants who love to travel. By the time the credits roll, another happy owner has a more suitable home.
A decade ago, though, it’s unlikely Roth would’ve imagined that this would be her livelihood.
Roth graduated in 2008 with a business degree, focusing on new ventures and entrepreneurship. She entered the workforce at the height of the Great Recession, a time when finding work at any kind of venture was difficult. With three vastly different co-op experiences under her belt—one in real estate, one in a staffing company in downtown Boston, and one in the human resources department of a capital group—she was undeterred.
She moved to southern California and found work at a consulting company that helped other companies find ways to lower their day-to-day expenses. In the meantime, she and her husband, Brett Roth, also a 2008 Northeastern graduate, bought a plot of land to build a house.
She carved out time to work with their contractor, and discovered that she loved the process of building a home.
“One day,” she said, “I gave my notice and two weeks later I found myself on a construction site. I’ve never left.”
It was a leap of faith, but one fueled by experience that made sense.
“It was a moment where I got into something I knew very little about,” Roth said. “Just recognizing you’re the new kid on the block and being curious was what I loved about it, though. I still learn something new every day. And I was really able to take the skills I’d learned in my other positions in school and on co-op to construction, which was unique.”
Roth started a small building and design company in 2012, through which she’d design homes for sale, or do custom work for friends and family. A few years later, producers at HGTV saw her work on Instagram and approached her about hosting a show.
“The cool thing about the show is that I get to know these homeowners, then I kick them out and make their home completely unique for that family,” she said.
Roth described a recent project in which she worked with a couple who were thinking about having kids and wanted their three-bedroom house to feel more functional. The couple ended up adopting two sisters and within the same year, had a baby boy.
“Within a year and a half they went from having zero kids to three kids,” she said. “So to be able to take a house that just wasn’t working for them and transform it into something that would? I have chills just talking about it.”