Trace Lehnhoff

Trace thanks Jeff for teaching him so much.

on Aug 10, 20110

As I sit down to write this blog, I can't help but think about all of the memories I have of working with Jeff Lewis. Although many of you might be surprised, they are all relatively happy and fun moments we've shared. In the truest sincerity, I am very fortunate to have worked for Jeff, and I thank him for the opportunity he gave me. Not in a way a reality television contestant thanks the show's producer, but the way a son would thank his father for teaching him all he has to know. I was able to work really closely to someone I admire, and through our journey together I learned so much from him. 

I think that with any job, you go into it hoping to learn, grow, and succeed. I definitely achieved all of those things while working for Jeff –- and he had a big role in helping me accomplish them. There was a time I sensed my opportunity of progression slowing down, and I felt I would be happiest leaving my position and finding something where I could continue to grow. I wasn't sure when or what that would be, but I knew it was in the cards for me. I think Jeff sensed that in me and felt like I had lost a spark. 

I hadn't anticipated leaving as soon as I did, but I took losing my job as an opportunity to move forward rather than be upset or hurt. I have since started my own design company and aspire to impact someone the way Jeff has influenced me.

I want to thank everyone for watching the show -– it's been one crazy ride and I'm glad you could be there every step of the way with me.

 

 

168 comments
CC2121
CC2121

Hey, someone out there tell me which episode Trace was fired on.  What Sarah, too????  I was just last week watching marathons everyday and thought I was caught up, but now watching the season opener to season 6 and either I've missed the mention of Trace and Sarah's departures or I've missed a whole season somehow.  Thanks!!! 

flipping out fan
flipping out fan

Sorry to see you go Trace! I thought you were a real asset to Jeff and the show! Obviously Gage had something to do with it! He"s a coniving back-stabber!! He's so sweet to everyone's face....and then rips them apart to Jeff. Is it coincidence that 2 people are canned right after his arrival?! And HE'S sitting in on the firing?! Hello?!

D. STONE
D. STONE

Trace, I loved what you brought to the show, so proud of you and wish you all the best for the future. You have the patience of a saint and you got your sexy going on!

Patticakes
Patticakes

Good luck to your Trace! You'll be fine!

Richard M.
Richard M.

Hi Trace, I am disappointed that you apologized to Jeff Lewis! He should have apologized to you! I think you got involved with Chaz, and Jeff seems to think he owns Chaz! I recall how he fired another young man who was seeing Chaz! There should be no rule that employees can't befriend clients! I strongly feel that that is not Jeff's business! He dosen't own Chaz. He is supposedly in a committed relationship with Gage!? At the Reunion Program, he flew into a most unbecomming RAGE because you were seeing a former client. That is nonsense!!! Best wishes in your new business and I sincerely hope you find a great Mate! You will be missed! But I also know it's no fun working for a boss that frequently flipps his lid!

AmyLou
AmyLou

Trace, you will be missed. I really think there might have been some underlining jealous in the office. Most likely Jeff thought Gage may have a wandering eye, because you two were close in age, and he is 40 something. He took his jealously and rage out on you and got rid of the competion. Shame.

Miguel Biguelo
Miguel Biguelo

Trace: Thank you for all you brought to "Flipping Out." Your talent will take you far in your future!

Futureflipper
Futureflipper

Trace, I think Jeff knows he was wrong, which is why he would barely let you speak and defend yourself in the final show. I doubt Gage had much to do with it, Jeff is obviously a control freak and would not be comfortable having an equal in his office. Good luck!

rosas
rosas

Trace... It is not your wrong doing...it is Jeff insecurity that causing the problem. Somehow Jeff thinks that if someone works for him or with him Ryan) should second in importance to him. As if his future as of greater importance then theirs. He did start his business one day. So, should his previous boss be mad at him? If only Jeff will realize that people owe to themselves to take care of their own career, he will not feel cheated when they attend to their own career. Jeff had no right to accuse you because 'he taught you everything'. This isn’t a true statement. He made you work for him. It is given that people learn while they work. It is not given that they have to forgo their own career because of it. Jeff is the one who Keeps on loosing great people Around him because of His assumption That nobody has the right To be self-oriented Accept for him.Jeff mixing up the Understanding that It is a two-way road when he hires someone. He wants to treat his employees Like slaves with no rights. He should look in the mirror And see that it is ok to be Less then perfect and Acknowledge that yes indeed he Needs people around him because he is not perfect. I think he is angry because He lost a great employee in you. If he taught you a lot, Then why did he fire you instead Of accepting you and Allowing you to Be coached and Become art of his ‘empire’. He is too afraid Because he feels insecure About people around him.

amydc1993
amydc1993

You are wonderful and anyone would be lucky to work with you. Jeff is all about Gage and Gage is all about Gage. I hope we hear more about you in the near future.

