Whether you watched Shay Holland show off her design chops on HGTV’s Unfinished Business or you haven’t heard of her yet— she is a force to be reckoned with. While she might be petite in stature, the interior designer has a big personality and lots of talent. Smart and scrappy, unlike some HGTV stars, she didn’t get her start flipping houses or as a content creator on social media. Rather, she developed a love for design from alongside her father.
While a second season of the show has yet to be announced, Holland has moved on to pitching her own ideas and working on her chic tiny house in Los Angeles. I recently spoke with her about the road to HGTV, life behind the scenes while filming, and what style means to her.
Amanda Lauren: When did you first become interested in interior design?
Shay Holland: From a young age, I spent countless hours in my dad’s basement workroom learning to sand, stain and restore antiques and barn sale finds to mix in with pieces he’d bring back from his tours of duty. We were a military family that moved frequently so it didn’t make sense to spend a ton of money decorating temporary housing. I loved working with my hands and the idea of exploring the world from your living room.
Later, I honed my skills in building houses with Habitat for Humanity, managing a design showroom, and taking night classes to earn my contractor’s license.
Lauren: What was it like working with your father?
Holland: My dad had this incredible gift of turning mundane tasks into adventures— even raking leaves or washing the car was magical. When he was deep in thought, he’d have full-on conversations with