Cape May-born designer part of ‘Extreme Makeover’ reboot

Locklyn to make debut Feb. 16 on HGTV reality show

By RACHEL SHUBIN

Special to the Star and Wave \ Photos provided.

From a professional dancer to designer to extreme makeover maven, Carrie Locklyn has created an incredible career.

This weekend, Locklyn will make her debut on the reboot of HGTV’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” scheduled to be broadcast at 9 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16, Locklyn is one of three designers helping build incredible new homes for deserving families.

Born and raised in Cape May, Locklyn graduated from Lower Cape May Regional High School in 1996 and began her career as a professional dancer. After 10 years of traveling the world and living in California, Locklyn decided to completely switch careers and move back to the East Coast.

“Being on HGTV was something I put on my goal wall many years ago,” Locklyn said. “I loved designing, had a background in TV with commercials and hosting. I said one day I’m going to take my design background and mix it with TV and my business.”

For Locklyn, being a part of the HGTV family is a decade-long dream come true. The reboot of the show has the same spirit of the original show, she said.

“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” originally aired from 2003 to 2012. The new technology in the past eight years will make a big impact in the new series, Locklyn said.

“The large difference for our reboot is helping hometown heroes,” Locklyn said. “We go into amazing communities to find people who are striving to make their community better.”

Throughout the 10-episode series, more than 10,000 volunteers helped build homes from the ground up.

“We can’t build a house by ourselves in five days,” She said. “We build homes from the ground up. We did everything from putting flowers in a vase to installing a toilet and putting tile down.”

Locklyn said watching the home building process was awe-inspiring.

“When you’re just watching the show, you understand the concept of the show,” She added. “With being involved, you’re already gobsmacked you’re a part of everything and seeing it happen.”

A challenging aspect of building the homes was the weather, especially when temperatures reached 108 outside, she said.

“It was really hot when we were building the homes,” Locklyn said. “There’s no shade, no walls or air conditioning.”

The emotional side of filming the show was one of the most rewarding aspects, she said. As the homes are built, the designers bond with the families in each of the episodes.

“The best part of my job is helping create a better tomorrow for deserving families,” Locklyn said. “There are these amazing families helping their communities and one another. It’s an inspiration seeing the communities come together and rally around them.”

The reboot is hosted by actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who Locklyn said is a passionate team player.

“When we found out he was the host we were so excited,” She said. “He’s a funny, high spirited and humble guy.”

Locklyn’s design career is linked to growing up in Cape May. At the height of her dance career, she decided to make a big change.

“I was in L.A. and just finished a two-year tour with Mariah Carey and I was asked to go on the world tour,” Locklyn said. “I said ‘No, I’m going to switch my career completely.’ That’s when I started organizing and designing for celebrity clientele in L.A.”

Making the switch from dance to design was following a passion Locklyn had as a young child, while organizing and refreshing her bedroom. This passion would lead to a career and personal business down the line.

“I would literally rip everything out of my closet just so I could reorganize and put it back in,” Locklyn said. “I would go to friends’ houses and as I was organizing their things, I would design their rooms and rearrange things.”

Locklyn’s mom, Sharon Conley, always encouraged her daughter’s flair for design.

“My mom got me inspired to refresh a room,” Locklyn said. “She’s one of those great moms; every season she would let me refresh my room, rearrange [it] and she would go around the house and find different pillow cases and comforters.”

Proximity to family was important, so Locklyn moved back to the east coast, to be closer to her mom when she was pregnant with her son. She and her husband picked Philadelphia, to be halfway between New York and Cape May.

“I started my career on the Travel Channel, HGTV’s sister channel,” Locklyn said. “Once you get into the loop of on-camera talent and design, it’s the thing you want to do forever. I was bitten by the bug for that.”

For multiple seasons, Locklyn filmed “Hotel Impossible” as the lead designer. The show gave her the opportunity to work on designing motels in Wildwood, one of which was the White Caps Motel. Locklyn incorporated the ever-popular Wildwood Ferris wheel onto the walls of the motel rooms.

IMG_1363
Hotel Impossible. Provided.

“Cape May holds a very special place in my heart,” Locklyn said. “It will always be my home. I moved across the country to be closer. Once you get out of Cape May, you realize how it’s hands down one of [your] favorite places in the world.”

Locklyn’s personal business is GIDG (Get It Done Girl) Living, a design, organizing and home-staging company. She started GIDG to help businesses and homeowners achieve organized and balanced spaces. In the local area, Locklyn has worked on designs in Wildwood Crest for Paradise Oceanfront Resort.

Author:

Rachel Shubin lives in Cape May, New Jersey, where she works as a freelance writer for the Cape May Star & Wave Newspaper and Cape May Magazine. Rachel’s previous work experience includes working as the content marketing coordinator at the Cape May County Herald Newspaper. She has worked for the Star and Wave for over two years, with a variety of beats covering municipal meetings, human interest and a multiple article series featuring millennials. Previously, she worked for two years at the front desk of the Victorian Motel. Rachel graduated from George Mason University in 2016 with a B.S. in communications and a concentration in journalism. She wrote for IV Estate, George Mason University’s student newspaper. Rachel currently writes Sandpiper Cat Blog and is an associate member of the Cat Writers’ Association. Previous written work has appeared in Tote Magazine, CWA Meow Newsletter, The Fairfax Patch, Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation Newsletter, W.T. Woodson Cavalcade and The Pennant Magazine. Rachel can be contacted at capemayrachel@gmail.com.

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