Wow, What a Journey!

by on ‎06-12-2017 01:13 PM

Wow, what a journey. 28 years ago, I accepted the incredible offer from a fledgling cable network to come to work for them as a host.  QVC was still in its infancy and was looking for “on air talent”.  Those simple words did everything but factually describe me as a human being in 1989.


I had been on TV a few times doing standup comedy while living in San Francisco but nothing that was noteworthy or even worth remembering.  Anything that might be considered “talent,” was still left up to others to decide. Today marks a milestone of having spent half of my life here at the “Q,” and my feelings of thankfulness are hard to describe. 


I have been blessed beyond my credit, accomplished more than even I could have expected, and overcome obstacles that others said were insurmountable.  For someone who has spent the last 28 years of their life on America’s most successful Television network I define the image of a square peg in a round hole in every way. 


I am usually uncomfortable talking about myself, especially about my past, but may I share my story with you?  For any of you who have been kind enough to watch me for all these years, I think you might be surprised to meet the “real Dan Hughes”.  As you read this I can honestly say that I am a man with few complaints. Successes come with effort, and there are few participation trophies in the business world. I, maybe more than anyone else, am amazed at how the first half of my life has turned out. For you see, my life has long been a list of failures….


(me as a child)

Dan - Childhood.jpg

As a child, I had a speech impediment that was so severe that an elementary school administrator told my parents that I was most likely “retarded.”  Long before psychologist had a diagnosis for ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyper-activity Disorder) I was simply labeled as a “problem child,” and my parents were asked to hold me out of school for one year. I started Kindergarten one year later than my friends. My friends would ask me why I wasn’t in school like they were, and I did not have the answer. I knew I struggled with things and I felt left out by my limitations.


By the age of ten I had memorized the batting averages of every single starting player in Baseball’s major leagues for the previous year but could not do simple math in my head. A teacher in that year called me “stupid,” in front of the class while I was at the chalkboard when the numbers in front of me became a blur, and my mind shut down. She was the teacher…so she must have been correct. I went back to my desk, shamed, and cried. She told the other students to ignore me, that I was only looking for attention … she was wrong. Attention has long been my biggest nightmare. I have never sought out the spotlight and the thought of standing up in front of even the smallest of crowds still makes my knees tremble even today at age 56. Every day at work requires 20 minutes of meditation before I can step in front of the cameras and do what I do.


I had never heard the term “dyslexia” before the 5th grade but at least my loving parents now had a reason to help them understand my low reading skills and my struggle with spelling.  As crazy as this might sound, writing has become one of my greatest passions. When I was younger writing was a 3-headed beast that I could not slay.  Even today it takes me many more hours to write and spell check the simplest of paragraphs and I am sure you have caught more than a few mistakes in my proofreading. 


I still dread hitting the “send key,” wondering what my brain might have missed and worried that I might be found out.  That fear does not prevent me from writing.  It only inspires me to work harder and overcome. There are few roadblocks in life unless you consider them to be so… only obstacles.


I had no clue that I was color blind until my junior year in High School when a text book with pretty circles with numbers in them, showed me a number that my classmates did not see. I have since found out that 8% of males and 0.5% of women are effected by the same affliction. It never bothered me.  I am an emotional guy by nature and a sunset to me is just as impactful as is might be to you.  I may not see the colors you see but I feel everything you do, maybe even more.  It has only been in the last few years that I have grown comfortable enough in my own skin that I have mentioned my color blindness while on air.  It is the least of my afflictions and the one that could have cost me my television career at QVC.


 I faked my way through my first 2 years at QVC by studying every aspect of gemstones and jewelry and using descriptive language for colors my eyes could not perceive. My plan worked well until one day when someone back stage accidently got the product line up confused and I presented an amethyst ring as the most beautiful blue topaz…oops.  My boss at the time, and one who will always be a dear friend, called me into his office during a tape review and simply asked me, “Where you even paying attention …are you color blind?”


That was the first time that my limitations were ever questioned at QVC and his response to my answer of, “Yes sir…I am,” was answered with a response I will never forget. “Why didn’t you tell me that when I hired you?”   I told him it was difficult to admit that I was deficient in some areas that come so easily to others and that I didn’t want to let him down or the company.  He stared me straight in the eyes and said, with a smile, “You’re horrible at jewelry, but you’re good at what you do. I’m pulling you from future jewelry shows but let’s find out what you’re really good at.  I didn’t hire you to be like everybody else, I hired you, just to be yourself!”