Marsha Bagwell
Marsha Bagwell

As Maya Angleou says..."When people tell you who they are or show you who they are...BELIEVE THEM!!" You showed Jeff that you were a cheater and you were not honest to him. Once a cheater, always a cheater!

You never smile...don't trust a person's heart that never smiles!

JaneMarie
JaneMarie

Trace...just look at you! Nuff said. Gage didn't want you around Jeff. It was a blessing you were let go. People saw how wonderful you are...and now go get your fans' work...plenty of them. Jeff will always be poison to work for. I see the rage just under the surface in Jenni and I wished she had more power.

NickWW
NickWW

I'm not entirely sure this was Gage's doing, as so many commenters have said. I was really surprised when this all went down but I didn't see Gage go nuts on Trace. It was Jeff, and I think it was Jeff being the same Jeff we've seen since before Gage was part of the show. Maybe it could have been a lot crazier if Gage wasn't around... I haven't seen the paint suits lately, for instance. Not saying Gage is a saint... but if anyone's gotta watch their back, it's ZOILA! :)

Nurse Carolyn
Nurse Carolyn

I too would like to see you with your own spot on Bravo! Can you imagine if someone would have slapped Jeff Lewis in the face!? And his design team just sat there with smirks on thier faces? Best of luck to you, I will miss the calm you brought to the show. And, sorry, but Gage appears to be an opportunist. Wonder when Jeff will notice?

whereislarine
whereislarine

Jeff should be thankful that any of you work with/for him. He is rude, nasty and disgusting to his employees. All of you should have some grounds to bring a lawsuit against him. Gage is a snake in the grass. He is not to be trusted. I notice that he doesn't have a blog. I wonder why. Jenni look out, you are next.

ChrisR
ChrisR

I really admired your ability to keep composed under Jeffrey's bullying in the reunion episode. He wouldn't let you get a word in and kept badgering you. I SO wanted you to finish your thoughts and sentences, but Jeffrey seemed to stomp you a number of times. You had to endure getting slapped by a drunk client and experiencing a very "unique" work environment. I would be looking for OUT quickly too. I don't blame you. Keep your chin up, follow your dreams and never let anyone bully you. Keep your dignity and grace, and hopefully one day Jeff will come to YOU for help on some project. I really hope Jeff reflects on his behavior in the reunion special, and sees how he badgered you. That way Trace would have helped Jeff grow, and say "Sorry."

mlh
mlh

I know Jeff is quirky and has a temper - but his treatment of you goes way beyond that. It's been SO unprofessional in every aspect - and how embarrassing for him that even months later in the reunion show he doesn't have the balls to even give you a chance to speak and defend yourself. What an ego - he not only is a control freak about his own life but also feels the need to take control of everyone else's life - I'm done with this show ...he is so mean spirited, I have no patience for his never ending sarcastic sense of humor. I doubt he'll ever realize how much he's hurting everyone in his life ... actually very sad to watch. Eff him Trace - the fact that you're thanking him and apologizing is definitely taking the high road, but WAY more than he deserves!

George F
George F

Trace, I'm so sorry that you had to leave, but I know you will be great at whatever you do. I think it is a shame the Jeff doesn't seem to realise what a snake in the grass Gage is. If he doesn't find out soon he will have nothing left.

FlippingFan
FlippingFan

You have worked so hard for Jeff. Even induring assualt by a client last year. I'm sure you were only doing something everyone has done duriing a slow work period. Maybe you were doing the work during your lunch time. But Gage was looking to get you fired at any cost. Jeff is not seeing the real Gage. Hope that changes when Jeff sees all the episodes and everyone's comments.

pkpltd
pkpltd

It's a shame Jeff doesn't have more self control - In the latest video, he kept interupting you even after the interviewer asked him to let you finish - your approach has been good - Jeff does not like to be told he is incorrect or off base in any way (I don't respect that part of him) - that attitude should not be a part of being an employer. Good Luck in all that you attempt & accomplish in the future - you are a definite winner !

