The Untold Truth Of Lindsey Bennett

As one half of the HGTV power couple behind the show Desert Flippers, Lindsey Bennett is a force to be reckoned with. Not only does she star on TV, she also runs her own business with her husband — all while raising their three children. Based in Palm Springs, California, Bennett and her husband Eric take dilapidated homes and turn them into masterpieces, and the show captures their renovations in all their glory.

Not only does fixing up houses make for entertaining television, but it's also a pretty lucrative business model. Bennett isn't afraid to get down and dirty for the sake of transforming a ramshackle house into a showpiece, and her hard work has played no small part in the Bennetts becoming one of the biggest names in house flipping. Successful business women-turned-reality TV stars aren't made overnight, though. Here is how Bennett built her success and her star power. 

She grew up far from the desert

Bennett may have made the desert her home, but her roots aren't quite so dry. The reality TV star grew up surrounded by water, spending her childhood on Lake Wisconsin. Even her wedding took place by the shore. She got married on Lake Monona and had her wedding reception on a cruise boat. Her husband Eric told the Wisconsin State Journal that it's "ironic" that they ended up so far from home, saying, "We're water people." 

They might be far from home, but that doesn't mean that Bennett and her husband are losing touch with their watery origins. "We want our kids to come back and have some lake experience, catch frogs and go fishing," said Eric.

Bennett told Lodi Enterprise that the family tries to get back to Wisconsin as much as they can. "We want our children to experience the simple life we grew up in, running and playing freely, within the beautiful seasons and surrounded by loving family," she said.

She does most of the hands-on work

When it comes down to renovating and flipping homes, there's definitely a division of labor in the Bennett business. Bennett isn't too involved in the financial end of things (that's her husband's job), but she's in charge of making sure everything looks amazing. She not only supervises renovations, landscaping, and decor, but actually does a lot of the hands on work herself! "[My husband and I] do very different things, so we both have our forte," Bennett told the Wisconsin State Journal. "We bring it back together at home. It's a journey — we're not holding hands the whole way, but we're a partnership."

It's a lot of work, especially with the tight schedule they keep. Bennett and her husband tackle about two new houses per month. This is in addition to raising their three kids and maintaining their own properties; Bennett and her husband own four properties that they don't have any immediate plans to flip.

She has no formal training

You don't need to be a real estate agent or interior design expert to recognize that the houses Bennett designs look incredible. There's a reason that the Bennetts' business took off and also landed them their very own HGTV show. With such top quality work, it's reasonable to expect that Bennett has a background in interior design. While she has a pretty interesting work history — past jobs include waitress, flight attendant, and competitive cheerleader — a professional background in interior design isn't on her resume.

"I don't have design credentials," Bennett told the Desert Sun. "[My husband and I] are both very self-taught in what we do. We've got a lot of real-estate background but... the unique expertise I would say it takes to be host of an HGTV television show — competition cheerleader, a flight attendant — which really gave me the ability to stand up in front of people and put on a smile. I'm very positive from being a cheerleader."

"I'm kind of a control freak"

Even though she doesn't have formal training in design, Bennett has designed enough houses by now to consider herself a pro. She doesn't need to double check her ideas with anyone else — she has to be in charge of the homes she works on.

"I'm kind of a control freak, especially if it comes to getting things done on a deadline, so we like to have control over that," she told the Wisconsin State Journal. "And I like control on the design side. And we need to make sure things are done the best for re-sale, because at the end of the day we have to re-sell. We don't want to get stuck with the properties."

Even HGTV doesn't weigh in on Bennett's projects. They don't put any money up towards the renovations, either. The Bennetts are simply operating their real life business with no guidance from the network. HGTV's only job is to film them as they run their business.

The family has moved around a lot

Many couples start off in a starter home while saving up money to move on to a larger place. The Bennetts, however, moved on from their starter home and then just kept on moving. Their first big move was the one that took them to the California desert from their native Wisconsin. The money that funded that move came from the sale of the first home they ever fixed up. Since then, they've moved quite a few times, bouncing around wherever their business takes them. "We've literally moved probably every six months since we met. Our kids are pretty adaptable," she told the Wisconsin State Journal.

Far from feeling like they don't have a true home, Bennett says that she likes the adventure and views each new home as an opportunity."I've gotten pretty spoiled to be able to experience and live in a number of different designs," she said. "It's fun to be able to move around and fix things up a bit.

Her first date with her husband wasn't exactly romantic

Some couples spend a first date getting to know each other. Others talk about what they want their futures to look like in order to see if they're compatible. Bennett and her husband spent their first date talking shop. The couple met when Bennett was on a job interview at a restaurant. Eric stopped to say hi to the person interviewing her, but became captivated by Bennett. While she didn't get the job, Bennett did meet her future husband. Their first date was that very night when they met up to discuss real estate and the remodeling projects each was working on at the time.

It might not sound romantic to most, but it was the perfect first date for the couple. They went on to work on their first house just a few weeks later. "Since Eric met me, we've been pretty full throttle ever since," Bennett told the Desert Sun.

Keeping her marriage and family strong

No one ever said being a career woman is easy, but Bennett is determined to have it all.  She told the Wisconsin State Journal that working with her husband can be a bit of a challenge since they live together and run a business together, but his sense of humor helps.

Eric added that keeping the relationship strong is all about communication. "Sometimes we'll have arguments, heated arguments, and we'll go to our separate corners and we'll come back and talk about it," he said. "I think it's about having an open mind. ...We both trust that if we're open and honest, that no harm is going to come from it. So we can speak freely and openly."

Bennett told the Desert Sun that they also have to plan things carefully so that someone is always at home with the kids. "It's a lot of balance between the two of us that one of us will always be home," she said. "If I'm staging late at night, he's home with the kids, and we really do that."