(me being myself with Paul Kelly)

Dan and Paul.jpg

I was 30 years of age at that time, and I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I teared up in his office that day.  I had spent so much wasted energy trying to “be like everyone else”. Trying to fit into a world I felt anything but comfortable in.  It is hard to admit that my earlier years were fraught with half-truths and even lies to cover my limitations.  This man, (his name is John and he has since moved on from QVC,) could have chastised me.  He could have fired me for lying on air…but he didn’t.  Instead he chose to inspire me to be better than my afflictions.  John if ever read this, thank you for being a leader and not just a boss.


In simple words, he defined what QVC has always been.  I am shorter than average, I have lost most of my hair over the years, my teeth are not perfectly white and straight and I do not fit the common image of what a “TV personality,” represents today in society.  I am just …me.  The people who have employed me over the years have always had one singular commonality. They have only asked for my best, whatever that might be. That gratitude of humanity cannot be fully expressed.


A “handicap,” is only what you believe in yourself, and a label you choose to wear, only if you listen to the negative factors around you. I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams to have been lucky enough to have had those few people around me that decided to label me as just different… not deficient. My parents never gave up. Tutors 5 nights a week for years and a handful of incredible teachers that saw something that even I could not see…. 


(my parents on their wedding day, see any resemblance?)



Mr. Lee, my 7th grade science teacher at Eastwood Middle School, who felt my struggle and took the time to notice the social interactions with me and my friends, who would one day ask me to get up in front of the class each morning …. And tell a joke for extra credit. (It was those extra credit points that allowed me to pass his course.) He knew I needed the positive reinforcement that comes from making others laugh and the acceptance of others that comes from it.


A Sophomore English teacher named David Fruits should have flunked me, but instead gave me a chance at a passing grade if I accepted his challenge of joining his speech and debate team.  As a teacher, he could have over looked me and spent more time on the gifted students, but he didn’t. He changed my life.  The gut wrenching fear of public speaking was less than the fear of failing his class and having to again admit defeat to my parents once again. I accepted his challenge and have been accepting them every day since. I somehow passed grammar and English under his guidance and went on to win 3 national awards for original oratory.


In 2009, thirty years after my high school graduation, I received a phone call at my home from Mr. Fruits.  He had long since retired from teaching but for whatever reason, he had remembered me. I was surprised. North Central High School in Indianapolis was a huge school in 1979.  In the graduating class that I barely made my way through, there have been Space shuttle astronauts, a Navy Admiral, NFL stand outs, and a friend of mine who is a Harvard Law graduate and has been chief counsel to two American Vice Presidents.  But David Fruits called me …   We spoke for over an hour and I continually voiced to him my thankfulness for his kindness and direction.  The conversation ended with him simply saying, “Well Danny, I just tried to make a difference in your life and make you see opportunities that you couldn’t see for yourself.”  Four weeks later his spouse sent me his obituary by e-mail.  He never mentioned his stage 4 cancer in our conversation.


Most of my skill set has been based on verbal skills and memorization.  I wake up each morning at 3:00 AM so that I can devote enough time to my product research because it takes me longer to read than most people.  If you look, you’ll see I rarely have note cards during my presentations.  I memorize everything for that day. I ask someone back stage what colors a product is available in and memorize the colors and the order in which they are displayed. Unlike you, I have learned over the years to read in sentences and full paragraphs instead of individual words.  I will never complain about the extra effort.  I will always and ever be, thankful for the opportunity.


On a balance sheet, my failures far outweigh my success in life, but the failures are all forgotten if you keep striving for successes.  When my daughter was born, I was very worried that my afflictions would become her own, they did not.  She is a brilliant and independent woman with her master’s degree in journalism and doing all she can to change the world for the better.


(my daughter on her wedding day)



I have been happily married for 16 years to a wonderful woman who acknowledges my challenges but refuses to allow me to use them as an excuse in life. 


(my wife Kelly and our beloved Murphy)



I am finally happy.  I might always struggle with a feeling that I am unworthy of my own success, but my own personal score sheet is balanced heavily in favor of joy.  Most of my closest friends have been in my life for 25 years or more …life is good.