Viewer
Viewer

Jeff was disloyal to trace when he allowed a client to slap him in the face. how can jeff expect loyalty back?

Katie M.
Katie M.

Trace - You should be proud of how much you contributed on the show and most of all, proud of YOUSELF! When Jeff and his "sidekick" Cage confronted you, the fact that you remained calm and kept your composure proves you have and know what it takes to be a true business professional. Some people might have acted or responded differently by cursing, but instead you chose the right path and kept your self-respect. And for those people, like Jeff, who call themselves perfectionists -- get over yourselves. These people can't retain talented employees. You've moved on and that's the best that anyone can ever do. I will also miss you (and probably no longer a fan of the show).

fred weber
fred weber

I know some people have said that Trace shouldn't have been on the computer working on his own closet and deserved to get fired. However, I owned a design firm and during some slow periods my designers would work on their own home projects, sometimes just dreaming up ideas using their own homes for examples....good practice, nothing wrong with it. It didn't mean we billed any clients for that time. Using slow times for honing design skills is better than using that time to gossip or goof off. Jeff, in my estimation, was not making the money he and Gage needed and it was a convenient way for Jeff to play the victim card and get rid of a couple of salaries, Sara and Trace. Trace is talented and has a nice calm demeanor...great luck to him. Can''t wait to see the "reuinion", Jeff usually can't take the confrontations very well and has to make himself look as though someone, like his former partner, was screwing him over. Jeff creates his own drama.

Debra V.
Debra V.

The show was different this year. It was sad to see you and Sara let go. I missed the last couple of episodes because I was afraid to see who would be let go next. Good luck to you, I know you will go far.

LWT
LWT

I actually just happened to turn the channel and watched this show for the 1st time when Jeff (and Bravo) allowed a man to slap you in your face! I was outraged!!! I couldn't believe the response from your co-workers! How can a boss smirk at something like that?! ~ As I watched more I found that not only the 'idiot' who slapped you was a bully but your boss Jeff was also! Nobody deserves to be treated or spoke to in such a way. ~ If you have learned anything at all, let it be that you DO NOT TREAT people, your co workers or anyone in such a way. ~ You had talent BEFORE you met Jeff. Don't ever give him the indication or credit that your future success is because of 'him'. He hired you because he knew you were good. PERIOD!~ I wish you the best of luck in all things! ~ LT

Jeff Russini
Jeff Russini

loved you, God Bless, you'll do great bro ;)

marie-helene
marie-helene

Jeff lost a very important person in his business. But guess what you are going to move into the future with no problems, you are a professional and talented person/designer. Good luck to you

Tux
Tux

Trace, You are a very mature young man with a very positive attitude. I hope for the best in your new design office and look forward seeing lots of great work from you.

Viewer- Stevie
Viewer- Stevie

I think Gage was doing his job. I think Jeff was as surprised as we all were in the way that you responded. I don't think his intent was to fire you. I think that he was trying to clarify boundaries. I could tell that Jeff was very proud of you as we all are. Good luck in your endeavors. Another cutie-pie decorator rocking the house!!!!

DawnOne
DawnOne

I hope BRAVO will give you your own show. I would much rather watch you than that shallow Jeff and his sleezy friend Gage. Maybe Chaz would hire you!

Nancy J.
Nancy J.

You will definitely be missed on the show. I hated to see you go. I was truly agast! I didn't see it coming. I thought that Jeff would have given you a warning! Man! Gage is going to get what's coming to him for being so evil. One can't do evil to people without it coming back on them! I can't wait to see Gage get his.

suchagirl
suchagirl

You will be missed. I thought it was pretty funny how Gage opened you e-mail and almost immediately found your e-mail w/ your drawings of your closet...I'm sure he's been snooping in your stuff for awhile. He is obviously insecure with eveyone's relationship w/Jeff. I wish you the best !

