HGTV features a lot of fabulous duos who make watching homes being redecorated or flipped that much more exciting. But if you haven't already familiarized yourself with Home Town couple Ben and Erin Napier as they revitalize their small town of Laurel, Mississippi, you're seriously missing out.
Not only are they the perfect team on camera, but the history behind how they met, fell in love, and ended up on television may be worthy of another show entirely. Until that day comes though, here's everything you need to know about the pair.
You pronounce their last name "Nay-pier."
In case you were unsure and never heard them say it before—it's nay, as in "yay or nay" (or neigh like a horse), plus pier (like the landing dock for boats.)
They were surprised by how much having a TV show really feels like a normal job.
"It doesn't feel like a big thing," Ben told CQ. Noting that working from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day isn't as exciting as some might think. Some fans, particularly Laurel residents, tell the HGTV stars how cool it looks to be on TV, but Ben and Erin say it's just a normal job. "We get up, we work with our coworkers, and we go home."
They thought the producer who connected with them via Instagram to do the show was contacting them to buy stationery.
Producer Lindsey Weidhorn fell in love with the couple's small town through the #ILiveInLaurel hashtag, which Erin used on many photos. At the time, they owned a stationery company, so when Lindsey connected with them about the idea of shooting a series in Laurel, they assumed she was contacting them to buy stationery. Instead, she wanted to put them on TV. A not-so-classic mixup.
After hearing this, Erin's initial reaction was that "it would never go anywhere."
"We didn't think it would be possible," she explained. "Why would it be possible to make a TV show in a town like Laurel, Mississippi? We love it very much, but that doesn't mean everyone else would. So we had fun and never had any expectations."
Now, three seasons later, the couple can't believe it ended up the way it did. "I don't think you can ever anticipate something like this. It is such a happy surprise."
Now, there are few days when they're not working.
Between juggling their companies ( and ), a furniture line with , other projects, and the show, they don't have many days off. But when they do get the time to sleep in and relax a bit, Ben shares that they'll opt for a leisurely breakfast together with their daughter.
Because, of course, they get antsy when they're not busy, on the few days they do have off, they'll make projects for themselves to do around their home.
Six days after they met, Ben told Erin he loved her and wanted to marry her.
The , but Erin was in the art school and had crushed on Ben—the popular guy—from afar for a long time before they actually met. So when they finally did, she was ecstatic to hear
They've been married for 10 years now.
Ben wasn't joking! Like he said would happen after six days of knowing Erin, they got married on November 22, 2008. on September 21, 2007. Here's how it happen, as :
Ben asked me to come with him to Square Books so he could get a book for a class. It was his birthday weekend. My roommates said they needed to go there too and asked to come along. Ben went upstairs to “look for his book” while I, Mallorie, Jennifer, Rebecca, and Josh browsed the books downstairs. Jennifer handed me a little handmade leather bound book and told me to read it. It was the story of an unlikely couple who met in college and fell in love fast. I had no idea it was about us at first. Then the couple began sounding a lot like us. Then it was us. And I was shaking all over, anticipating what was going to happen. The last page said, "Come upstairs for the rest of the story."...
I walked up to the balcony where Ben was standing. He took my hand and tried to speak, but he began to cry and so did I. So he leaned down to my ear and whispered this: “You know how much I love you?…And you know I will always take care of you…I talked to mammaw (my grandmother)… and in the words of James Rasberry, 'I’ve got something for you.'" Then he got down on one knee and said:“Will you marry me?”And I couldn’t say yes enough or cry enough. It was the most shocking and beautiful moment of my life.
Erin's Pet Peeve: Ben has a bad habit of leaving his shoes lying around their home.
"His shoes are really really big," Erin spilled, and she's not exaggerating...they're size 14 big. "And I fall over them and I break my toe on his enormous boots that are just everywhere." To this, Ben insisted, "I'm getting better though." Erin didn't agree.
Ben's Pet Peeve: Erin gives Ben hints about things she wants done without actually asking him to do it.
"For instance, she might say 'Man, the garbage is getting full,'" Ben said.
"And he wouldn't take it out just to spite me!" Erin responded. "He's like 'If you want me to take the trash out, just tell me to.'"
Their 1-year-old daughter, Helen, acts as their alarm clock on the days they don't have to wake up early.
Helen wakes up every morning, after sleeping peacefully through the night, and first thing she says—no, she doesn't cry—is "da da." Sometimes Ben will already be outside playing basketball, so Erin will call him in saying, "She's calling for you."
Home Town's cameraman was one of the first people to see Helen in the hospital when she was born.
After working with the same people for so long, the cameras aren't something they even think about anymore. "We've gotten to know our team so well," Ben says and Erin adds, "We're not so guarded...They're like family. It's like just hanging out with family all day."
Every year for their anniversary, Ben makes his wife a book about the best thing that happened every month of that year.
He writes the text throughout the year and then he makes it into an actual book before he gives it to her. Because of their busy schedules, though, it doesn't always happen on their anniversary in November. Sometimes, it ends up being a gift for another special occasion—like Valentine's Day, Christmas, or even Erin's birthday.
"Every year, the cover is related to whatever the traditional anniversary gift is," Erin shares of the gift, the first of which she received during the proposal. One was made of paper, another cotton, a third floral fabric, etc. The original idea was actually inspired by Erin's cousin Mark's "Year in Review" books he had made for his wife. After the first, the rest is history. "He's set the bar high," Erin jokes.
For other special occasions, they give each other books in which they write handwritten notes in the front.
Together, the duo has a collection of books with heartfelt notes from one another inside the cover. Most recently, Erin gave him because, she says, Tom Hanks is "America's Mr. Nice Guy," and Ben is the same way.
They don't do very well away from one another.
"Most couples when they spend too much time together they start to get on each others' nerves...for Erin and I, when we're apart we start to bicker," Ben shares. "So, we do a lot better when we're together."
Erin adds, "We're also both 100 percent for Helen. We do everything together...He gets her up in the morning, and I put her down at night, and we share everything in between, that's the only way we know how to do it."
They are currently doing a huge renovation on their own home.
Currently, the couple's kitchen, pantry, and laundry room are all gutted, their driveway is dug up, and their roof is about to be replaced. Because, as Ben says, "it's time."
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