You have read my rantings so far so let me finish by saying this. QVC has never been just about “products.”  Those of you who have been fans over the years understand this fact.  It is about people.  Just simple everyday people, who have risen to the challenge of being more than ever expected.  I work with inventors every day who have risked everything to achieve just a tiny slice of the “American dream.”  I don’t work on commission, and none of my fellow hosts do, but I hope that my presence and my efforts have made a difference in those individuals’ lives.  That is my greatest success.  I have been blessed to have made a pretty good living over the years and my gratitude towards QVC for giving me that opportunity is without measure.


I hope that the message that I try my best to voice every day, inspires someone to do more than they ever thought capable of….  If I can do it, anyone can.  We limit ourselves only by what we except within.


My favorite quote is, “We cannot change those things that we tolerate.”  I do not know who said it, and I do not wish to plagiarize, but it has long been my mantra and a phrase I repeat in my head every day. 


(me every day at the Q)



Thanks to all of you, who have allowed me to just be me, for the last 28 years. Thank you for this half of my life.  Thank you for inspiring me with your kindness and thank you for inviting me into your homes.  I look forward to the future and feel blessed every day. 




on ‎06-12-2017 01:28 PM

THANK YOU FOR SHARING!!!!  May GOD continue to bless you and through you . . us.  You are an inspiration!!!


PS. . .You are a "horse person". . .as am I. . .That REALLY elevates you in my book :-)  

on ‎06-12-2017 01:30 PM

I didn't mean to add the spoiler icon. . . geez. . .and OOPS!  


on ‎06-12-2017 01:44 PM

Thank you for sharing and I wish you continued success!

Image result for small smiley face images

on ‎06-12-2017 01:53 PM

Thanks Dan for sharing.  You have always been one of my favorites :-)

by Logansgram
on ‎06-12-2017 01:58 PM

I have never posted before.  I have been a QVC customer for the entire time you have been on the air.  I even have a 25 year pin.  The reason for joining and posting is to express my appreciation for your post.  You have accomplished the most important thing in life.  To believe in yourself and to be happy.  Thank you so much for the most inspiring post I have ever read.  I hope you continue to be a QVC host for as long as you desire!

on ‎06-12-2017 02:29 PM

how inspiring!  i have always enjoyed the good vibes i get from you - and always always pay attention when you give a product a high recommendation.  you are a good reason to tune in to QVC -  and always a pleasure to watch.  glad to know you are at a good place in life.  wishing you good health and good times 

on ‎06-12-2017 02:57 PM
You are your authentic self Dan. So many people never, ever find their true self. Thank you for sharing. You are an inspiration for people to never give up, never quit. I never noticed you don't use note cards. THAT is impressive! You are smarter than you give yourself credit >>>>> memorizing it all???? Great job!!!
by laurenmouse
on ‎06-12-2017 03:07 PM


Your post is beautiful, positive, and inspiring.  It reminded me that each of us is challenged in some way and it is up to us to decide how we go forward.  Wishing you the best and thankful that you decided to share your story with us.

on ‎06-12-2017 03:29 PM

Fabulous, fabulous blog!  Thank you for sharing.  Congratulations on these past 28 years,  and much continued success and happiness always Dan!!

on ‎06-12-2017 06:19 PM

Dan.... what an inspiring story.... please know that you are important.... you have a lot to offer.... no matter what you may feel are shortcomings, we all have some....

on ‎06-12-2017 07:13 PM

 Thank you for keeping it real. Courage is admitting you are not perfect,that's ok none of us are.You know who you are,and for admitting what you see is faults,to me is bravery. Never change that positive attitude.Your experiences can inspire others,that all is not lost. Thank you!


on ‎06-12-2017 07:45 PM

Thank you for sharing your personal and inspiring journey.  God bless.

on ‎06-12-2017 07:45 PM

God Bless you Dan!  I have always enjoyed the times were are on, keep up the good work!  You are an inspiration!

by Darlene G
on ‎06-12-2017 07:54 PM

Hi Dan, Congratulations on many accomplishments!  Life is always a mirarcle, we only limit ourselves.  You are blessed in many ways!  Darlene

on ‎06-12-2017 08:12 PM

 Thank you Dan for sharing your inspiring story!! It touched my heart.You are such a wonderful host I would never have guessed that you had issues.Your professionalism & personality shine through!! I love watching you.And now will enjoy watching you even more!! Your story is a reminder that if there is a will there will always be a way. 

