The Celebpreneur: having an ‘in’ in business


Contrary to what armchair critics may have predicted, the reality television format has reigned supreme for well over 10 years

From talent quests and singing competitions, to dating shows and imprisoning people in a house – there is no conceivable scenario that hasn’t been considered by TV execs.

One of the more popular formats is of course home renovation. Just like cooking demonstration shows – a veteran of the reality TV circuit – it seem viewers of successful DIYs are inspired to freshen up their own homes as well.

According to stats from online marketplace Oneflare, following the recent wrap of Channel Seven’s House Rules, there was a tangible upswing in bookings for home renovation jobs.

When the show went to air in April 2014, Oneflare recorded:

  • Job postings for interior design rose by 48 per cent
  • Requests for kitchen renovations rose by 35 per cent
  • Job postings for bathroom renovations rose by 30 per cent
  • Requests for architects rose by 28 per cent

A boon for tradies and small businesses alike, Marcus Lim, from Oneflare commented that the spike in postings for home improvement jobs was significant.

“Usually there’s a relatively steady amount of jobs in each service category, like people searching for cleaners, plumbers, and electricians. But in April of this year, we were baffled as to why there was a sudden jump in people posting home improvement jobs specifically.

“When we looked into it further, we realised there was a link between when the House Rules show went to air and our job request data. It suggests that TV shows can serve as inspiration as well as entertainment,” Mr Lim said.

Beyond this, a recent report issued by the Housing Industry Association (HIA) forecasted total Australian renovations investment to once again exceed $30 billion over the next few years. Momentum is expected to build over the following years with growth of 1.2 per cent, 2.3 per cent and 2.5 per cent in each of the three years through to 2016/17.

Alongside the popularity of the reality TV format, are of course the stars of the programs.

Many winners of reality shows, as well as viewer’s favourite contestants, have gone on to launch their own businesses, rightly capitalising on their hard-earned 15 minutes of fame.

Popular contestants Alisa and Lysandra from the television show The Block are one such pair, having recently launched their own online homewares store, Alisa & Lysandra Collections.

Speaking to Dynamic Business, Lysandra said that she and her sister wouldn’t have had the confidence to start their own business had they not won The Block.

“There’s no way we would have decided to do it, we didn’t realise it was our passion. It was also our fanbase that took us by surprise, and people saying how much they liked [our designs],” Lysandra said.

After a successful re-appearance on a second series of The Block, ‘The Twins’ as they’re known, decided to leave their jobs in the police force to run their small business full time.

As to whether their reality TV fame is a help or a hindrance, Lysandra is emphatic: it’s most definitely a help.

“We’ve developed great relationships with the execs and crew at channel 9, and it’s not to break away from The Block, but we also want to make a name for ourselves and be known as interior designers, and we’ve had The Block to give us a step up and the challenge for us is to keep the momentum going.”