Galey Alix Answers Fans' Most-Asked Questions
You asked and the Home in a Heartbeat host answered. Ahead: Viral content creator Galey Alix discusses why she wears her famous baseball caps, mental health, relationships and, of course, design.
Three years ago, Galey Alix began the slow journey of fixing her own heartbreak while battling an eating disorder. She found design, went viral on social media and — clad in a baseball cap we've never actually seen her without — ended up right here.
As the host of HGTV's new renovation show, Home in Heartbeat, the Wall Street exec stays busy working full-time during the week and completing home renovation projects on weekends — but not too busy to inspire her combined 4.4 million followers on TikTok and Instagram. Though she's "terrified of looking straight at the camera," she does it anyways, because making people happy through design, it turns out, is what makes her happy.
The mental health advocate isn't shy about opening up, so we gathered the most-asked questions from her fans on Instagram — and she answered them all. Ahead: Galey discusses mental health, design, her relationship and more.
You Asked, Galey Answered
@angiebenderdesign1: Why do you always wear a hat?
Galey: As someone who has always suffered from perfectionism (and is still recovering from a long, very dangerous eating disorder) it’s really important that I set myself up for success. Wearing a hat allows me to not focus so much on what I look like and instead, put all that energy into the project and home I’m working on. I also want people watching me on social or on the show to focus on what we’re creating, the families’ reactions and how amazing my team is. That’s always the goal.
@kgrifmn: How do you select your clients? It seems like all of them have a heartfelt connection.
Galey: Every single one of my clients is from Instagram. Send me a DM and we go from there. [Because] they’re following me, they know the process and how much heart I put into it. They know how much I love making people happy. The connection is there because they’re already a part of my family.
@dyllsaunders: How are you able to respond to hateful comments with so much diplomacy and love? Is there a mindful meditation process you walk yourself through that keeps you [calm] and kind prior to typing a response? Forever taking notes from you!
Galey: There’s the saying “kill them with kindness” ... and I think it’s one of the worst sayings ever. We’re not out here trying to kill anybody, right? So, the intent is never to be kind to get back at [the hateful people]; it's to revive them and show them they’re deserving of [kindness]. I always try to remember: If this person is talking to a total stranger like this, imagine how they’re probably talking to themselves in their head all day. That’s a sad headspace to live in. I’ve been there, so I want to be nice because I want to let them know they deserve it, too.
@casec55: What did you not know about the behind the scenes of making a show that you know now?
Galey: I learned it takes a very long time to film a show. For example: We'd arrive at 7 a.m. to start filming. It takes 30 minutes to get the entire crew mic'd up. Then we'd need to film everyone pulling up to the house. We'd get a shot from one angle of everyone backing out and then pulling up. Then we'd need to get a drone shot, so the whole production crew would have to hide under trees [to get out of the shot]. Then we'd need to back out and do it all again with the camera at the front of the house to get us in slow motion walking up. It takes so much time. [Most days], we wouldn't even start installs until two hours after we arrive on set.
@he_flyer: If you had one full day to do anything you wanted, anywhere and with anyone, what would you do?
Galey: This is going to sound so boring, but I would be in my backyard, working in the garden and getting my hands dirty. I’d want my dogs to be there — including my dog I lost, Hatch. I’d want them running around, swimming, having so much fun with their toys. I’d want my boyfriend Dale to be there. He’d be making me laugh and reaching the tall stuff I can’t get to. And I’d be blasting Taylor Swift. I love music. I’d probably put on Blink 182 and Dave Matthews, too. Then I’d play Eric Calpton and Michael Bolton, because when I was really little my parents would blast those artists while we did yard work.
@sabrina__scott: In what ways does your design business affect your finance career and vice versa? Asking as a wholesaler who is so inspired by all that you do!
Galey: I love this one. Finance and design sound very dissimilar, but at the end of the day they’re extremely similar — and what I mean by that is I [was able to] grow both businesses by being creative. In finance I raised more than $5 million in assets for Goldman Sachs, and I did it by being creative in how I sent emails to clients and how I gave presentations and seminars. Design is no different. I’ve only been doing it for three years, but when I shoot my [reveal] videos, I find creative ways to story tell how I'm surprising a family or putting a room together. I’m doing cartwheels and handstands and [using] hearts. I needed it to be different — and it got me here.
@nealmachek: What is your favorite area of the home to renovate and design? Also, thank you for being an advocate for mental health!
Galey: It’s the room the homeowner doesn't know I'm going to do. When I do walkthroughs, everybody tells me which rooms they'd like done. When they leave and I measure everything, I try to find a space in the house we never looked at and see if I can fit that into the budget. And so, the surprise room is always my favorite one.
@axelcandy202: Have you ever turned down a design job? Or did someone not like your work? How do you overcome or resolve a situation like that?
Galey: Yes, I’ve turned down a lot of jobs. It’s almost always because of the distance — the clients are too far away. As well, if I feel like I’m not going to be able to make [a client] happy, it would be selfish of me to take on that job. I do it to make people happy, and if I can’t do that, it’s better for both of us that I don’t take it. I’ve been so lucky with [people not liking my work]. In the three years I’ve been doing this, I’ve only had one item returned — a couple coffee table books the client said she wouldn’t read.
@social.interiors: How would you describe your style?
Galey: Very simple: It’s me and it’s you. It’s the combination of us, and what I mean by that is when I first meet you, I am a CIA agent all over you and your house. I’m looking at your nail polish color; the organization inside your drawers; the clothes in your closet. Are shoes allowed in your house? Who are you and how do you need this house to work for you? Then I take my own style, and I incorporate it to figure out how I can make it as pretty as possible and make [the client] as happy as possible. That’s why each of the eight projects from this season look different.
The takeaway is if you want something, you have to go for it. Never expect things to just happen for you. That’s how I approach everything in life.
@HGTV: We love you and Dale [Moss] together. Tell us a little about your relationship with him.
Galey: Best thing I can tell you is how we met. A year ago, I was walking my dog and listening to a podcast (Girls Gotta Eat). The guest was someone I’d never heard of — this guy who was so well-spoken, humble, witty. I was so attracted to his mind and his voice. After the podcast I looked him up on Instagram and I was attracted to him physically as well. So I shot my shot: I slid into his DMs. I said “Hey if you’re ever in south Florida, I’d love to meet up. I heard you on a podcast and I love the way you think.” Three weeks later, we went to dinner and the rest is history. The takeaway is if you want something, you have to go for it. Never expect things to just happen for you. That’s how I approach everything in life.
Keep up with Galey on Instagram and TikTok (@GaleyAlix) and catch new episodes of Home in a Heartbeat with Galey Alix Wednesdays at 9|8c on HGTV and discovery+.