  Dan you have just inspired a lot of people. God bless!!

by GrandmaBABC
on ‎06-12-2017 08:12 PM

Dan, You are a true inspirtation.  I have appreciated you always on the Q and to know your deepest feelings and the masterful way you have compensated or overcome limitations.  Being a retired teacher I also give accolades to those that saw the great abilites and qualities in you.  Keep going forward and God Bless you richly.

by queen of quite alot
on ‎06-12-2017 08:15 PM

I have always enjoyed you as a show host.I find you to be a genuine, and kind person. I understand by this post (or whatever it's called),you are and have become these things from trial by fire.  QVC owes the person who originally hired you a big thanks!! Now, don't go and get a big head!LOL.   

by Mop Maid
on ‎06-12-2017 08:29 PM

Hi Dan, Remember when you were the new guy. Use to watch you in the early morning hours. You always had a nice kind voice. Enjoyed you way back then and still do! Enjoy your presentations. God Bless you and your Parents. Kelly for taking great care of you! Keep blogging enjoy you!


by a4bella
on ‎06-12-2017 08:29 PM

Thank you for sharing your life's journey....I am sorry you had such a rough start but it has molded you into the talented, warm hearted human being that enters my home several times a week on TV...I thoroughly enjoy you and your genuine personality...May God continue to Bless you with much success, health, peace, love and happiness... Happy 28th Anniversary !

by mommykins
on ‎06-12-2017 08:30 PM

Dan , you are a genuine person and you convey that across television. Your story touched me , my oldest daughter is an adult now but she struggled with ADHD as a child and some even now. My husband has dislexia, and I've helped him through the years how to cope. I'll also add that your story was very well written as well. Thank you for sharing.

on ‎06-12-2017 08:31 PM

Dan, I feel like you are family -  Love you -  God Bless

by nanarie
on ‎06-12-2017 08:32 PM

I have enjoyed your presence on QVC for almost as long as you have been there. Love your story.

by marinemom01
on ‎06-12-2017 08:51 PM

Dan...You make me smile every day!  Your story dosnt surprise me, as I have found that to be truly happy, you have to work at it, and your joy for life shines through. 


I love it when your puppies are on air, and enjoy seeing your wife (even if she dosnt like camera time)  lol


I wish you all the best, and am one of your biggest fans!

by Sunshine58
on ‎06-12-2017 08:55 PM

A beautiful story from a handsome guy...inside and out!  Your voice and demeanor is very calming.  I love your presentations!  Blessings!!

on ‎06-12-2017 08:56 PM

Wow! You are an amazing person.  I usually watch you in the mornings when u are on.  I often marvel at your expertise in presenting things.  Good luck in all of your future endeavors because you are a success in what u do everyday.  Thanks for your story.  I have taught many elementary children who have been successful aduls who have struggled throughout their lives. You are an inspiration to us all.

by DreamofJeannie1
on ‎06-12-2017 08:57 PM


You are a remarkable man.  Congratulations on 28 years with QVC.  I always enjoy hearing about your

camping episodes, your antique car business and stories about your fur babies, oh yes and your wife Kelly.  lol

Keep up the good work on QVC.  I love to watch you and I love to shop!!!!



by 416jerseygirl
on ‎06-12-2017 08:59 PM



you are a winner in my opinion. Have ing the courage to share your story means a lot to me. We are have problems but sometimes we feel alone. Your story is encouraging. Many more happy years in all your endeavors QVC and outside. 



