Cleveland native and actress Monica Potter on her big homecoming

Cleveland native and actress Monica Potter on her big homecoming

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - For many people, the house where you grew up has a special place in your heart.  For Cleveland native and actress Monica Potter, that's no different.

She recently bought back and rehabbed her old Collinwood home with her mom and her sisters as part of a new HGTV series called "Welcome Back Potter." Her dad passed in 2004, so you can imagine how special this was.  But she has even bigger plans for her hometown.

"I always knew I wanted to come back and make a difference," said the Golden Globe-nominated Potter. "I feel like Cleveland people are just the salt of the earth. They're gritty, they're tenacious, they're spicy."

That grit, that tenacity is perhaps the driving force behind Potter's latest project.

"We sold the home in 1987 and for the last five years, it had been abandoned," she said.

Now airing on HGTV, Monica says "Welcome Back Potter" is about the heart of the home. She says it's more than just the 'how to' and the 'fix it.'

"What we can't learn a lot of the time is how to reconnect with your family and sometimes in order to move forward, you have to go back," she said.

She says the process was about growth.

"We got into big fights every day," she said. "We loved each other. It was just like our relationship got a lot deeper."

Touring the home, you'll see those memories and sentimental touches, the old dining room wall paper, torn down but now framed.  There are shadow boxes on the porch holding flowers, but they're made of old window sills.

"This was all a wall, there was nothing here and my parents always wanted to open this up, so they could see the lake," she said. 

You'll find a lot of local touches too. Monica says highlighting her hometown is important. A lot of the decor around the house is from the Cleveland Flea.

Monica also has her own store now, Monica Potter Home. You'll find it online, in the old arcade downtown and in Garrettsville. The products sold range from skin care and home finds that embrace local businesses as well.

"I'm going to be here a lot more filming, doing different things," she said. 

Future plans include much more of the CLE and other "things that have a little more meaning."

"I think now is the time to invest locally here, in some of the storefronts shut down and create a place for people to learn and earn," Potter said.

Potter splits her time between Cleveland and LA right now. A Cleveland sports fan who is very excited to see the Indians in the World Series, her and her family have no plans to sell the Collinwood home.

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