Between TV careers, growing families, building a brand... becoming Entrepreneurs was just another step up their ladder to success for these M.O.Ms.
Best friends and renowned interior designers Tracy Hutson and Tanya McQueen ("Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"), "Picker Sisters" reaffirms the classic saying “one person’s trash is another’s treasure” by following the design duo as they crisscross America in search of rare relics and materials to create stunning pieces for their Los Angeles home décor pop-up shop.
Meet our M.O.Ms and 'Pickers', Tracy & Tanya
Tracy Hutson has been a stylist and designer since 1999, when she started her own Los Angeles-based design business. In 2003, she became part of the design team and one of the original consultants on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."
Hutson can often be found shopping in antique and specialty stores, or tapping into her extensive network of experts to find that “just perfect” piece of furniture, fabric or accessory. Her "there-are-no-rules" style and attitude have made her one of the most sought after designers in the Los Angeles area for clients who seek creative and individual decorating style.
Growing up in Dallas, Texas, Hutson started doing fashion print work for a major modeling agency. She moved to Los Angeles to broaden her career in the entertainment industry and pursue her fascination with design concepts. She has appeared in numerous national television commercials and sitcoms including "Damaged Goods" and "Less Than Perfect." Her film roles include "Mixed Signals," "Endsville" and "Rated X," starring Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen. She’s also starred in a few theatre productions.
Tracy also wrote the book "Feathering the Nest: Tracy Hutson’s Earth-Friendly Guide to Decorating Your Baby’s Room." Her home accessory line was also introduced on QVC.
Tanya McQueen is a proud Texas native and a Southern girl through and through. In fact, she still splits her time between Los Angeles and the tiny town of 3,000 where she was born and raised.
It was there that Tanya discovered her love of design and transformation, starting a business restoring and flipping historic homes. And it was while she was running that business that Hollywood discovered Tanya. She was asked to appear on the television show “Property Ladder” and then was tapped to join the Design Team on the hit series “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
Television allowed Tanya to combine her passions, transforming lives and spaces while entertaining millions of viewers every week. And today, Tanya is thrilled to be a little bit of everything: designer, entrepreneur, television host, mother and wife.
Tanya lives a life as eclectic and original as her tastes. So it’s no surprise she believes that people should listen to their gut when designing their life and home. “If it makes you smile, squeal or have that crazy, ‘I gotta have it’ feeling,’ then it belongs in your life,” Tanya says. “I like living with things that have a story, things that allow people to get a glimpse into who I am and what I am about.”
Perhaps that explains why Tanya has decided to grab her best friend and hit the road in search of amazing stuff and incredible stories. She’s determined to find beauty in the most unlikely places, and transform even the rustiest junk into something magical.
Because of her own journey has taught her anything, it’s this: Everything can be reinvented. Even people. And while something (or someone) may start off in a small farming town in Texas, you just never know where the road will lead.
M.O.M Katie ~ The show is great,Congratulations! As M.O.Ms, we are always looking for ways to turn something into a treasure or to reuse in a new way..what's adding another project to our multitasking life! So, how do we know if something is worth keeping or should be tossed?
EVERYTHING CAN BE REPURPOSED!! THAT'S THE GOLDEN RULE WHEN ON THE SEARCH. HAVING SAID THIS, NOT EVERTHING WILL INSPIRE YOU. THE WAY WE WORK IS TO ROLL UP OUR SLEEVES AND START DIGGING AROUND UNTIL SOMETHING SPARKS A DESIGN IDEA. MANY TIMES WE BOTH HAVE IT AT THE SAME TIME ABOUT THE SAME PIECE. OTHER TIMES, IT'S LIKE A DEBATE MATCH ABOUT WHY THIS HUNK OF RUSTED METAL IS MORE DESIGN WORTHY THAN THE OTHER THINGS WE'VE SEEN. THE TRUTH IS , IT'S JUST SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO PRACTICE TO GET THE JUICES FLOWING. WE LIVE IN A WORLD, WHERE WE'RE NOT USED TO BEING RESOURCEFUL. WE LIVE THROUGH INSTANT GRATIFICATION. THE TRUTH IS, ONCE YOU START ALLOWING YOURSELF TO LOOK IN TO A TRASH PILE WITH ARTISTIC VISION AND ON A MISSION FOR DESIGN, YOU START SEEING IT. I CAN'T EVEN DRIVE DOWN THE DANG ROAD WITHOUT PULLING OVER TO GRAB SOME DISCARDED PIECE OF JUNK. IT'S VERY ADDICTING--BEWARE.
M.O.M Katie ~ As you both seem to tackle and manage busy careers, is starting a retail business what you expected? What has been the most challenging process or what piece of advice would you offer for us M.O.Ms looking to start a business especially in retail?