by cfanny
on ‎06-12-2017 09:25 PM

I have watched you from the beginning and never would have guessed how much you have to prepare for your presentations. My husband had many things to over come in school over the years too, and he was considered stupid and a problem child by his parents. He did not get support at all and thought he was what they told him he was over the years. When I met him as a teenager at age 14 I realized his home life was very different and his parents were odd. I saw a whole different person in him. He was so intelligent it was spooky to me. We met in 9th grade, married at 18, and after his second time to attend college at age 50 he was asked by the professor in the astrology dept to work on a theory he was presented by my husband. He was designated a genius IQ and yet failed miserably in regular school growing up. He truly is a kind, dedicated man of God, and has done so many things to help others. I tell you this story because many people who were in school back then were so misunderstood. I am SO glad you have told us your story! You are indeed a HUGE HUGE HUGE success! Your own dedication to learning, being on deck to do things differently than others, your articulate, detail oriented personality are so appreciated. I have watched you and realized you have tendencies that I recognized that I too have. You are also a highly sensitive individual even if you don't realize it. Those qualities you exhibit are part of it. All I can say is "WOW!" You have done so much after such a different school journey in your youth. WE are all proud of you and all that you do! We are so glad you are at QVC. You are such a good host! Keep on doing what you do and know we deeply appreciate you.

by SimplyDi
on ‎06-12-2017 09:43 PM

Congratulations and God bless for just being YOU.


‎06-12-2017 09:48 PM - edited ‎06-13-2017 06:29 AM

I have a grandson (now an adult) who had dyslexic issues similar to yours.  The early school years were torture for him also because of a lack of understanding by school personnel.  His salvation was attending a school for dyslexic children from grade 4 on, where he received an education by people knowledgeable about the needs of these children.


The author, Vince Flynn, had dyslexia and became a successful writer.  I applaud you for the success you have achieved and wish you well.  I enjoy your presentations.

by Ranchomom
‎06-12-2017 10:02 PM - edited ‎06-12-2017 10:03 PM

It has been a pleasure watching your presentations. You vocal tone is kindly and easy to understand. It feels very heartfelt too.

Life is funny sometimes how a TV company that sells things could also teach, cooking, home repair, understanding the new technologies.  Your hosting makes QVC better.  Thanks for what you do. 

on ‎06-12-2017 10:08 PM

Thank You for sharing your story Dan. I've been with QVC for 22 years this coming Sept. 13th. I have watched you many a time and you have always done a great job. I applaud you for overcoming your many obstacles. You are a true professional.

by subabi
on ‎06-12-2017 10:28 PM

Thanks for sharing your amazing life story with us.  I enjoy watching you even though I may not be interested in a particular product.  Love your humor!  Blessings to you and Kelly.


by mausel
on ‎06-12-2017 10:32 PM

Totally inspiring story, Dan!  Thank you for sharing.  You are a wonderful host  and QVC is a wonderful place to work.  I consider everyone at QVC family.  I wish you continued success.  God Bless!!!


by Mrs Chris P
on ‎06-12-2017 11:00 PM
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm sorry you had struggles in your childhood, but so happy you had teachers and parents that saw what you didn't see in yourself. My favorite things about you is that you are real and funny. You are an inspiration to all of us!
on ‎06-12-2017 11:04 PM

Dan, I have always looked forward to your presentations. Your hours of preparations show in your work.

It is inspiring to hear how you have overcome, and pospered. 

Don't be afraid to share your story. It is an important one.










by teachgrd3
on ‎06-12-2017 11:14 PM

Dan, your success is well earned and deserved! I've always enjoyed watching you on QVC, never imagining all that you do in preparation for your job. As a retired teacher, I'm sorry for those early experiences in your school years. I'm thankful that you had some special teachers who cared, and of course your loving parents who helped. Be proud, Dan! You've done so well! We all love you! 

on ‎06-12-2017 11:31 PM



Thank you for sharing your personal life story.  It was inspiring, humbling and written from the heart.


I was so very surprised to learn that you have to meditate before going on the seem so naturally comfortable in front of the camera!  I agree with others comments that you are very pleasant to watch and listen to during presentations.  You're always very descriptive, thorough and have a calm demeanor about you.  And that little hint of humor always comes through, making you so easy to relate to!   You have really come a long way to get where you are and should be very proud of yourself!  I feel your story could really help others with similar learning disabilities see that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel if they just persevere!


