Home Town's Erin and Ben Napier originally agreed to make a TV show in order to show off their adorable small town they call home: Laurel, Mississippi. But over the past four seasons of their successful HGTV show, viewers have also fallen in love with Erin and Ben's sweet love story.
The HGTV stars first met when they were both attending Jones County Junior College, although they would both go on to Ole Miss. They had seen each other around campus, but it wasn't until a photoshoot for the yearbook, of which Erin was the editor, that they actually were brought together. Ben started a six-day courtship that the couple lovingly references as their "love week," which they still celebrate to this day.
In 2007, Erin was at a bookstore with a friend who gave her a book to read. She quickly realized she was reading her own love story with Ben and the last page instructed her to come upstairs for the final part of the story. Ben proposed and the following year they tied the knot. As if the guy couldn't get more romantic, Ben continues to make Erin different books every year for their anniversary to honor their engagement.
As for their TV careers, that's all thanks to social media. In 2014, Southern Weddings shared the craftsman cottage that the Napiers had restored, which Erin had actually admired since she was a child. An HGTV exec, Lindsey Weidhorn, started following Erin on Instagram because she loved what she saw. Weidhorn also loved all of the photos that Erin shared from around Laurel, using the hashtag #ILiveInLaurel. When Weidhorn originally approached Erin and Ben about a home improvement show they weren't interested. But ultimately they liked the idea of being able to promote the art of renovating and restoring historic homes in their charming small town. Between Ben's woodworker talents and big personality and Erin's charm and artistic skills, the show became an instant hit when it premiered.
On hit series, it's clear that Erin Napier is the more reserved of the two. She has even received hate mail for the way her husband touches her in a loving way on the show. She responded on Instagram with the best response singing Ben's praises for comforting her when she's camera shy.
"The truth of it is, being an extreme introvert complicates my job and I suspect there are more of you out there like me. Being on TV is unnerving for me, and since we met he's always understood," Erin wrote. "Every time he touches my arm, my back, it's letting me know I'm not alone. He's always right there, and then I'm not nervous anymore."
"The biggest piece of advice I've taken away from them is to keep our marriage and our family first--the stuff that's been important to us all along--and as long as you do that, you're going to be fine," Eric said.
Ben says, so far, that approach has worked just fine for them.
"It's Erin and me. Not Erin and me and our moms, not Erin and me and the network, not Erin and me and our fans, if you want to call them that. As far as our marriage goes, it's me and Erin and God. We work everything out together, and everything has worked out so far."
The Napiers keep themselves busy when they aren't helping families with home makeovers on their show. Since 2016 they have worked to reopen the historic general store, Laurel Mercantile Co. in downtown Laurel, which features Ben's woodworking business Scotsman Co. Erin is still taking a break from her stationery company Lucky Luxe, which makes sense since they just welcomed baby girl Helen just two years ago.