By Alex Cate
Surfing the Internet, Tanisha Hart-Love (Knoxville ’99, ’02) stumbled across an application for a new show featuring a competition between home designers and builders and immediately had the perfect candidate.
Her husband, Tarrick Love, had been building homes in Nashville for several years. He graduated from UT Knoxville with a mechanical engineering degree and worked for 11 years as an engineer and project manager for companies such as Baxter Healthcare, American Safety Razor, Federal Mogul and finally Nissan. After shadowing a college friend who had a residential construction company, Tarrick (Knoxville ’97) began building homes himself during the day while working at Nissan at night. He quickly fell in love with being a home builder and, with the help of Tanisha, also his business partner, he left his job as a mechanical engineer and formed Hart-Love Enterprises in 2006. Then they formed the real estate development company Dream Build Nashville in 2011 with Dee Bynum of Bynum Designs.
Tanisha completed the show’s application and filmed the necessary videos to submit. Not long after she sent in the application, Tarrick sat down for a video interview with NBC to be one of 12 contestants on Home Transformers, the first name of the show. American Dream Builders, the show’s final name, premiered on NBC in March with Tarrick as one of the contestants.
Tasked with rebuilding a traditional Tudor-style home, Tarrick volunteered to be the site manager for his team. Three judges, including former Tennessee Titan running back Eddie George, along with celebrity designers Nate Berkus and Monica Pederson, critiqued the houses, with the losing team being forced to eliminate a member.
The contestants were also dealt a twist in the first week when it was revealed that a neighborhood council would decide which house was better. Trying to create more space for a large family squeezed into a small house, Tarrick’s team lost the first week competition and, as site manager, he was eliminated from the competition but resurfaced for episode 9 and the finale, episode 10.
Even though his stay on NBC’s American Dream Builders was short, he still found value in his experience. “It was very gratifying to see the show, and I was just totally blown away that I was going home,” he says. “We were going more for the ‘wow’ and ‘awe’ and not for what you’d normally see in a family-type residence.”
Now that the show is over, Tarrick and Tanisha are back to making dreams come true in Nashville. As their companies grow, they hope to one day expand throughout Tennessee. “It’s great,” Tanisha says about Tarrick being on the show. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we’re just blessed to be given such an opportunity. Not everybody is given the national platform to show what you do.”