GMA's Lara Spencer: “Do the things you love and it won’t feel like work”
Lara Spencer spends her mornings as co-anchor for Good Morning America, afternoons and weekends as executive producer and host for HGTV’s Flea Market Flip, and balances the schedules of two busy kids. SheKnows caught up with her to learn how she balances family life with her career.
From co-anchor to busy mom on the go
Lara Spencer spends her mornings as co-anchor for Good Morning America, afternoons and weekends as executive producer and host of HGTV’s Flea Market Flip, and balances the schedules of two busy kids. SheKnows caught up with her to learn how she balances family life with her career.
She works as a lifestyle news anchor for Good Morning America, but in her spare time Spencer moonlights as a decorator. She helped decorate pal Kathy Griffin’s home with a Palm Springs mid-century feel, incorporating a little Hollywood glamour along the way.
She’s done about 15 friends’ houses so far, and even wrote a book titled, I Brake for Yard Sales. Spencer doesn’t exactly advertise her talents because, “I do have a day job,” but this busy mom-on-the-go has managed to pursue her side passion while juggling a blossoming career and happy family.
A balancing act
How does the busy working mom manage the delicate balance of work and family life? “My parents taught me when I was very young ‘Do the things you love and it won’t feel like work’ and that’s how I feel about both of my jobs,” she said. “I absolutely love my family at Good Morning America and I don’t even mind getting up at 4 o’clock in the morning because we truly have a great time doing it.”
“My other life as creator and executive producer of Flea Market Flips is an absolute labor of love. It’s a passion of mine and is sort of a weekend moonlighting job.” She works on the show doing executive meetings and editing sessions while the kids are at school, and shoots episodes on the weekends.
A show was born
The inspiration behind HGTV's Flea Market Flips? “My own real life.” She explained, “For years I have gone to flea markets and found pieces with great bones or a really good look, but just needed some TLC or a different application — a reinvention so to speak.”
She enjoyed transforming the pieces and either putting them in her antique shop or in a home she decorated, when she had a light-bulb moment.
“I thought to myself, ‘What a great idea for a show.’ You get one part treasure hunt, one part design advice and inspiration and one part competition where you get to see how these pieces, after they’ve been transformed, can make so much money for these contestants.”
A family affair
“It’s a total family affair,” Spencer said. “My kids absolutely love it.” They like going to flea markets and like the crew, so Spencer regularly brings them along, especially her daughter, who absolutely loves it.
“My daughter’s really into it. I definitely think she’s inherited ‘the bug’ and also a really great eye,” the proud mother told us. “She’s only eight years old, but she’s found some really cool pieces and I love her sense of style and the fact that she already has an opinion in terms of her find.”
Go with the flow
“We’re always evolving. If you’re not growing then you’re not living,” Spencer said. Her kids are now eight and eleven, and if they can come along with her to work, then they do, Like any busy family, they are balancing life around sports and extracurricular schedules.
She said, “It’s a real juggle being a working mom,” but she considers herself blessed that she has a great partner in her husband. “When you’re a mom you learn to maximize all the 24 hours in each day.”
“As the kids get older each year their needs change,” she said. “We cater to that and change with them.”
Disconnect from the daily grind
When the family isn’t running around between the kids’ activities and Spencer’s schedule, they’re sitting around the kitchen table exchanging stories.
“We’re homebodies when we’re not working,” she said.
She loves listening to her kids talk about their days and hanging out together, whether it’s turning up the music and dancing with her daughter, watching a basketball game with her son who’s really into sports, or taking the family dogs for a walk.
“We keep it simple,” she said. “It sounds really boring, but I couldn’t be happier.”