Tracee DoreHow has your life changed since Design Star?
Actually my life hasn't changed much except for the explosion in all the positive publicity. I have been blessed since I started my business 15 years ago to always be working on great projects without a break, and that is exactly what I am still doing. My kids and husband, as well as I, get a kick out of being recognized every time we go out. The overwhelming positive support of the people in Louisville has touched me more than anything else. I am also, more than ever, cherishing every moment with my three kids. The show woke me up to that more than anything else.
What opportunities have you had since appearing on Design Star?
There have been many wonderful new clients gained because of Design Star as well as many radio, TV and modeling opportunities. I was nominated as one of Kentucky's Most Admired Women this spring, have been offered a book deal and am working on my own collection of signature paints.
Have you kept in touch with fellow contestants?
Almost all, believe it or not. Michael and I have a bond that will never be broken. During a visit to Texas to see Michael everyone who saw us out together had to take a second look. They couldn't believe we were friends. I want him to move to Kentucky, and he wants me to move to Texas; we'll see where life will take us both. I also have such a great brother-and-sister relationship with Stephanie and D. Paul. It just saddens me that we are all so far away. Matt, Michael, Stephanie and I even went to market in Vegas together this winter. Scottie and I talk about once a month. I wish we could have spent more time on the show together; it was a shame that he was eliminated first. As for Jen, wow, how I think of her often and what she must be going through with the new show!
Everyone always asks me if I would do Design Star again, and my answer is always yes, because of the incredible lifelong friendships I have made.
What was the most important design or life lesson you learned from being on Design Star?
That is a very loaded question for me. Let's see — I have always been known for being peppy, high energy and positive in my personal and professional life. However, not always coming across as such on the show was difficult to watch. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that the show would turn out like it did, and I am not even talking about who won. I wish I could do it all over. I am disappointed in myself that I couldn't do the innovative designs that I do everyday in the real world. I never imagined how tough Design Star was going to be. Not being able to share designs with HGTV viewers on a regular basis is what hurts the most.
Get more info on Tracee at www.doreandcompany.com.