I always say I can tell an interview went well when I actually enjoy transcribing it – which was the case with my chat with Kortney Wilson from W Network’s Masters of Flip.

In this post (Part One) Kortney opens up about adoption, homeschooling, working with your spouse, and Nashville must-sees…just in case you ever get the chance to visit!

You’re an Adoption Ambassador with the Adoption Council of Canada. After having two sons (Jett, now 11 and Sully, now 9), what made you decide to adopt?

When I met Dave, one of the very first things I said, no joke, was, “Someday I want to adopt a baby, and if this is a deal-breaker for you just let me know!” He was, of course on a first date, saying, “Oh no, that sounds great!” I remember one day nursing our second child, and he was really young, maybe two or three months, and I said “It’s time!” and Dave said “Time for what?” and I said “Time to start the adoption process!” And as any father of a second baby would say, his response was, “Are you kidding me? Our child is two months old!” and I said “I know, but I’ve done the research and it takes a long time!” I just felt like that was something that I was always supposed to do, that was going to be part of my life and my plan, and the reasons changed and evolved but I’m certainly glad I did because Lennox (now 6) was always supposed to be part of our family.

You homeschool your kids – how’s that going?

We homeschool the oldest two, and this is the first year actually. In Tennessee, or in America in general, the school system is pretty messed up. All you have to do is watch that documentary Waiting on Superman. We live in the urban core of Nashville where you have to lottery in and out of schools and although they did go to a great elementary school, we weren’t entirely satisfied with our middle school options and I would say that one of the main reasons that came into play was that we found out kids were starting to drop some of their extracurricular activities and passions because of homework, and the homework wasn’t really benefiting them all that much at this age. So they would come home and do a couple of hours of homework but they had to drop piano or soccer or their art lessons, so we figured we could probably get a lot more done and cater their education to them a bit better and still offer them an outlet to do the things they actually love.

Where we live there are hundreds of homeschooled kids in our own community. Right now they are at a homeschooling event that happens every Friday where there are probably a hundred mothers. It’s pretty amazing, and several of those people have been or are teachers, anywhere from elementary school to university level, so it’s really great to be able to say, “Hey, I know you teach biology to Vanderbilt students at the university, how about doing a swap, and we’ll teach music?” So it’s pretty awesome.

{I’m sure it goes without saying, but if Kortney and Dave lived here in Ontario, they would be lucky enough to be able to take advantage of an incredible publicly-funded education system. Okay, I said it anyway.}

I’ve visited Nashville once with my husband, and we loved it. I’d like your perspective as a Canadian now living in Nashville – what would you say are the must-sees for tourists who come and visit your city?

I would say the first thing is to stay in a neighbourhood within the urban core, because there are so many within seven to ten minutes of downtown and vacation rentals are huge, huge, huge here. In the urban core there are bars and restaurants and walkability, but other than that there are a few things:

Monell’s, which is in Germantown, is a restaurant and it’s a full-on Southern style family dinner. Or breakfast. Actually breakfast is my favourite. But you sit with other people, so it could be tables of 10 to 15 people, and you meet tourists from all over the world, and they just keep the food coming. If you want a real Southern experience, that’s it.

Mangia is an Italian restaurant – actually our friends own it, and it’s really a big deal. You have to order the tickets a month or two in advance, but it’s an experience. You go in and pay one price and get served food all night, there’s singing and dancing – at one point in the night everyone is standing on a table or chair! It’s absolutely amazing!

Of course you have to go either the Opry or the Ryman. Personally my favourite is the Ryman. I don’t think you can find any better place to listen to music. It goes without saying that you should go to a honky tonk on downtown Broadway to get the tourist vibe. There’s no shortage of them there – walk a block and you’ll see ten!

Oh, and if you’re Canadian you have to go to a Predators game! That’s a given, right? I’m from Canada, my Dad’s a hockey coach and so’s my brother, and I’ve heard a lot of Canadians who have been to see the Predators say that it’s literally entertainment. It’s not just hockey. Because when we first got here, people didn’t know anything about hockey. In ’98 when Dave and I moved here, they had to entertain you, because people didn’t understand what offside was!

Speaking of Dave – you run a house-flipping business with your spouse, and actually have to interact in front of the cameras and a large TV audience. What are the pros and cons of working together?

I would love to say that we leave it at the front door every day but we don’t. I don’t know anybody who can do that – and if you’re out there, please call me! The pros are that Dave and I actually like each other, beyond just being husband and wife we’re actually friends so it’s kind of fun. He makes me laugh, he’s a good partner. The cons: we are very different. I’m very analytical and type A and Dave is way more laid back. He doesn’t really have deadlines! So he can let things go a lot easier than I can. But we’ve acknowledged that it takes both of us to really get us to the finish line. If you’re frustrated with a coworker, you can go home and complain to your spouse or partner and at the end of the day, I can’t do that, but by the same token, he understands me.

It was originally music that brought you both to Nashville {Dave and Kortney – both Canadians – met in Nashville while pursuing their music careers}. Are you still involved in the music scene?

We really aren’t anymore. There are only so many hours in a day! Three years ago we decided we were going to take a step back from music, to be able to stay home with our kids, renovate houses, really focus on my real estate career, and we’ve done all of those things…although my husband still writes – in fact he just wrote a song last night! We still sing, and we’ll likely record again in the future but we hope that for once in our lives we’re doing it for us. It’s not for a deadline or a project or a label deal or publishing deal to fulfil. It’s nice for it to be for vanity and for us and the enjoyment.

How would you finish the sentence “This Mom Loves…”?

I love a short weekend vacation with my family – like two or three day vacations. My number one destination would be Asheville, North Carolina. If you Canadians ever come this way, next to Nashville it’s my favourite city – sort of a hippie town where everyone’s really happy and carefree. I think years ago it made this book where they said it was one of the happiest cities in the world. And they have the best food!

I also love me some Nars Foundation Primer. Gets me through my demo days when I’m incredibly sweaty! As a mom, that’s my secret. Hmm…what else do I love…?

What about food and drink?

I’m a vegetarian. Oh, before that, wine solves most of my problems on a Saturday night! Some good wine. Actually I’ll even drink cheap stuff, it only takes me one glass to feel no pain. As far as food goes, I love sushi. I could eat it four or five times a week. And Greek salad. Those are my go-tos.

*****

When the interview was over, I let Kortney know how much my seven year old loves her and Masters of Flip…and she was sweet enough to ask to speak to her. On top of that, she realized her daughter is about the same age, and told Eva that the next time we’re in Nashville they should meet…which had her on a high for a long time!

I guess it’s time to plan a trip! What shall we do for a Winn/Wilson meeting? A Predators game? Or perhaps a visit to Monell’s? We’ll see!

Coming soon: Part Two of our interview, where we get to the nitty-gritty about house-flipping and the upcoming Season 2 of Kortney and Dave’s hit show, Masters of Flip! For now, you can find Kortney on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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