From contractor and TV personality to producer and furniture designer, my latest Finer Points guest, Jonathan Scott, is a true self-made man. He and his twin brother, Drew, are jacks of all trades, having first made a name for themselves on a series of highly-successful HGTV shows. Their popularity led to a slew of impressive business ventures, landing them on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine‘s latest issue!
I joined Jonathan for Season 5 of Brother vs Brother and it was such a joy working with him and the entire HGTV team. I can attest to the fact that he’s truly as kind in person as he seems on TV! On that note, I loved seeing firsthand how dedicated the Scott Brothers are to their fans and followers. That dedication fuels the majority of their work and it’s the reason I am thrilled to be working with Jonathan on his latest venture, Casaza. Scroll on to learn more!
Marie Flanigan: You’ve dedicated your life to helping others design the home of their dreams. How do you define your personal style and how has that evolved over time?
Jonathan Scott: I consider my sense of style elegantly eclectic. I like it to be classy and interesting with a good mix of textures and finishes; a warm, inviting palette, with just a few surprises. I really love designing around conversation pieces, like a special collectible from a once-in-a-lifetime trip or a unique memory from my childhood passion. These are the features that tell wonderful stories about who you are.
MF: You and your brother have built quite the empire. What would you say is the number one factor that led to your success?
JS: Drew and I have always been entrepreneurs, always pushing to succeed. We realized early on that nobody in life will go out of their way to make you a success; that has to come from your own hard work and dedication. Our dad taught us that there’s a path to success that does not involve stepping on other people to get there. We believe in surrounding yourself with strong, passionate people and taking care of the people you work with. Most importantly, never stop learning because the moment you stop learning, you start to become obsolete.
MF: What’s the best thing about working with your sibling? What’s the most difficult?
JS: I always laugh when I hear somebody say, “Never work with family.” I’d have it no other way. We are very close, our entire family. Drew and I have this unique working relationship. Maybe it’s the twin thing, but we naturally divide and conquer. When I’m up to my neck in something, Drew will automatically jump in and lead a new project that comes our way. We recognize and respect each other‘s strengths and weaknesses and we balance each other perfectly. The only challenge is that we are both Tauruses and sometimes we are a little stubborn, but I carry power tools so Drew never really argues with me (laughing out loud)!
MF: Tell me about your latest venture, Casaza. How do you envision Casaza being utilized by interior designers and homeowners?
JS: Drew and I are fortunate enough to receive over half a million messages per week each on social media. These are mostly from fans talking about what they’d love to do at home and what they’ve loved on our shows. We noticed there’s a big gap between what people see and love in our shows and what they are comfortable doing themselves at home. That got us thinking about the importance of designers. There are so many incredible professionals across the country who do exactly what we do, so we want to highlight them. We also noticed that many other sites out there were charging designers an arm and a leg for “referrals” but in most cases those referrals never came. From a consumer standpoint, many marketplaces are cluttered, complicated, and generally not a great experience. We think it’s a better experience if trusted professionals curate looks that people can then shop from…and our hunch has worked! We’ve received several hundred billion impressions on the content we’ve posted. We’ve managed to highlight in national and regional press dozens of our designers who have really engaged the platform and our trade pricing program. And with more solutions rolling out soon (stay tuned…), Casaza will really continue to grow into something special.
MF: I’m not sure how you juggle it all! What does your typical day look like?
JS: You don’t even wanna’ know! Currently, I’m running 20 construction projects (that’s how many I manage simultaneously). I’m up around 6 a.m. and will hit three to four projects every day. I run eight full time construction crews and local professionals that I really trust. Anytime I get a minute, I sneak in emails, conference calls, and press interviews. On my down time I love to write. I’ve written and almost completed a documentary on renewable energy. I’m writing an e-book on the same subject. I love movies, board games, escape rooms, and sushi. And, of course, I love my dogs and my family, so I spend most evenings with them.
MF: How do you handle being in the public eye and having your personal life analyzed?
JS: It’s a very strange thing at times because I’m a very private person. I don’t tend to go out a lot but I will admit we have the best fans in the world. They’re really wonderful and I enjoy taking pictures and saying hello…I just can’t design your kitchen while I’m on the train with you. LOL!
MF: With so many facets to your professional life, what business goal would you still like to accomplish?
JS: We have very lofty goals and are constantly reevaluating them. We have several big announcements coming up but our biggest focus is how we can help families make their homes work smarter for them. Our Scott Living Live got half a billion in retail sales last year which means we’ve been able to bring stylish and functional solutions to a tremendous amount of people. We believe in trust, in quality, and in families. You’ll see a lot more coming from us. 🙂
Thank you so much for joining me, Jonathan! We can’t wait to see what’s next for you!