Jerry Nunn: Hi, Jeff. Last season there was a lot of economic problems and you had to deal with that a lot. Is that on the new season or are things better now in your opinion with real estate?
Jeff Lewis: Things are a little better for my business. I think the main thing is that last year we were concerned about drumming up business and I was certainly concerned about money. That was the underlying stress of last season.
JN: And this time out?
JL: This season’s a little different. It’s kind of the opposite. It’s not that I have so much money, but that I have a lot of work coming in and I want to take on as much as I can, but we’re a small office and we can only handle so much.
JN: Do you think you are misunderstood on the show?
JL: Well, I think that there are a lot of different sides and the different facets to my personality. I don’t think I’m misunderstood, I just think that we see a lot of one side of me. It certainly would be nice to see more of the softer side once in a while. I’m a certain personality during the day. That’s where we do most of our filming.
JN: Is there a line in your personal life that you don’t want the show to cross?
JL: I’m dating someone now but I think when we first started the show I had been in a relationship for about four years and this person didn’t want to be on camera at all. So, that kind of established the whole structure of the show and it ended up being almost exclusively about my business life, which is really the majority of my life anyway. And the people that surround me are my employees, and that’s kind of my family.
JN: That makes sense.
JL: When the other relationship ended and the new one began, it just kind of felt like the show had already been established and I don’t think that this person wants to be on television either. And I think that it would be a red flag to me if somebody did want to be on the show, because people, as I have found out, will date you for the wrong reasons.
JN: Does the show make it harder for you as a designer?
JL: I think that there are certain people that believe that once you have a reality show that you lose credibility. But I think in my case we do have a good following and there are people that believe in my work ethic and my talent, and my business has grown as a result.
JN: Well, that’s a good thing.
JL: It’s been very positive and I can’t be concerned about the people that criticize. And what’s interesting is that I’ve gotten very used to negative criticism, let’s be honest, in the press, with blogs, and the whole thing. I think the reason I handle it so well is I was born into a world of criticism and I think that for me I’m a little bit more resilient than most people.
JN: I wish I were that way.
JL: Everybody wants to be liked. Every now and again there’s some biting criticism that will actually sting a bit, but I just try to move forward and I try to stay focused.
JN: Have you changed over the last four seasons?
JL: I’ve certainly been humbled, because we eat a lot of shit now where we didn’t have to before. So, when you work with clients you’ve got to put up with a lot and, I’ve got to bite my tongue. I also feel that I know where people are coming from a little better now.
JN: Well, you have flipped more than 50 homes.
JL: I think I had an inflated sense of self and I think that somebody poked a pin in me. Sometimes I feel a little beaten down and beaten up, but it wasn’t necessarily such a bad thing for me in the long run, even though I hate working so hard for my money now because I work really hard. I work three times as hard for half the money and I’m tired. But, I think that it’s good in the long run.