Yes, JoJo Fletcher still proudly wears the 3.65-carat diamond Neil Lane engagement ring that Jordan Rodgers presented to her on the season finale of The Bachelorette in 2016. But these days, the couple are more interested in remodeling garages than heading to the altar.
“After the show, there was this big buzz about what we were going to do with our lives but we wanted to stay true to who we were,” Fletcher told Us Weekly at SeriesFest. “Going back to work and starting the renovation business together was the best decision.”
You can watch them in action in the new CNBC series Cash Pad. In each weekly episode, Fletcher and Rodgers partner with homeowners to turn a stand-alone property (such as a garage and a shipping container) into a short-term rental space. The pair not only help transform the decrepit add-on rooms into a posh vacation spots in just six days flat, they have a financial stake in the profits in effort to grow their real-estate portfolio. “We want everyone to watch, learn and be inspired,” says Rodgers, the former football player who’s also an ESPN college football analyst. “Get a side-hustle on because this is attainable!”
Fletcher, 28, and Rodgers, 30, who live in Dallas, talked to Us from the fifth annual SeriesFest in Denver about their new collaboration, wedding plans and Bachelorette memories. Read the full Q&A below:
Us Weekly: What’s your experience in home renovation?
JF: I realized early on that real estate was a great place to invest your own money. Even when I was in college at Baylor University, I told my mom that we should buy some land and start building houses for students. Then I took on that business by myself by buying more properties and renovating and remodeling.
JR: She’s a real businesswoman. At some point, she realized that if she could find somebody to help do the work that she wouldn’t have to pay, that would really help her bottom line. And that’s where I come in! I bought a house in Nashville when I was unemployed, which shows that I’m a risk-take, and I decided to rent it out. I’ve always had a passion for tinkering. As our relationship has evolved, I think I’ve become a very good sounding board. I know her better than anybody.
Us: In the first episode, you both renovate a garage in Stonewall, Texas, and turn it into a cozy one-bedroom in less than a week. How involved were you behind-the-scenes?
JF: We’re super-hands on. Jordan is 100 percent doing manual labor! We do as much as we can, but we also owe so much to team because they work hard and quick. We know that time is money so we wanted to knock things out super-quickly. The more properties we can do, the more money we get.
JR: We get creative so we can add our sweat equity to save money. A big statement piece can run you $3,000 but we built it for a fraction of that.
Us: So many couples don’t make it out of the starting gate after The Bachelorette, let alone go into business together. How did you beat the odds?
JR: A lot of people would say that working together is the world thing. That was the advice we got! But it does help because after The Bachelorette, you’re under a microscope. Not only did I meet someone in an accelerated fashion, I moved in with her in Dallas. We’re living together. There were expectations. Renovating houses immediately after getting together was an escape.
JF: We did the After the Final Rose show, literally flew to Nashville, packed up Jordan and did the 11-hour drive in a moving van from Nashville to Dallas. I slept the entire way. Then we got to work because there was a property that needed renovating and I told him to roll up his sleeves. We normalized our life and that saved us. Working together has been a blessing.
Us: JoJo, would you honestly recommend that a woman go on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette?
JF: It was the greatest experience I’ve ever had. Anyone that asks me, I recommend doing it. I grew so much, not only as a woman but just in general. It’s a learning experience and you get to do really unique things. It’s also led me to where I needed to be. I’m a fan.
Us: OK, so what’s the latest with the wedding?
JF: So now it’s an exciting question because we’re actually planning it. Our goal is to get married next year, spring or summer.
JR: We have a list of venues we’re going to look at. And once we do that, we’ll set our date. I really just want to have a big hand in picking the cake. I eat all the desserts.
JF: No matter what happens, I want to make sure I’m not the bride that has a full mental breakdown over my wedding because I don’t ever want it to be tarnished. So I need to cool my jets when I start feeling anxious and be chill because it’s not a business project.
Cash Pad premieres on CNBC Tuesday, July 23, at 10 p.m. ET.
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