How Huntington Beach Local Jasmine Roth Is Building Her Happy
Historically, the woman’s sphere was traditionally the home; tasks included cooking, cleaning and all-around housekeeping, not larger projects like construction or repairs. In the ‘40s, women kept the blue-collar workforce (and the country) afloat, then after the war, most returned to the role of stay-at-home mom. Today, women have proven that they can certainly be both homemakers and homebuilders, and among these inspiring ladies is Jasmine Roth.
Known for her shows “Hidden Potential” and “Help! I Wrecked My House” on HGTV, Roth first started learning about construction with her dad in his garage, not knowing then that the skills she picked up crafting treehouses and playhouses would help build her future. Roth also credits her parents for helping her grow into her tenacious personality. “Both of my parents did a really good job of instilling a can-do attitude in me,” Roth says. “My mom always had a really great attitude, no matter how challenging or tough things were for her.”
Coming from an “untraditional” upbringing that involved multiple divorces, Roth was no stranger to moving around. Out of this experience, Roth says she gained her positive outlook, independent drive and her comfort with change—all of which she applies to her career. “Basically, what I do now is I move around, move furniture, set up spaces and rooms and organize things… I think that life experience and moving around so much as a kid helped me in my career,” she says. “I’m just innately comfortable with moving things.”
Along with this ability to work with change, Roth also learned the important lesson of being comfortable with asking for help, which is something that many people struggle with. For Roth, seeking assistance and the expertise of others isn’t something to be ashamed of—it’s an important resource.
“I’ve never had a problem asking for help because it’s just been something that was instilled from day one… It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to not be perfect,” she shares. “I’m a new parent; I see a lot of examples of perfectionism, and I think it’s really tough, especially now with social media and these unrealistic examples of how to be constantly in front of us. I’m lucky enough to not have perfectionism as the goal, but rather to have the humility to ask for help as the goal.”
That mix of humility and curiosity has gotten her far. After graduating from business school in Boston with a degree in entrepreneurship and new venture management, she and her college roommate-turned-husband, Brett, made the move to Southern California, where they decided to build their dream home. This is where Roth came across an unexpected twist in her life’s blueprints: taking on homebuilding full-time.
“I accidentally fell into homebuilding—I wasn’t planning to be a homebuilder. My husband and I took on a project that was a little bit bigger than we assumed—I ended up leaving my job in Corporate America to go manage that project, and I loved it,” she says.
For a little while, the Roths tried constructing their future home and tending to a separate investment property on the weekends while working their corporate jobs, but they soon found themselves stretched too thin.
Roth decided that if they were going to make any progress, she’d have to go all-in and fully dedicate her time to their builds. Then in 2012, she founded Built Custom Homes, her boutique development company. This eventually led to growing a social media and blog following, which caught the attention of none other than HGTV.
Now, Roth has a number of roles under her toolbelt, including homebuilder, TV show host, shop curator, author of “House Story: Insider Secrets to the Perfect Home Renovation,” business owner and mom.
“I think my takeaway is that setting goals is really important, but you also have to have your eyes wide open so that you see opportunities when they are presented to you,” she explains. “It’s good to have goals that are personal, but they don’t have to be so rigid, right? That was a big eye-opening experience for me at the very beginning of my career, and it’s served me really well. Same with HGTV: I wasn’t trying to get a TV show, I was trying to build homes and do something that I love and I was sharing it with, you know, as many people as I could. But when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped all over it.”
Roth is best known for hosting HGTV’s “Hidden Potential” and “Help! I Wrecked My House.” In “Hidden Potential,” Roth helps people transform their blasé, cookie-cutter suburban houses into unique, one-of-a-kind homes, and in “Help! I Wrecked My House,” Roth flexes her expertise and sets out to help DIYers whose amateur home improvement projects have gone wrong.
Both series showcase Roth’s multifaceted talents in construction and design along with how she represents a new generation of women in the homebuilding workforce. It’s clear that she has no problem making waves in a male-dominated industry.
