The actress and TV carpenter are building an eco-friendly empire in his Midwest home town
Carter Oosterhouse and Amy Smart are quietly building a lifestyle empire while raising their daughter, Flora, away from the bright lights of Hollywood.
The TV carpenter, who will appear in TLC’s Trading Spaces reboot this spring, and his wife of 6 years, actress Amy Smart, connected over their Michigan roots — he was born in Traverse City, she spent summers in the resort town — when they first met at an environmental conference in L.A.
“I did a double take when I heard he was from Traverse City,” Smart tells Naturally, Danny Seo in the magazine’s Winter issue.
Oosterhouse was equally enthusiastic: “I almost wanted to ask her to marry me right then,” he recalls.
The couple, who split their time between the Midwest retreat and a home in Malibu, run an organic and biodynamic vineyard, Bonobo Winery, in the area. Smart also has a skincare line with TruSelf Organics in the works that’s set to debut in spring 2018, and together they are in the process of developing an eco-friendly product line, dubbed SmartHouse, that will include mattresses, bedding and home decor.
“Having done 500 makeovers on TV alone, this is a world I’m so familiar with,” says Oosterhouse, who is currently hosting the fifth season of The Great Christmas Light Fight on ABC.
They are also dedicated to raising one-year-old daughter Flora in a down-to-earth environment, and note they want her to be able to grow her own food, among other practical skills.
Smart revealed on Instagram a month after Flora was born, that the couple had a surrogate. “After years of fertility struggles I give thanks today to our kind, loving surrogate for carrying her,” she wrote. She tells Naturally, she wanted simply to explain that “no, I was never pregnant and yes, I have a child.” She adds, “I wanted to put it out there what our experience was and not be embarrassed about it or shy about it. It was really such a blessing in our life that I was totally willing to share.”
Now, the trio are focussing on living a wholesome life in the country and growing their eco empire, responsibly. Though it’s in its “beginning stages,” Smart says. “It’s something we thought would be fun to create together — different than what our careers are doing but still in line with our values.”
To read the full feature and see more photos, pick up the Winter 2018 issue of Naturally, Danny Seo.