In the premiere episode of HGTV‘s Small Town Potential, hosts Kristin Leitheuser and Davina Thomasula help a couple move from their old life in the big city to and start their new life in nature in the Hudson Valley to raise their daughter.
Thomasula, a real estate agent and Letiheuser, a bulider have teamed up for the new show that, as the title suggests, transform affordable houses in upstate New York’s Hudson Valley into beautiful homes that fulfill their clients’ lifestyle dreams. Not only does the pair work together, but they are also engaged. The two met the traditional way — at a bar and have since been going strong. Small Town Potential gave them an opportunity to host the show and represent the LGBTQ community.
“It’s exciting,” Thomasula told GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos in a recent interview. “It’s been a long journey… and we’re finally here.
Leitheuser added, “It’s surreal. It’s a cool responsibility that we have and it’s just super exciting to be on this platform.”
In addition to working with her fiancée, Leitheuser’s dad also works on the show, keeping it in the family. For Leitheuser, she realizes the ups and downs of working with family. “It’s a lot,” she admitted. “It’s always tough working with family… but there’s also so many amazing synergies there, too. It’s a blast working with them.”
She continued, With anything, there are challenges, work is hard, right? And having that balance of work and personal life is even harder for anybody. I literally live with it… it’s everywhere… but it’s still a lot of fun.”
“Yeah, it’s easy until it’s not,” Thomasula chimed in. “I think things can become a little bit more emotional because you’re so close to these [people].” With work, she said it’s about taking the emption out and getting the the job done.
Like Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas on HGTV’s Bargain Block, Leitheuser and Thomasula continue to bolster LGBTQ representation in unscripted home improvement sector, opening the door to more inclusive stories. Thomasula is aware of their responsibility of representation. “It’s really important that we stay visible… whatever the dynamic is, whoever you love, however you love, and just being out there is something that is important, it creates awareness,” she said. “That’s really important to us.”
Leitheuser points out that people are looking for cities where they can renovate a home and call it their own — all in a safe space. The pair also stay in touch with the people they worked with on the show. They send pictures of them in their newly renovated homes.
“I just want people to feel like they can relate to us,” said Leitheuser in regards to what she wants people to take away from the show. “Some of these renovations are really awesome. They’re all very different. I just hope people can find themselves a little bit in the show.”
“I think each episode you might be able to find something to resonate with, said Thomasula. “It doesn’t matter who we are, how we live our lives… whatever step you’re at in your life, it’s reachable. Tt’s doable and we’re here to support that.”
Small Town Potential premieres on HGTV on March 3.