By Patrick Perron
The Mercury News
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The transition from model to a woodworker came naturally for Joanie Sprague, who grew up fixing things around the house with her dad in a small suburb of Pittsburgh.
The Mercury News
Joanie Sprague used to strike a pose, now she strikes nails with a hammer.
It’s all in a day’s work for the 36-year-old, five-foot-nine blonde from Huntington Beach, Calif., one of two new carpenters on TLC’s reboot of “Trading Spaces.”
“When you’re a model, unless you’re super-big, big time like Christie Brinkley, you know there’s an end to that career,” she said in a video posted to the show’s website. “I just knew that it was time to shift.”
That transition from model to a woodworker came naturally for Sprague, who grew up fixing things around the house with her dad in a small suburb of Pittsburgh called Beaver Falls.
Home improvement wasn’t her dream job.
“When I was a freshman in college, I really wanted to model,” said Sprague, who dropped out of the University of Findlay in Ohio and moved to New York after 9/11 to do just that.
But at the insistence of her dad, Sprague returned to college and earned her computer science degree _ and then she hit the runway.
Sprague, then known by her maiden name Dodds, moved to Los Angeles in 2006 to compete in Season 6 of the CW reality show “America’s Next Top Model.” She placed second.
While her career took her around the world, Sprague always found the opportunity to show off her skills as a carpenter, including repairing drywall in her apartment. So after “America’s Next Top Model,” she went on to co-host DIY Network’s “Run My Renovation” where she got to build and renovate.
She has also appeared on other do-it-yourself television shows.