Ben and Erin 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 five seasons of their successful HGTV show, viewers have also fallen in love with Erin and Ben's sweet love story.
The Home Town stars have been married for 13 years and their lovable personalities and obvious talent have made them fan favorites. Ben, a woodworker and former minister, and Erin, an artist and designer, are open about how much they lean on one another and why they love working side by side with their best friend.
"Ben and I are attached at the hip, spending every waking (and sleeping) moment side by side," Erin wrote on Instagram in 2016. "He was my biggest crush of all time and I get butterflies at the mention of his name."
So how did the couple meet? Read on to learn more about their adorable love story and family.
How Did Ben and Erin Napier Meet?
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," Erin 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.
Now, the couple is set to appear in a Christmas rom-com — one that's home-renovation themed, of course.
"We filmed our parts in Laurel 3 days in August when the high was 103° so I need y'all to appreciate how not sweaty we may appear to be here," Erin wrote on Instagram. "It's a renovation story within a love story within a Christmas story (and it honestly looks pretty cute)."
A Christmas Open House premieres on Discovery+ on Nov. 11, 2022.
How Many Kids Do Ben and Erin Napier Have?
Ben and Erin Napier have two kids, daughters Helen and Mae. Erin has said she learned a lot from her own mom when it comes to parenting.
"We butted heads when I was in high school over a lot, but she gave me the freedom to make my own decisions on so much," Erin told Southern Living, recalling how her mom encouraged her to try out for cheerleading. "I hated it... [My mom] said 'Don't do it if you don't want to,' and she truly meant it. She never forced me to keep doing it, but she always made sure we tried everything once."
Earlier this year, Erin released her first children's book, The Lantern House, and celebrated her baby girl Helen turning one. The artist says she and her husband love sharing their passion for restoring houses with their girls.
"I want to teach our girls why we do what we do," Erin told TODAY. "Why do we care so much about restoring old houses?"
Helen Napier, 4
Four-year-old Helen is the eldest daughter of the Napiers. The couple frequently shares photos of their life in the country and they enjoy teaching their children about life on the farm.
"Ben has had this really strong urge to have a garden. He's got tomatoes and green beans planted," Erin told TODAY. "Helen is enjoying helping him tend to the garden. Mae is enjoying babbling and crawling and crafts."
Erin also shared how she and Ben balance their work and home life.
"Every day at lunch we come home and eat with the girls, and we see them at least once or twice between eight and five," she said. "It's a very strange career we found ourselves in, and we want the girls to be a part of our life in every way."
Mae Napier, 1
The couple welcomed their second child, a baby girl named Mae Napier (named after Erin's Aunt Mae), on May 28, 2021.
"While we are excited to have another daughter to love, we are more excited to see the bond she and Helen will have. They're already so in love with each other!" the couple told PEOPLE.
People reports that the couple found out the news last September, while filing their hit home renovation series in their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi and their new show, Home Town Takeover, in Alabama.
"We were like, 'Ooh, this is going to be tough, but we can do it,'" Erin told PEOPLE. "We don't remember anything, but I'm glad somebody was filming all of it."
The couple shared the news on the April 11 episode of Home Town, featuring Ben's brother Jessie and his wife Lauren.
"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 Napier wrote on Instagram.
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