Parents of two find their ‘American Dream Home’ in Beaufort, SC: ‘So special’
I’ve been a TV host for over 20 years, so walking in front of a camera is second nature to me, like breathing. And I sometimes forget that the families and couples we feature on “American Dream Home” have never been on television.
I’m in awe of Dustin, introduced to viewers this week on another episode of “American Dream Home.”
Dustin was young when he fell into addiction, but this week he worked up the courage to share with our viewers how he overcame a troubled past.
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It is, for me, the American dream. You are given a second chance in our country – and Dustin was able to take that ball and run with it.
I caught up with him and his beautiful wife Amy to see how they settled into their new home, how the kids are doing — and whether they enjoyed watching each other on national TV.
Seeing couples like Dustin and Amy pursue their dream – and find the perfect home – is so sweet!
Here is some of what we discussed.
Question for Dustin: Dustin, how’s business? I had a feeling you were going to choose the house with enough space for your exercise equipment. Tell me about your journey to becoming an entrepreneur.
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Dustin’s response: Becoming an entrepreneur and business owner was pretty much an accident. I had helped friends with shirts and clothes for me [sports] team and they gave me equipment that they didn’t use.
“Doerflinger Athletics grew to the point where I was basically working two full-time jobs.”
About a year later, we were heading to a softball event and had no matching shirts. So I ran the equipment, made our team shirts – and during the tournament other teams started asking where we got them.
I explained that I made them – and from there people started asking me to make the clothes for them. It snowballed from there.
I worked at a nonprofit drug and alcohol addiction treatment and intervention program as a counselor Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. [So] I would come home, have dinner with Amy, then work at Doerflinger Athletics from about 8 p.m. until the wee hours of the morning – and do it all over again.
Eventually Doerflinger Athletics grew to the point where I was basically working two full-time jobs. I spent my Fridays off from consulting work printing shirts or embroidering hats – as well as weekends and evenings.
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I intended to leave the position of counselor to take care of Julia [the couple’s youngest daughter] when she was born and [running] deals. Then, the Christmas before it was born, the company had to restructure for funding purposes and laid everyone off.
“The flexibility of working from home and owning a business has allowed me to spend time with the girls and get involved in their schools.”
Since then, I take care of my [two] daughters and run the business full time. The flexibility of working from home and owning a business allowed me to spend time with the girls as well as be involved in their schools etc.
Q: You have been so honest about your journey since recovery. What are the main lessons you learned from this experience?
A: Some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in recovery are not to [let it] be a secret. Everyone has trials and tribulations, whether it’s drugs, alcohol, life or work situations. [issues] … It’s easy to stay in these situations or back to them if the people around you are kept in the dark.
Having a good support system that can hold you accountable, ask if you’re okay, tell you when it might be time to seek resources… [this] assistance.
Amy is great at celebrating my recovery anniversary and reminding me how important it is. It also helps that it’s not a secret – it helps break down the stigma that I think is slowly fading around addiction.
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Q: What kinds of activities have you done since moving into the new house?
A: We paddled and kayaked. We even bought each of the girls their own kayaks. We like to go on the boats and go fishing.
The girls have their favorite beach to go by boat to go swimming and see the dolphins. [Our] the family likes to go out to enjoy the house and the water with us.
“The biggest change has been the way we spend our evenings. We’re no longer cramped inside with the bad weather – we’re outside whenever we get the chance and that’s is exactly what we wanted.”
Q: What was it like filming with our crew? Was it what you expected?
A: The crew was amazing and we had lots of fun and laughs. It was also interesting to learn what the production team thought was important or would be key elements. [of the story].
Question for Amy: What was it like filming with our crew? Is this what you expected?
Amy’s response: I wasn’t sure what to expect – so I opened myself up to the experience and believed this was how it was supposed to be. We found the team to be so friendly and fun… They even let Julia backstage as “producer” on the last day! She really enjoyed that.
Q: How are the children? Are they enjoying the new place?
A: The girls love the hot tub, their “boat bed” bedroom, regular ocean swims, and discovering and seeing all the Loggerhead Sea Turtles this summer, [plus] deer, snakes, birds and alligators! So much to explore and learn.
Q: How has life changed since you found your ideal home?
A: We love country life! We found that we had more visitors than ever before and we love it.
We love showing our family what makes this area so special. We now have a longer journey to church, but we have found some very good schools for girls.
The biggest change has been the way we spend our evenings. We’re no longer cramped indoors with bad weather – we’re outdoors every chance we get and that’s exactly what we wanted.
“We traded mountain views for ocean views and feel so lucky to be here.”
We have amazing neighbors and community that we are building – and that made this move even more special! We traded mountain views for ocean views and feel so lucky to be here.
Q: Are you planning to do renovations or work at home?
A: There are possibilities to customize the spaces a little more in the future, such as redoing the laundry room or repainting a bathroom. But nothing urgent!
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Dustin worked outdoors and took care of the grass and landscaping… Together we will continue to dream and care for the assets the Lord has entrusted to us.
I want to be good stewards of everything I have – and feel like we’re on the right track.
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“American Dream House”, hosted by Cheryl Casone, airs every Wednesday at 9/9:30 p.m. EST on Fox Business and airs on Fox Nation.