Congratulations on your 28 years with QVC and hope you have many more to come!

on ‎06-12-2017 11:34 PM

Dan, I am also someone who always felt like a square peg in a round hole - but I keep on keeping on. We all have things in our lives to deal with - and, most of the time, it's not as serious or important as we thought. I've been watching u for many years - and always enjoy ur shows. Being different sometimes makes the person more interesting. If u feel short, hang around a few Jews (like me) or Italians - and, I'm sure, you'll feel tall. Dan, I was 4'11-3/4" in high school. Never had my height taken thru the years. A few weeks ago, I went to the doctor for a routine checkup and they took my height --- 4'10". I was so shocked that I shrunk almost 2". Nothing I could do - especially at my age of 76 yrs young. I enjoyed reading ur post and I'll see u again on the Q. Sandy, Oxnard, CA

by Jhawks1
on ‎06-12-2017 11:38 PM

I always enjoyed watching you and know you must be a very kind person. You have such a nice way about you.  I liked you before but after reading your story I like you even more.  Thank you for not giving up on yourself and for all the hard work you have gone through.  Continue on and thanks for talking about yourself.

by wishdreambelieve
on ‎06-12-2017 11:42 PM

What an inspiring story and thanks for shareing it wirh everyone.  I look forward to see you on the Q.  God Bless you and your family

by mayford
on ‎06-13-2017 12:08 AM

Dan, thank you for such an honast and heartwarming story of your life so far.  You are a "real" person, I've always thought that watching and listening to you on QVC.  I've been a fan of yours since the start and I've been with QVC almost from the beginning  when Kathy Levine and Steve Bryant were hosts and your network has sure come along way since then.  Keep up the good work, I know you will and just be yourself as you always have.  Thank you again

on ‎06-13-2017 01:54 AM

Dan, what an amazing history you've had. I wish your blog could be mandatory reading for all teachers and students. What a huge help you could be to so many people. Thank you for sharing your personal journey. Just fantastic.

by TexasKittyKat
on ‎06-13-2017 05:57 AM

Dan, you have always been one of my fave hosts. You were just! To learn of all your 'challenges' and see how you've overcome each and every single one just makes you even more special. So thankful you didn't crawl under a stone and feel sorry for yourself. Your willingness to share your story just proves your maturity, wholesomeness and love of mankind. What courage!!! My sincere hope is that you will touch many lives through your vulnerability. Only because of you, David, Rick, Antonella, Mary Beth, Mary, Kerstin, Nancy, Rachel and Sharon (not one of you more than the other) that I still tune into QVC, ultimately still purchase items offered. The other hosts lack 'genuine-ness', politeness to the folks offering their goods and kindness to buyers. Bragging and speaking over presenters and folks offering testimonials is just plain rude! Your endearing way of bringing Kelly and your puppies to life for us is precious--not overdone, arrogant or boastful. Other hosts could take MANY lessons from you! Truly, if you were my next door neighbor or personal friend, what a special blessing that would be! Continued success and happiness!

on ‎06-13-2017 06:59 AM

You've found a way to make things work for you.  Often times we look back and can identify that one special teacher that went out of their way to help us.  Hope you hang around QVC for a few more years.

on ‎06-13-2017 07:15 AM

Love you, Dan. Thanks for sharing your story.  Looking forward to seeing you on QVC for many more years.


by sweetmormor
on ‎06-13-2017 07:25 AM

Dan, I have always enjoyed your sincere and honest approach as a QVC host! Your many hurdles have made you an exceptional man and you are such fun to watch and you start my day off just right! I admire you for opening up about your struggles and how you have used them as stepping stones to success. You will be a great incentive to others facing similar issues! Bless you, your daughter and sweet Kelly in years to come. Give hugs to your doggies too! Congrats on your anniversary! Looking forward to sharing a cup of coffee with you for many more years!👏👏👍

by NaniBurnette
on ‎06-13-2017 07:44 AM

Dan, thank you for sharing your story, you are a great host and I had the pleasure of meeting you on my QVC tour last year. You were about to go live, but let the group I was with go on the stage and take pictures and I will never forget that.  I wish you many many more years with QVC.


by Slechaton
on ‎06-13-2017 08:00 AM

Thank you for sharing.  Kind and authentic are words I would use to describe you before reading this.  The Q is lucky to have you.  Your story is so inspiring!  God bless you and your family.  Keep being you!!!

by Babe
on ‎06-13-2017 08:34 AM

Have been a long time customer of the Q and you have always been one of my favorite hosts. Just being yourself on air is what makes you so good at what you do. Thanks for sharing your life's story and may God continue to bless you and your family with all his riches 🙏