BY MEGAN STEIN
Sherry Fontana has been flipping houses since, “before it was cool.”
“As a kid, my parents bought and sold ten homes within seven years, so we were doing that a long time ago before it was even called flipping,” Sherry tells PEOPLE exclusively.
Her passion turned into a profession when she met husband, Frank, who had been in the renovation business for 15 years, and the two joined forces. Their impressive experience paired with their “passionate Italian” personalities have led the duo to star in a new FYI Network series, Downtown Shabby, premiering on October 15.
“When Frank and I met, it truly was a marriage of both of those worlds,” she says.
Frank adds, “Truth be told, she seduced me into helping her flip one of her homes when we met. She was like, ‘Oh come over, I’ll cook dinner for you,’ and I show up and the house is like dilapidated.”
The show will follow Frank and Sherry as they transform ramshackle old houses into modern homes while still preserving the structures’ original integrity. Restoring the properties is hard enough as it is — “Owning an old home is a lifestyle,” Frank says — but working around the clock with your spouse is an entirely separate challenge.
“To be completely honest, there’s a lot of ups and downs,” Sherry says.
“We’re definitely not afraid of going head to head when we need to. But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Frank adds. “I love my wife to death and we have two awesome kids, and to be able to share this experience with her and have it documented for the world to see, that’s just something special that will never happen again.”
Doling out bad news to clients is definitely part of the job description when it comes to fixing up an aging property, and the two admit that they have very different approaches.
“I’m fearless and I’m all about the real facts,” Sherry says. “I am deliberate and up front, that’s just my way.”
Frank, meanwhile, describes himself as ” a people pleaser. I’m always trying to make the best of it and try to find solutions.
But what sets Frank and Sherry apart from the sea of similar series on TV? Frank says simply, “There’s enough of these fake renovation shows out there with people who don’t really give them who they are. On this show, you’re going to get Sherry and Frank Fontana, whether you like it or not.”
Read the whole article and watch an exclusive sneak peek at Frank and Sherry’s new series here. Tune into Downtown Shabby on October 15 at 9:00 p.m. ET on FYI.