Fox’s newest reality competition host Danisha Danielle Wrighster has a lot to be grateful for.
While in her 20s she got pregnant with her first baby while an undergrad in college. She had a job, a college sweetheart and thought everything would work out just fine. Shortly after, her boyfriend was diagnosed with terminal cancer. When her newborn was just ten weeks old, the father of her child passed away. Then she lost her job. Fourteen years later, Wrighster can add real estate wealth builder and host of the #OWNShow on Oprah.com .com to her list of accolades.
If there’s anything that Wrighster knows all too well, it’s how to overcome struggle. Such persistence is what landed her, her most recent accomplishment as the new the host of Fox’s DIY home renovation competition show Home Free. ESSENCE caught up with Wrighster to talk her journey—and what’s to come.
The Most Exciting Part of Working on Home Free is Watching Dreams Come True
“Hands down, no questions asked, it’s the reveal. It’s got to be the most exciting four minutes of anybody’s week because, you know, we’re pretty critical during the inspection. But the part where they realize that actually, they haven’t lost their chance at being Home Free and they just won the home [that] they renovated is so incredible and emotional to watch that every single week I’m tearing up. And a few times, the tear drops fell but, it’s [an] exciting, exhilarating, emotional experience just to watch somebody’s dream come true right before your eyes. It’s so great because we told them that they’re doing this for a deserving family…and then the whole twist is that they realize that this has been given to them. It’s incredible. Gives me chills every single time.”
Home Free is Her Dream Job
“Just the fact that I’m able to do media and real estate at the same time is an incredible opportunity. I pinch myself every week we’re filming like, ‘I really get to do this.’”
She Bought Her First Home at 25
“When I bought my house, I was 25-26 years old. It was young and it was kind of crazy because I also bought a four unit in that same month and I was literally terrified and everybody around me thought I was being an idiot. But when I started thinking about the anxiety of my mortgage payment, I started thinking about the thrill of receiving rent checks. And I thought, “you know what, I’m an owner now. I’m not just a broker and win or lose, if I do great or if I do bad, at least I tried.”
Buying a Home was the First Step of her Promising Career
“It actually ended up being the first step in many great career moves and investment decisions. Whenever I think back on that month, it was such a life changing pivotal time that I’d have to say that was my most exciting.”
She Got Her Start Through Blogging for a Website
“Actually, I had a friend that kind of knew something about my story and sat down and talked to me a few times and she was like, ‘You know, you should really blog.’ I was like, ok when am I gonna find time to blog? And how do you make a blog? And what do I have to do? And so, I started actually blogging for a website called Mom Logic, and every week I would think of whatever was most interesting or something that I learned that week or something that I felt was important to talk about. And then I started doing some television appearances from there.”
She Identified with Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday Through her Experience with Struggle
“I started to really see how interviewing Super Soul Sunday guests and Oprah magazine experts and the impact they were making in terms of improving people’s lives that I said, I really think that I have something to offer in terms of my experience. And I felt like if I had saw somebody in my situation who was a young single mom who was dead broke on government assistance and she made it, then that would have been some sort of motivation for me. And then I just started getting really motivated to tell my story, and then I was given this incredible gift of working on Home Free, which is kind of combining my real estate experience and my experience with struggle and having a small part and giving a huge gift that will change people’s lives.”
How She Juggles it All
“I don’t! I try to be as present as I possibly can when I’m present where I am. Whether it’s on the set of Home Free, whether it’s with a client in the middle of a transaction or a negotiation, whether it’s with my kids at one of their games, whether it’s quality time with my husband, I really make an effort to be 100% present wherever I am. I think if you’re consciously thinking that, then you’ll be able to do it. It’s when you forget that and you try to spread yourself thin over a lot of different things that you forget and then you fail at everything and that sucks.”
Tune in to Home Free on Wednesday nights at 9pm ET on Fox.