“Traditional gender roles are definitely being blurred more and more, which I like,” Roth says. “I rarely get to see another woman on a job site, so I think that [HGTV] is an amazing platform to showcase what women can do in the construction industry in particular.”
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 9.9 million men and 1.1 million women work in construction, and only 21% of homebuilders are women. The women that work in construction tend to hold office and administrative roles, and the female employment share in the construction industry has gone from just over 5% in 1965 to about 13% in 2020, but that number has flatlined since the ‘90s.
As many women working in a boys’-club industry can attest to, it can be tempting to act more masculine in order to fit in with colleagues. But for Roth, finding her way as a woman in this space didn’t mean trading in or forgoing her femininity; it meant having the confidence to stand out and get the job done.
“If you’re confident, you can be yourself,” she advises. “It doesn’t matter if you’re feminine or masculine or if you wear high heels or work boots—it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re trying your hardest, you’re asking questions, you’re seeking answers and you’re curious. That confidence is what makes someone successful in any role.”
This confidence is something that certainly resonates with her fans, and she hopes that her audience can apply this mindset when they’re making decisions about their own homes. Along with imparting the idea that it’s okay to ask for an expert’s help, Roth encourages people to go against the grain and not rely on those preconceived notions of what should and should not be.
“I feel like whether it’s my show, my book, my website or my social media, I’m constantly striving to make people feel comfortable and confident enough to make their homes personal. And a lot of times, I think people fall into this, ‘Well, I want the couch there, but I feel like it should go on this other wall because that’s probably what my mom would do,’” Roth explains.
“This is your house. This is your space. It needs to make you happy, and it needs to function for the way that you live,” she continues. “I think that that’s a confidence that a lot of people don’t have, so I’m trying to help people maybe take one or two small steps toward that confidence so that they can have happy homes.”
Although Roth shines as a role model for girls and young people that may not fit the stereotypical mold of the construction industry, her attitude and accomplishments have gained admiration all across the board. She has inspired a wide range of people, from those within the homebuilding industry who are looking to switch gears into another specialty to kids and teens who want to become builders in the future. “I love that my career has been an inspiration to a lot of different types of people,” Roth beams. “HGTV is an amazing platform for folks like myself who have been able to work in industries where they hadn’t worked before—not just showcasing it, but making it the norm.”
Never one to be outdone, Roth is always pushing herself further, filling her plate with motherhood, her business, her shop, personal renovations, her TV shows and a book that details all of her best advice on home improvement projects. And, during a time when the world seems to be experiencing a near-collective wave of burnout, she remains as tenacious and motivated as ever.
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Roth is a woman who wants to do it all, but that doesn’t mean she has to do it all alone. “The most important things in homebuilding are being resourceful and having the smarts to realize that you don’t know everything,” she advises. This mindset has helped her beyond her homebuilding career, enabling her to accomplish her goals and live a full life by enlisting the assistance of those around her, including industry experts for her various projects and family members for helping her raise an equally fierce and vivacious daughter.
“Being able to surround myself with really strong people has probably been my biggest success factor. It’s just teams and teams of people to help me be able to do what I do. It takes a village—I feel that’s a cliche, but it really does,” she says. “I’ve surrounded myself with a lot of really talented people that know more or are more creative; whatever their strength is, they’re better at it than I am.”
For those who are considering making changes in their lives or are struggling with finding motivation, Roth urges finding and relying on a trustworthy, empowering network of support. “Lean on resources that are available to you and surround yourself with really supportive, positive, helpful people. On a personal level, that’s been huge for me,” Roth shares. “That was probably my biggest point of personal growth in my life: just realizing that you have a choice and that you can set healthy boundaries and that you can really surround yourself with people that have your best interests at heart… That’s my secret weapon.”
Born and raised near the Pacific Coast, Jordan Nishkian is a California girl through and through. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Creative Writing and a BA in Anthropology, and her favorite place to be is curled up in a comfy chair with a book in her hand and a pen in her hair.