HGTV’s hit Masters of Flip is back with all-new episodes, which means there’s never been a better time to get to know hosts Kortney and Dave Wilson. The two have an unusual history for professional house flippers: not only did they come to the profession with little to no experience, they were actually planning a completely different career for themselves! In fact, it might help to summarize the Kortney and Dave Wilson bio, before going in-depth, just to give you some sense of the many trajectories their lives have taken. So, here goes: Canadians Kortney and Dave met in England 17 years ago, fell madly in love, got married very quickly, had burgeoning music careers, tried their hands at acting, saw both acting and music fall by the wayside, started a family, got a CMT reality show, and parlayed that into Masters of Flip, which is now bigger than ever.
If your head is spinning, you’re not alone. Kortney and Dave have both acknowledged the whirlwind that was their early lives together, as Kourtney explained to the National Post: “Dave was living in London…and was literally here for two weeks on a writing vacation. We met through a mutual friend and I called my parents a month later to tell them I’d fallen in love.”
“And I called my band and said I’m not coming back to London. And the rest is history,” added Dave. This was in the late 90s, when love (and solo music careers) were far easier to come by. The enthusiasm of the era overtook the young couple, who also acknowledged that they might have made those initial decisions a little too quickly. “We both had independent record deals and shortly after I left my record deal, he left his,” Kortney said. “And we thought if we’re going to do this together let’s do it all together. That posed some challenges we didn’t think all the way through.”
But the pair had already moved to Nashville for their music careers. Kortney helped the family make ends meet by taking an acting job on One Life To Live, and their first house-flipping show, CMT’s Meet The Wilsons, followed in 2009. Though the eight-episode series was well-received, it didn’t take off, and the Wilsons had a growing family to consider. The money-saving success they renovating their own house, along with early encouragement from friends, led the Wilsons to think seriously about trying on a third career. To hear Kortney tell it, the decision was born of necessity as much as it was curiosity:
We started a renovation on our own house and found it really expensive to hire contractors. It wasn’t a major renovation so we decided to subcontract it ourselves and consult a contractor, which is exactly what we did–and we did it for less money. We started to love the process and then an agent friend of ours said to us, ‘You bought this house a few years ago and completely transformed it. Why don’t you buy another one and do it there too? Take the equity that you’ve made out of renovating your own house and use it.’ So we started doing that, lipstick renovations, and made $10,000. Dave was working as a waiter at the time…and he wasn’t that great at it so we tried our hand at flipping a house and we made $25,000. We thought this is a way for us to support our family and be creative and not work a 9 – 5. And we just kept going.
In addition to the many hats they’ve worn in their 17 years together, the Wilsons are major adoption advocates. Kortney “always knew she wanted to parent by adoption,” and she and Dave’s third child, daughter Lennox, came to them via open adoption through Lennox’s birth mother. In fact, Kortney is an official Ambassador for the Adoption Council of Canada, something it’s clear she takes as seriously and cares about as passionately as anything else in she and Dave’s busy lives:
We started our family by having two biological little boys, Jett and Sully. When Sully was one, we began the process to adopt. Our first placement came quite quickly but as “first” implies, it led to a failed adoption which broke our hearts and then shortly after led us to the baby we were supposed to have. Our daughter Lennox Esmee was born to the most beautiful and courageous birth mother who helped lead her into our arms just as it was supposed to be.
We have an open adoption which has worked for our families. It has been important to Dave and I for Lennox to not only know her birth mother but also to be proud of her and for the relationship with her birth family to be a part of her life in some capacity that is comfortable for everyone.
Adoption is born of someones heart. I think for some it starts as a journey to “help” or “save” but it’s not that at all. Adoption for us has only given us love. Even the heartache in the beginning led to love and I have a profound amount of respect for all birth parents who choose this act for their child as well as the people who stand behind them.
On a related note, here’s a throwback clip from the Wilsons’ music career. “Stick Together” was the first single from their 2010 album The Wilsons, and, given everything that’s happened to their family since then, the song seems more poignant than ever:
(Photo credits: Kortney and Dave Wilson bio via Instagram)