Ben and Erin Napier transformed their town, and 'Home Town' transformed their lives
Laurel, Mississippi, was a struggling place not that long ago. A young couple named Ben and Erin Napier moved there, fixed up an old house, and posted their progress online. And one night, a TV producer came calling.
That call led to the hit HGTV show “Home Town,” where the Napiers renovate homes and businesses all over Laurel with the help of friends, family and a bunch of dad jokes.
The show has run for seven seasons, and on April 23 HGTV premiered the second season of a spinoff show, called “Home Town Takeover,” where the Napiers work on transforming a different town — in this case, Fort Morgan, Colorado.
The Napiers have turned little Laurel into a tourist attraction. People have moved there because the show led them to visit. Along the way, the Napiers have spent a lot of time working out how to navigate their fame — especially for their two young daughters. They’ve also thought a lot about what other small towns can do to revitalize themselves.
I checked in with the Napiers while they were in New York City promoting “Home Town Takeover.”