What Ty Pennington Did Before He Was Famous

TLC viewers first came to know Ty Pennington as a carpenter on "Trading Spaces" in 2000. Then by 2003, he was the host of the show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," and his popularity was at an all-time high as the show ran for nine years before its cancellation (via Heavy).

The road to an Emmy Award-winning show, a home line with Sears, and co-hosting other reality TV shows was paved well before Pennington got his big break in the early 2000s (via Ty Pennington.com). The author of "Good Design Can Change Your Life" hit some snags along the way, though, such as being charged with driving under the influence, and some failed shows such as ABC's "The Revolution" and 2014's "On The Menu" but his career continues to thrive, as noted by Realtor.

Pennington's resilience may be rooted in his past experiences as he worked odd jobs to pay for college, and was mocked by agents when trying to break into the industry, per Fox News. Let's dig a little deeper and find out what Ty Pennington did before he was famous.

Ty Pennington was a model

Before he was changing people's lives on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," Ty Pennington held several jobs leading up to this career in reality television. The designer dabbled in construction, landscaping, and modeling before working as a set designer, per Realtor.

It's no surprise that Pennington, who was born in Atlanta, Georgia, worked in physically demanding jobs given all the building and designing he did while on the TLC hit series (via IMDb). But Pennington's past work as a model is a little unexpected. And his modeling gigs were for some big-name brands. Wide Open Country reports the TV host was featured in ads for Levi's, J. Crew, and Diet Coke.

But booking those modeling jobs was not an easy feat. Pennington was not taken seriously as a  model, referring to himself as a "fluffer" for other models because he made the others stand out, as he told Fox News.  But in his typical upbeat fashion, Pennington took those experiences and used them as life lessons in his career.

Now it seems his time spent in construction and modeling all worked out for the "Ty Breaker" co-host who learned how to captivate an audience all while helping families. His blue steel modeling stare isn't all that bad either, as we can see quite well on his Instagram. Seems Ty Pennington got the last laugh after all.