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Ben Napier: Small Town Woodworker Turned TV Star

Full Name Benjamin Miller Napier
Age 40
Birthday September 24, 1983
Birthplace Laurel, Mississippi
Spouse Erin Napier
Children Helen, Mae

Ben Napier is an entrepreneur, woodworker, and history buff famous for founding Scotsman Co. and co-owning Laurel Mercantile Co., as well as tirelessly promoting the revitalization of his small hometown of Laurel, Mississippi. As the co-host of HGTV‘s hit show Home Town, Ben has inspired millions with his passion for craftsmanship and community.

Early Life and Education

Born and raised in Laurel, Ben developed a love of woodworking and historic homes as a child. He spent summers working at his grandfather‘s cabinet shop, where he honed his skills under the mentorship of seasoned craftsmen. After graduating high school, Ben headed to the University of Mississippi to study history. It was there he met his future wife, Erin Napier, who shared his passion for historic preservation.

After college, Ben taught high school history and coached basketball for a few years. But in 2008, he and Erin settled back in Laurel to pursue their dream of opening a shop filled with Ben‘s handmade furniture and Erin‘s curated antiques.

Finding His Calling in Laurel

As their store Laurel Mercantile Co. grew, so did Ben and Erin‘s commitment to restoring the historic buildings around downtown Laurel. Ben‘s custom woodworking and Erin‘s interior design transformed eyesores into showstoppers, inspiring the community.

Some of Ben‘s notable projects include rehabilitating the old Laurel train depot into a bustling farmer‘s market, reconstructing the 1920s King‘s Tavern into a local eatery, and rebuilding the Laurel Little Theatre into a cultural hub.

"I‘ve always had a heart for old homes in small towns," Ben told Southern Living. "It‘s so rewarding to turn neglected old places into beautiful, modern homes while preserving their historic charm."

Home Town Success

In 2015, HGTV came calling about featuring Ben and Erin in a show focused on their hometown revitalization work. Home Town was an instant hit, with over 18 million viewers tuning in for the Napiers‘ feel-good brand of small town preservation.

Some of Ben‘s most memorable Home Town renovations include:

  • Rebuilding an 1855 antebellum home using reclaimed heart pine and cypress. Ben‘s custom windows, sliding barn doors, and repurposed architectural details won praise.
  • Transforming a rundown 1905 Victorian by exposing original hardwood floors, rebuilding the wraparound porch, and hand-crafting period-style mantels and trimwork.
  • Restoring a 1940s cottage to its former glory using salvaged materials. Ben‘s passion shone through as he replicated the home‘s original charm.

Today in its sixth season, Home Town remains a ratings juggernaut. As the show‘s success grew, so did Ben and Erin‘s opportunities to invest in Laurel. Their projects have sparked over $17 million in downtown revitalization.

Giving Back

Despite their rise to fame, Ben and Erin remain dedicated to family and community. They are actively involved with Laurel Main Street Association, Habitat for Humanity, and Ben‘s alma mater, the University of Mississippi.

Ben also makes time to mentor local young people interested in preservation trades. "I want to inspire the next generation to keep these skills alive," he told Southern Living.

When he‘s not filming, you can find Ben coaching his daughters‘ sports teams, volunteering at the Laurel Little Theatre, and tending his backyard vegetable garden.

After years of watching Ben Napier‘s heartfelt work, it‘s clear his passion comes from a sincere love of Laurel and its people. He is sure to continue bettering his community, one old house at a time.