Jenni Radosevich ’05
Jenni Radosevich ’05 (above, center) was crafting long before it was cool — before Pinterest and the do-it-yourself (DIY) deluge in pop culture.
She has many fond memories of visiting the craft store with her mom, dipping her hands in tie-dye, and giving thrift-shop clothes new life. In the last decade, she’s turned her hands-on approach and eye for design into a personal brand that includes a blog, a publishing deal, and now, a television pilot.
After graduating, Radosevich worked as a graphic designer for InStyle magazine. Noticed for fabricating her own fashion inspired by high-end designs, she developed a DIY column for the publication that morphed into her I Spy DIY website and book.
Missing Wisconsin, Radosevich returned to the Midwest three years ago and turned her focus from food and fashion to something bigger: houses.
She had always had an interest in home décor, blogging about wine racks, wall art, and workspaces. So the transition to home renovation seemed natural. Radosevich was weighing the viability of flipping houses when a friend suggested she share her talents with a television audience. The unique concept — a cast of five friends instead of a family, set in a city that hasn’t gotten a lot of airtime on cable — intrigued HGTV. Last summer a production crew followed the friends for three months while they flipped a house in Milwaukee.
Radosevich describes the floor-to-ceiling renovation as a Cinderella story. “We found the worst-of-the-worst house and made it a really beautiful home,” she says. The My Flippin’ Friends pilot first aired in April.
The production crew used plenty of drone footage to capture the city Radosevich describes as a hidden gem. “Watching the pilot, I thought, ‘Wow, they’re making Milwaukee look sexy!’ ”
Some of the less appealing characteristics typical of older homes in the region (think maroon walls and orange cabinets), along with vintage dark wood trim and built-ins, present Radosevich with some interesting design challenges, but she strives to find balance. “I pepper in more modern elements, while respecting what’s classic,” she says.
Milwaukee’s also an ideal environment for flipping, Radosevich says, with lower prices making everything from minor changes to a full remodel within reach for the average viewer.
“In New York or California, the cost of flipping is so astronomical that people can’t really relate,” she explains. “[In Milwaukee], the cost is more manageable, so we’ve gotten lots of positive feedback.”
Published in the Winter 2017 issue