The Untold Truth Of Good Bones' Karen Laine

There are a lot of great home renovation shows out there, but one of the best is undoubtedly Good Bones, which focuses on the mother and daughter duo of Karen Laine and Mina Starsiak and their home renovation company, Two Chicks and a Hammer. Karen brings a lot to the show, but there's a lot more to the HGTV star than her ability to turn a run-down home into a work of art.

Karen makes fixing up a home look so easy on Good Bones that it seems like she's been doing it for her whole life, but she hasn't. Before starting Two Chicks and a Hammer with her daughter, Karen worked as an attorney. She didn't give up her profession after starting the company, either. "I am still a practicing lawyer, I am sorta on sabbatical," Karen told PopSugar in 2017. "I've gotten rid of most of my clients but I still have a few left."

How did a lawyer become such an expert at home renovation? "We are self-taught," Karen told IndyStar. "We read books, we watch YouTube videos, and we read directions. That's key — it's amazing what you can learn when you read the directions."

Good Bones' Karen Laine has a lot of hobbies

In 2019, Good Bones' Karen Laine announced that she was stepping back from Two Chicks and a Hammer. The reality star revealed in a blog post that she has a lot of hobbies she plans to focus on in her retirement. She wrote that her retirement means she has more time to spend with her husband, Roger, as well as her mom. She also enjoys sailing, fishing, mushroom hunting, kite flying, yoga, camping, hiking, gardening, riding her motorcycle, and attending music festivals.

Even though she's retired from the family business, Karen has no plans of retiring from Good Bones and plans to do even more DIY projects for the show. "I have complete confidence that the company Mina and I founded, based on the novel idea of improving neighborhoods by rehabilitating the worst houses in a neighborhood, one house at a time, has a bright future!" she wrote. "I won't be far, and will likely just be puttering in the yard!"

Good Bones' Karen Laine doesn't like to be called a house flipper

While many people would call the practice of fixing up a home and then selling it at a profit house flipping, Karen Laine is adamant that this is not what she and Mina do. Instead, she views herself and her daughter as rehabbers who don't just give a house a fresh look but truly give it a whole new life.

"We truly are rehabbing neighborhoods," she told IndyStar. "If we were flipping, we wouldn't strip down to studs, install new electrical, new HVAC, new plumbing or whatever else needs to be done. This is rehab. These houses need a good 12-step program."

Rehabbing homes in her hometown of Indianapolis isn't just a business, it's a labor of love. The Good Bones star truly loves her community and told PopSugar that the best part of rehabbing homes in the area is the opportunities it brings to others. "We have this opportunity for local people to apply their trade and grow in their chosen career, which is a beautiful thing to watch," she said.

Karen Laine of Good Bones is very close to her daughter

Working so closely with her daughter is fun for Karen Laine, but it's also a bit of a challenge. Filming Good Bones means that it's easy for arguments to break out, but Karen pointed out that there's a distinct advantage in your business partner being your daughter.

"That's the value of being mother and daughter — she's not going to lose me," she told IndyStar. "I'm always going to love her and think she's awesome and have her back. I know that's our default position. It's not like two business partners who can just go their separate ways."

As Mina Starsiak Hawk explained to the outlet, she and Karen aren't just business partners or family — they're friends.

Good Bones' Karen Laine has a hidden tattoo

Karen Laine might come across as being rather serious minded on Good Bonesshe is a lawyer, after all — but Karen isn't as strait-laced as she seems. In a Season 4 episode, her daughter, Mina Starsiak Hawk, loses the keys to a home down a drain. Karen drops down to retrieve them and, while pulling her back up, Mina accidentally reveals her mom's back.

The scene provides viewers with a glimpse of Karen's massive tattoo which covers her entire back. While the camera didn't zoom in on the ink, House Beautiful noted that the image appears to be of a koi fish.

The news that Karen has a huge tattoo came as a surprise to many, although she hasn't been quiet about her body art. In a 2018 interview with Marketplace Events (via House Beautiful), Karen said that people are typically shocked to hear of her tattoo, which she said "goes from the nape of my neck, covers my back, and extends down the backs of my thighs."

Good Bones star Karen Laine brought some serious girl power to the home renovation industry

Any viewer of HGTV knows that women can crush it in the home renovation industry, but there are unfortunately still a lot of skeptics out there. Karen Laine broke a lot of ground when she and her daughter started Two Chicks and a Hammer, but she still had to deal with sexism at some points in her career.

As Karen told the IndyStar, she has sometimes gotten some "sass" from men in the industry. She explained that she often worked with middle-aged men who have been in the industry for a long time, but she won't put up with them being "mouthy," as letting things slide would lead to them disrespecting her. "If I'm your boss, you don't get to be disrespectful," said the Good Bones star.

While she may have had to put up with naysayers, Karen has proven over the years that she definitely knows what she's doing.

Good Bones' Karen Laine cares a lot about her fans

While some celebrities may find themselves too busy to interact much with their fans, Karen Laine isn't one of them. The Good Bones star cares a lot about her fans, and she makes sure to set aside time to engage with each one who reaches out to her.

Karen told PopCulture that many of her fans reach out to tell her how Good Bones has impacted their lives, and hearing these stories means a lot to her. She also enjoys hearing about their own renovation projects and even asks for pictures of what they're working on. "I answer every message I get on social media," she said, adding that she also responds to the few snail mail letters she gets.

Karen is touched "that people care and that they're watching" her on Good Bones and loves knowing that she inspires so many people who watch the show. "That's job security for me," she said. "I like it."

This is why Good Bones' Karen Laine went back to school

Between her law career, her home renovation business, and her reality star status, Good Bones' Karen Laine has had more careers than most people. She's not one to take things easy, though. After she announced that she was stepping back from Two Chicks and a Hammer, she revealed to PopCulture that she was going to use some of her newly freed up time to start yet another career.

Karen's new career path will require her going back to school — divinity school, to be specific. She joked that it might seem like going to law school "would be enough" schooling. But she's always dreamed of preaching, and divinity school will help her reach that goal. Retiring from her company has not only provided her with more time to finally pursue her dream, but also the money to afford going back to school. "I'm excited," said Karen.

After leaving Good Bones, Karen Laine started a nonprofit

How does Karen Laine find so much time? Sure, leaving Two Chicks and a Hammer might have freed up some hours, but that doesn't explain how she has found the time to juggle school, family, Good Bones, and the nonprofit she started after leaving her company.

Karen's 501c3, Indy Home, is another way that she is showing her love for Indianapolis. The Good Bones star has spent years fixing up homes in her city, but her nonprofit is a way for her to help people in the city who don't have homes. Karen told PopCulture that the concept behind Indy Home, known as "Housing First," is "controversial" as it aims to "address homelessness" by giving people a home.

Karen explained that when people are required to give something up, such as "a pet, or a loved one" before they find housing, "they're going to resist being in a home." She believes that by giving people a place "where they feel secure," then their "first basic need is being met," which can lead to a better life.