WE WENT ABOUT THIS IN A FAIRLY UNCONVENTIONAL WAY. BETWEEN THE TWO OF US, WE HAVE SIX KIDS, TWO TELEVISION CAREERS, TWO EX-HUSBANDS, ONE HUSBAND AND MANY CRAZY CREATIVE DESIRES FOR OTHER THINGS FLYING AROUND OUR HEADS. SO, NEEDLESS TO SAY, THERE IS NOT A LOT OF TIME TO SQUANDER AWAY. WHEN WE WERE THINKING ABOUT OUR STORE, WE WERE THINKING TIME, MONEY AND BRAND. WE DECIDED TO OPEN A VERY UNCONVENTIONAL RETAIL SPACE. OUR STORE IS A POP-UP SHOP. IT ALLOWS US TO OPEN WHEN WE HAVE A FULL COLLECTION, MEET OUR CLIENTS, CREATE VIGNETTES AND SELL OUR PIECES WHILE NOT GETTING LOST IN A YEAR LONG LEASE. WE LOVE THE IDEA OF POP UPS. I THINK THEY ARE A VERY ENTREPRENEURIAL WAY TO HAVE A BUSINESS. WE NEVER WANTED A STORE THAT SOLD A BUNCH OF THINGS THAT WE BOUGHT WHOLESALE AND SOLD FOR RETAIL. OUR VISION WAS A STORE THAT ALLOWED US TO DISPLAY COLLECTIONS OF ALL OUR DESIGNS. IT'S DEFINITELY WORKING FOR US.
M.O.M Katie ~ What do you want 'Picker Sisters' to show viewers? What inspired you to do the show while opening up the shop?
I HOPE THE SHOW INSPIRES PEOPLE TO GET OUT THERE AND DO WHAT THEY LOVE. WE BOTH APPEAR AS OVERLY CONFIDENT AND HARDCORE GALS, WHICH WE ARE, BUT THERE IS DEFINITELY A SIDE OF US THAT LET'S FEAR REAR IT'S UGLY HEAD. WE WANT TO SHOW WOMEN THAT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. WE BOTH GREW UP IN SMALL TOWNS IN TEXAS AND KNEW WE WANTED TO CLING TO OUR ROOTS WITH DEAR LIFE, BUT SPREAD OUR WINGS AND SAMPLE A BIT OF THE WORLD. IT'S CRAZY THAT WE FOUND EACH OTHER AND LOVED MANY OF THE SAME THINGS. PICKER SISTERS IS DEFINITELY ONE FOR OUR BUCKET LIST.
M.O.M Katie ~ Tell us about this first Season and any information on the storefront and it's opening.
OUR FIRST SEASON IS AIRING AND OUR STORE ISN'T CURRENTLY OPEN. WE ARE HITTING THE ROAD AGAIN SOON AND WILL OPEN WHEN WE FINISHED OUR PIECES. WE ARE BUILDING A WEBSITE WITH UNDER OUR BRAND NAME, HUTSON-MCQUEEN, THAT PEOPLE CAN GO TO AND FOLLOW US MILE FOR MILE. YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE OUR STORE MAY POP UP NEXT!!
The 'Picker Sisters' 3 Tips for us M.O.Ms on 'pickin' for business resale:
1. START SMALL..YOU DON'T NEED A STORE, USE YOU GARAGE. MAKE YOUR FIRST PIECES FOR YOURSELF AND ALLOW THAT TO BE YOUR MEANS OF ADVERTISEMENT
2. DON'T THINK YOU NEED TO DO ALL THE WORK YOURSELF. FIND THE JUNK, COME UP WITH YOUR IDEA ON HOW TO TRANSFORM IT AND ENLIST THE NECESSARY TRADES TO PULL IT OFF. (DON'T ALLOW THE TRADES TO TALK YOU OUT OF YOUR VISION-THAT'S THE KEY TO CREATING A ONE OF A KIND PIECE, IT'S NOT ALWAYS THE MOST CONVENTIONAL DESIGN)
3.FIND A PARTNER. SOMEONE WHO SHARES YOUR VISION. IT REALLY IS HELPFUL TO BOUNCE IDEAS OFF ONE ANOTHER. YOU DON'T ALWAYS HAVE TO AGREE, SOME OF OUR BEST IDEAS WERE FIRST DREAMED UP WHILE WE SAT ON A TAILGATE OF A TRUCK SIPPING A COLD GLASS OF WINE. IT GOOD TO HAVE A PICKER SISTER.
On Lifetime ~ Tune in Tuesdays at 10 pm/9c
(or check your local listings)