What Ben And Erin Napier Did Before Becoming HGTV Stars

The story of how Ben and Erin Napier landed their HGTV show, "Home Town," is pretty legendary at this point. As E! News details, they were minding their own business, trying to make their beloved hometown of Laurel, Mississippi, shine, when HGTV came calling. 

Nobody was more surprised than them, with Ben admitting, "It's pretty unexpected. This was not something that we thought about or dreamed of." Erin even described the duo landing their own show as "a happy accident."

HGTV boasts plenty of down-to-earth stars, but there's something particularly special about the Napiers and how unassuming they are. In an interview with E! News, the reality stars explained that the appeal of "Home Town" comes from watching them brighten up under-loved areas of Laurel. 

In fact, Erin described the show as "like a documentary of us just being at home." She also reiterated that they never expected anybody to care what they were doing around Laurel, outside of those who live there.

Unsurprisingly, then, Ben and Erin were plenty busy elsewhere when HGTV initially discovered them — even assuming producers were making contact for an entirely different reason.

The HGTV stars had a lucrative business prior to landing their show

Ben and Erin Napier are so adorable — and their unbridled enthusiasm for Laurel so infectious — that it's impossible to imagine them doing anything else for a living. 

However, as Closer Weekly points out, prior to landing "Home Town," the Napiers owned a successful press lettering company. In fact, upon being contacted by HGTV, Ben and Erin figured they just wanted to place a stationery order. 

Ben previously served as a youth minister for Laurel's First United Methodist Church. He left in 2014 to pursue his passion for woodworking and dedicate more time to their growing business. 

Erin, meanwhile, worked as a designer in the technology sector but dreamed of becoming her own boss. She started a blog to share her impressive designs with the world, and it caught the attention of the powers that be at HGTV. Per House Beautiful, producer Lindsey Weidhorn discovered the Napiers through the #ILiveInLaurel hashtag.

Erin didn't understand why they were being approached to appear on TV, acknowledging she didn't think anything would come of it. "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," she said. "So, we had fun and never had any expectations." 

Naturally, everybody fell in love with not just Laurel but the Napiers themselves — and the "happy surprise" has more than paid off.

Ben and Erin Napier never expected to become famous

"Home Town" made them nationwide stars, but being on TV isn't always as glamorous as it appears on the surface. HGTV's Erin Napier recently got candid about parenting as a TV personality, admitting during an appearance on "Today" that it can be tough to make time for her family with everything else going on. 

As husband Ben Napier revealed in an interview with Atlanta magazine, "The worst part of fame is finding ways to keep Helen protected from it." Their daughter is frequently approached when she's out in public by fans eager to say hello and meet her parents, but Helen obviously doesn't understand what's going on and, crucially, didn't ask to be put in that position, either. 

"We know we can't give Helen the childhood we had because of our careers and how our lives have changed," Ben acknowledged. "But regardless, we want to provide her with a loving set of parents who are present and protect her." Furthermore, as Erin stated plainly, "Work is never more important than Helen." 

Fame can be daunting at times, but the Napiers' secret weapon is each other, with their longtime relationship establishing a solid foundation they can cling to in the tougher moments. As Ben told People proudly, "We approach everything as a team." 

They might never have envisioned becoming HGTV stalwarts, but, no matter what happens, the lovable couple is prepared to face it together.