'House Hunters' to feature Indiana native
The Home & Garden Television network has a fancy way of promoting an upcoming episode of its popular “House Hunters International” TV show:
“Find out if a fresh-faced financier turned fashion bloggess can compromise between location and a tight budget when House Hunters International travels to the City of Light, Paris, France,” the HGTV website says.
It’s a little easier to sum it up here in Indiana:
The hometown girl went to work in New York City. Now she’s going for her dream job in Paris, and a TV program is going to show how she chose a place to live.
Amber Holmes, now 4,100 miles away from Washington Street, Indiana, is working as a fashion stylist in Paris, a job that blends her eye for clothing and accessory fashion trends with her penchant for modeling the looks.
“I style the outfits from head to toe,” Holmes explained.
But again — she’s trying to make her name in one of the fashion capitals of the world.
It’s a diametric change from her life in the Big Apple, her destination after graduating from Indiana High School in 2002 and Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2006.
As an investment professional in one of the financial capitals of the world, Holmes worked three years as a financial adviser with AXA Advisors, then for a year at J.P. Morgan, and for three years at Fidelity Investments as a client relationship manager.
She simply says a change in a personal relationship signaled that it was time for her to go for her true dream job, but with the challenge of finding the right place to make her new start.
“The theme for my episode was quitting my uber-fabulous Upper East Side finance/ritzy life in New York City, and having to downsize in Paris,” Holmes said. “But I was not willing to compromise on living in central Paris for location and comfort.”
And she left the states with complete confidence that she would blend into the culture.
“In 100 percent honesty, I knew with all of my heart that it was the path that I was supposed to follow and I had zero fears and zero anxiety,” Holmes said. With many years of training in the language, “I was a bit rusty at first but within a month, I was completely fluent again. Today I live my life 100 percent in French, thinking in French, reading in French, speaking in French, even dreaming in French.”
Holmes, 29, set her boundaries.
She wanted a single-bedroom apartment, but not a studio. She said she needed close to 300 square feet of space, and she had a budget of 1,200 euros (almost $1,590).
And she wanted to be in the middle of it all.
“So I was looking at apartments located in central Paris,” she said, and found some nice choices but not all fit her criteria.
Around the time she was set for the trans-Atlantic move, an ad on Craigslist caught her attention. “House Hunters International” wanted stories. She offered hers, and the producers accepted, agreeing on unspecified compensation.
Holmes narrowed her search to three choices, just as do other house hunters who are profiled on the show.
“We shot for a full day in New York City, then returned to Paris and shot here for four days,” she said.
It all was done in late 2012.
Holmes has been happily living in the place she selected, and her choice isn’t a secret to those who need to know, such as her parents, Tom and Brenda Holmes.
Brenda already has traveled to visit for a short vacation.
“House Hunters International” producers, meanwhile, have been editing the footage and preparing it for broadcast. Holmes’ story is scheduled for air at 10:30 p.m. Thursday.
“That’s just one week!” Holmes said. “So I have to wake up at 4 a.m. to Skype with my friends in New York City to watch it!”
The DirecTV satellite service carries HGTV on Channel 229, and Dish Network has HGTV on Channel 112.
Online: House Hunters International, http://www.hgtv.com/video/house-hunters-international-video/index.html