Ben and Erin Napier have become household names thanks to the success of their HGTV show, Home Town, which sees the couple renovating homes in Laurel, Mississippi. But, if Ben’s 2013 bid for City Council had been successful, the show would never have made it to air.
“If I won it, we wouldn’t have been able to shoot Home Town,” he told CBS News’ Sunday Morning correspondent Martha Teichner. “I would have poured myself into that, into being, you know, a representative.”
Running as an Independent, his slogan was “Big Ben for Small Business.” Making it a family affair, Erin designed the marketing materials reading, “June 4 is Independent’s Day,” as a play on Independence Day.
“It sort of went over everybody’s head,” Ben explained. He added “She designed these huge vinyl banners that we hung on the sides of abandoned buildings and everybody thought that I was a, that I was a musician. Like, everybody was like, ‘Hey, you’re going to be playing a show on June 4 aren’t you?’ ‘No, I’m running for office.’”
Ben lost the election with 44% of the vote leaving him feeling “unmoored and aimless,” Erin revealed on their Laurel Mercantile blog. Looking back, however, it set the stage for Home Town when an HGTV producer reached out the next year about doing a pilot.
Given his past political aspirations, is another run for public office in his future? When Teichner asked the Scotsman Co. owner that very question, he answered with a resounding no.
“I will absolutely never run for office again,” he declared. His graphic designer wife concurred, “No, never run for office again, please. I can’t take it.”
Ben Believes ‘Home Town’ Has Done More for Laurel Than if He Had Won the Election
“Through this, we’ve been able to accomplish so much more,” the woodworker told CBS News’ Sunday Morning. “Not just in Laurel, but across America. We hear people all the time that are inspired by what has happened in Laurel and they’ve done that in their town.”
The morning program revealed the show’s success has sped up revitalization efforts in Laurel, making it a tourist destination for fans of the show and spurring business growth in the area.
As local business owner Caroline Burks explained, “I jokingly tell tourists that Laurel had a 10-year plan, but the show helped compress that into, you know, three to four years.” Ben gets his hair cut at the barber chair in the back of her men’s clothing store, Guild & Gentry.
The Napiers Are Expecting Their Second Daughter
The Napiers are set to welcome their second daughter any day now. The couple, already parents to 3-year-old Helen, announced their pregnancy to People in April, surprising fans with a May 2021 due date.
“Just like Helen did, her little sister has made it easy to keep her secret by being tiny even now, and I’m deeply thankful that we’ve had almost 8 months of keeping this our news just for our family and close friends,” Erin revealed on Instagram. She also shared a photo of her barely-there bump at 32 weeks.
Their baby will not be the only new addition to the family, as Ben’s brother is also expecting.
“I grew up with built-in best friends,” the soon-to-be father of two wrote on Instagram. “My 3 brothers and I speak our own language and know the dance when it’s time to move a piano into a house together. Helen will have that with her little sister. It makes me even happier to know that there’ll be another Napier baby right around the corner from us.”
Erin is now on maternity leave, wrapping filming on May 7. The couple can currently be seen on Home Town: Takeover where they help revitalize another small town – Wetumpka, Alabama.