Her faith always comes first

There's a lot going on in the Bennett household, but there is one thing that always comes first: faith. Bennett's faith is what keeps her centered motivated through the chaos that can accompany raising three kids and running your own business (not to mention looking good for the cameras). Her faith also helped her through the jitters when Desert Flippers first started filming.

"When we first started this, I had a little question of 'How am I supposed to be and who am I supposed to be?'" Bennett told People. "But we're very grounded in God, and we evaluated what our direction was, and we said let's just be ourselves. And it's made this road super enjoyable and easy."

Since the show first started airing, Bennett and her husband have stayed true to themselves. It's that authenticity that many people think makes their show so popular, and Bennett owes it all to her convictions.

Her mom is her biggest inspiration

By now you've probably gathered that Bennett is kind of a big deal. So where does a reality star who is killing it at work turn to for inspiration? Bennett doesn't have to look too far for a role model. "I attribute my versatility and being grounded to my mother," she told Lodi Enterprise. "It's what holds my family together amidst all the stress and chaos of flipping multiple houses and filming an HGTV show while raising three young children."

It was her mom who raised Bennett to be committed to her faith. Like Bennett herself, her mom also had three children. A stay-at-home mom, Bennett said her mother taught all three of her kids the power of perseverance. It's evident that the lesson stuck with Bennett; fixing up homes and flipping them is certainly something that takes a lot of patience and hard work!

"We feel like we were called to do this"

Reality television sometimes gets a bad rep. A lot of people think that things are faked for the cameras. The Bennetts swear that what you see on Desert Flippers is all real, though. Their dream is, truly, to fix up and flip houses — not be on television. "We're not doing this for fame and fortune," Bennett told the Desert Sun. "We feel like we were called to do this."

What would she be doing if she wasn't following that calling? Bennett says that she'd spend more time at home with her kids. "But, I feel like we were called to work and I prayed a lot about going forward with this, because we have such little kids," she said. Eric added that even if the show didn't exist, they would still have their business. "We're still having fun with it and the market is still favorable for flipping," he said.

She and her husband appeared in a Hydroxycut ad

If Bennett looks a bit familiar to you but you can't figure out where you know her from, here's a possible answer. Before she and her husband were house flipping gurus, they appeared as a success story in a Hydroxycut ad, showing how the weight loss product helped them shed some pounds. Bennett's before video reveals an already sleek physique, while the after shot shows her 32 pounds trimmer. Her husband lost even more weight, dropping 44 pounds in 18 weeks.

According to Eric, they appeared in a couple of commercials and magazine ads for the company, but that was the extent of Bennett's television experience prior to Desert Flippers getting the green light. Eric, however, had a couple of other TV appearances under his belt. Before Desert Flippers, he appeared as a competitor on two game shows: Wipeout and Wheel of Fortune.

Don't compare her to Joanna Gaines

While we wouldn't go so far as say that there's bad blood between the Gaines and Bennett families, it's clear that the Bennetts are a bit tired of being compared to the stars of fellow HGTV house flipping show, Fixer Upper

Radar Online reported that, during a Q&A at the Las Vegas Market Home and Gift trade show, Bennett's husband jokingly said that he had never even heard of Joanna Gaines. He added that Gaines doesn't work as hard as his own wife, saying, "Joanna gets money upfront from her clients and works with them to create their dream house. They don't put up any of their own cash. When we flip a house, it's our money on the line."

Is there a feud between the two shows? Doubtful. Bennett, for her part, has praised her potential rival in the past. "We've been fans," she told People a few months before her husband clapped back at the Fixer Upper couple. "We've watched HGTV for years and we're honored to just be even in the same arena."

She loves engaging with her fans

If you're ever lucky enough to spot Bennett out in public, don't be shy! She loves meeting her many fans, and is even happy to discuss their own renovation projects. "We love to talk about it," she told People. "It's all we do, we live and breathe it. That and our family and our children, it's just our lives."

Don't be alarmed if she looks a little panicked, though. While Bennett is happy to say hi and take pictures with her admirers, the execution of the perfect selfie isn't always simple. "What really usually happens is we're at Costco with all of our children... and it's like herding feral cats," she said. "Someone will stop us and want to take a picture, and it's this juggling of like, 'Okay quick, let's get a picture while our kids are wreaking havoc on the store.'"

Watching the show is "kind of like going through a photo album" for her

There are good and bad things about having your business turned into an entertaining show. For starters, it's a deeply personal thing to have even part of your life portrayed on television. You also become a public figure, which means that a peaceful trip to the grocery store becomes a tough feat to accomplish. Still, there are plenty of upsides. Bennett likes being able to watch a season of the show unfold on TV.

"It's a look back at the adventure," she told Palm Springs Life. "It's fun for us to do that as a family. It's kind of like going through a photo album." Not every episode is a fun walk down memory lane, though. The pilot episode of Desert Flippers is a source of some embarrassment for her. "I was a little bit more shy," she said. "As Season 1 goes on it feels so much more natural."

She doesn't need a makeup crew to look glam

Bennett always looks incredibly put together on Desert Flippers. This is especially impressive considering how much hands-on labor she does when renovating a home. Her effortless style isn't thanks to hair and makeup crews making sure she looks her best on camera, either. She's actually the one in charge of getting herself (and her husband) ready for filming. Fortunately, she has experience working as a make-up artist, so getting glammed up is no problem.

Bennett said that when the show first started out, she and her husband "were very kind of average" but that as Desert Flippers progressed they began to touch up their appearance just a little bit.  "I started to use self-tanner to be a little bit more bronzed and by Season 3 I had convinced Eric to just do a little of this and a little of that," she told the Desert Sun.