August 12, 2013 12:00 PM

>Renovation Raiders, HGTV

Even though she spent her teen years as a home improvement volunteer for families in need, “I never knew that this would be my profession,” says Matthews, 40. But after studying theater in New York and briefly pursuing a career as an opera singer, she decided to become a contractor instead. “I love inspiring people with the confidence to do things around the house,” she says. But one thing she isn’t touching? Her own home in Minnesota. Says Matthews: “It takes so much time, and my job is crazy. I’ll just decorate this one!”

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