Weeta
Weeta

Trace,

I think you were a great addition to the group; however, what you did was unacceptable. Sorry, but I agree--you needed to be fired. You will be missed.

RSAOhio
RSAOhio

Trace - You will be missed! You have such wonderful demeanor! You Sir are One Class Act! Yes, what you did was wrong, but it did not warrant a firing. Everyone on that show makes mistakes as everyone in life does! I agree with most here. Gage is a snake! I am certain your new business will be a great success! I can see myself watching the show less and less. Again! Good Luck!

Maryl
Maryl

Trace i am such a fan and was sad to see you leave. i hope he rehires you! the show is NOT the same without you

A former Flipping Out watcher.
A former Flipping Out watcher.

Trace, I used to watch Flipping Out all the time. After I saw the episodes today and what Jeff did to you and Sarah, I will not watch anymore. Jeff forgets that you helped him build his business in a time that he desperately needed it. Flipping Out used to be a show about flipping houses. Now it is a show of how Jeff can Flip Out. It is a soap. Jeff should, but probably will not, apologize to you and ask you to return. Furthermore, Bravo owes an apology to you in the way they aired Jeff yelling at you. Jeff definitely has an anger problem. The way he treats the people around him is disgusting. You are extremely talented. You are a class act choosing not to argue with Jeff. Bravo owes you your own show and Jeff owes you an apology.

annoyed viewer
annoyed viewer

I know that Gage is behind pushing you guys out, but doesn't he realize that one day he will be the one walking out that door. Jeff pushes away everyone who cares about him and one day it will be Gage.

Lanie4323
Lanie4323

Class act Trace! Clearly you are destined for bigger and better things...can only hope Jeff took notes.

We miss Trace
We miss Trace

Trace, the show isn't the same without you!

Now the show seems to be reaching to stay relevant. The original premise of flipping houses is gone, now you and Sarah are gone...the whole premise is falling apart...

Former Flipping Out Fan
Former Flipping Out Fan

Trace, I was sad to see you leave the show. I definitely think that Bravo and Jeff should wake up and see Gage for the individual he really is. I think he undermined the firing of Sarah and yourself. He pretends to be concerned but he's out for himself and Jeff needs to wake up and smell the coffee before it's too late. I think Jett and Zoila are in Gage's firing line now. Good Luck. I can't say that I've really enjoyed the show this season.

Big Grasshopper
Big Grasshopper

Trace, little grasshopper, you still have much to learn. Jeff had weathered the storms for your warm meals. Succeeding in business, and in life, requires more than vocational skills. You will now take on these lessons yourself my grasshopper. Good luck.

HomeSkillet
HomeSkillet

Trace - it was a pleasure watching you on "Flipping Out," and I wish you the best of luck with your design business. You'll do great!! As for Jeff - I, too, worked for a bully boss. It wasn't until I'd been out of her presence for a while that I realized the extent that her abuse had affected me. Like Jeff, she was fun and could be very engaging, encouraging, supportive and charming. Then, a switch would flip in her brain, and I would be the target for pure rage. I tolerated it for a while, but finally had to get out. I hope that you don't have any lasting wounds from your time with Jeff. If you do, try your best to focus on your new business, and continue being your wonderful self. All the best!

Steamced
Steamced

Wow! You people amaze me! I think Jeff was absolutely right in firing Trace. In this tough economy most businesses read their employee's email and monitor what they are working on during working hours. Why should Jeff have to pay Trace to organize his own closet. I think Trace is going to find out how tough it is to start your own business right out of college and he is right to thank Jeff for the exposure he got on this show for getting him any business at all. And by the way, we saw last season that Trace is not a people person and he is going to have a hard time being sucessful in business on his own.

Florida sun
Florida sun

Sad to see you go,you are talented and easy going. I was amazed at how calm you are when Jeff "flips out". Best of luck in your new company!

georgiapat
georgiapat

You're a class act something Jeff never learned. Keep the great attitude and you will make it.

FlippedOut
FlippedOut

Trace, you were great to watch and will be missed.

carol berwind
carol berwind

you were too good looking for his new partner.

GenaMar
GenaMar

You will be missed. Do you still speak to Jeff?

Gold Coast
Gold Coast

Enjoyed you on the show and how you got there. I always thought the show should have used you more. Hope to see you Million Dollar Decorators.