Creative Genius: Clint Harp of Harp Design Co. and HGTV

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As shut buddies of Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper, Clint Harp and his spouse Kelly are not any strangers to taking one thing that appears as if it has no hope and turning it into one thing superb. “Chip and Joanna can take an entire mess and make it really feel like residence virtually in a single day. I’ve seen it now again and again. It’s really a present,” says Clint, the co-founder (alongside together with his spouse Kelly) of Harp Design Co. But as Joanna’s carpenter of selection, Clint has a present of his personal — taking recycled and reclaimed wooden, often discovered objects, and creating stunning, one-of-a-kind items meant to deliver households collectively.

“When we first began, the need for the corporate got here from a hope to see folks collect round tables once more — to prepare dinner collectively, eat collectively, discuss collectively, and finally simply be collectively,” explains Clint. He and his spouse needed to see households coming collectively, and that course of really introduced their household nearer. “That’s not as a result of it’s been simple, however often because it’s been one of many hardest issues we’ve ever carried out. Kelly and I’ve cried, argued, burdened, laughed and brought one of many greatest leaps of blind religion we have now ever taken. And we wouldn’t commerce it for the world.”

When Clint and Kelly had a chance to affix their buddies Chip and Joanna on their own episode of Fixer Upper, they have been able to take one other leap of religion. And the end result was equally rewarding.  

Q: We know that Joanna Gaines has nice fashion and has expressed that she loves your work. What do you suppose units you and your organization, Harp Design Co., other than others in the identical line of labor?

A: True story: I met Chip at a gasoline station on a day after I was actually second guessing my choice to go away a six-figure medical gross sales job (particularly since we have been out of cash, dwelling in a small residence with two youngsters, and I didn’t actually have a store but). Chip talked about that his spouse needed so as to add furnishings to her rising product line. Of course I used to be nice with that! But he additionally saved saying, “I don’t know. It simply looks as if it is perhaps one thing extra.” So he invited me and my household over for dinner three nights later, and Jo advised that I construct a number of items from designs she drew up. Then we might try to promote them at her subsequent residence sale. Of course, with out a store, I used to be somewhat involved, however due to the director of Waco’s Habitat for Humanity, at simply the correct time, I used to be afforded the chance to lease Habitat’s previous store for $25/month.

Chip really took me in his truck to select up my instruments from our storage shed to take to my new store. He dropped me and my instruments off on the store and simply stated, “Alright! Get to work!” I arrange my store and bought going. I nonetheless hadn’t had an excessive amount of follow turning desk legs, so I labored a bit on my lathe. One day specifically I attempted to make a leg, and it took me mainly all day, and by the point I used to be carried out, I didn’t even prefer it. That expertise, coupled with rising monetary stress and only a normal doubt in myself, nearly broke me down. I felt like a failure. My spouse favored the leg, and my youngsters took it and lined it in encouraging stickers. I took it again to the store and leaned it within the nook. A few weeks later, Jo stopped by with designs, and she or he actually needed a turned leg for her farm tables. She seemed over within the nook and noticed the leg lined in my youngsters’ stickers and stated, “That’s it. I like it! Use that for the Magnolia Farms tables.” So ultimately, I assume some issues simply occur as a result of they’re speculated to.

Q: When do you know you needed to be a carpenter?

A: I used to be positively the bizarre child hanging out at a pal’s home saying, “Hey, let’s go construct one thing…like, let’s simply discover some wooden in your dad’s storage and simply make one thing!” Undoubtedly a number of that keenness got here from watching my granddad who has been constructing Colonial-style homes since earlier than I used to be born. He would let me work with him as a child doing the better duties like cleansing up, however simply being round that made me hungry for extra. Watching him notch out large timbers and beams and constructing issues in a means that carpenters have been doing for lots of of years gave me an appreciation for going somewhat bit farther to do issues in a means that may final for a very long time.

Q: You’re used to working for the Gaines household at any time when they want stunning, customized furnishings, however on the Fixer Upper episode, “Urban Cave,” you and your spouse have been in search of their experience for locating and reworking a house. What was it like to change roles?

A: Truly it was nice! In the start we have been all very hesitant, as a result of we needed to guard the friendship we had collectively and the working relationship we had cultivated. We weren’t afraid, however we simply needed to watch out. I believe it’s the cautious consideration all of us used earlier than we even started that actually made the entire thing an amazing expertise. Ultimately trusting Jo with design was not an issue in any respect. I might hand that lady probably the most screwed up home and at all times believe that she may flip it into an incredible residence. Kelly and I’ve seen them take among the greatest messes and make absolute masterpieces, so we have been at all times assured they may pull it off.

Q: The second residence the Gaines confirmed you was such a multitude (the outside had bullet holes!), and also you even described it as “horrifying.” But finally, what made you select that home?

A: If you’re going to go for it, you would possibly as effectively go huge! My spouse felt good about it, and I’ve realized to go along with her intestine, as a result of she’s a brave particular person and in addition very sensible. If she was in, I used to be in. Chip and JoJo beloved the problem and felt good concerning the bones of the home. Once once more, the best way all of it labored out was virtually one thing we couldn’t say no to — like a present we simply needed to go together with. And I’m so glad we did.

Q: Were there ever any moments all through the renovation course of once you questioned for those who and your spouse had made the correct choice?

A: There have been lots. The renovation went actually nice, however even for folks keen to take a danger, you possibly can nonetheless have moments the place the craziness of the state of affairs is simply overwhelming. You end up going, “What are we doing once more? Are we nuts?” We had so many unknowns in our life already, so including this home was simply heaping on the madness. But finally, we wouldn’t commerce it. I assume we had already carried out the comfy life and simply craved the journey. And that’s what we bought — however in one of the best ways potential!

Q: After dwelling within the residence, is there something about it you’d need to change now or want you had splurged on in the course of the renovation?

A: The solely factor I want we had been in a position to do was add an actual fire. We simply finally didn’t have it within the funds. Everything in that home needed to be redone, so we actually have a model new home. I can’t complain, however as a want, a hearth would have been superior.

Q: You weren’t allowed to see the house until all of the renovations have been full. What shocked you probably the most concerning the completed product?

A: Candidly, being so aware of Chip and Jo’s work gave Kelly and me a confidence of their talents that actually virtually took out the factor of shock when it comes to the completed product. We knew it could be superb, however what was stunning was how a lot we instantly felt at residence, no matter the truth that simply two months earlier than, the place was an entire pit.

Q: When Joanna requested you to make the entrance door (your first ever), what was going by way of your thoughts?

A: I used to be simply hoping it could be straight! I often don’t get too nervous, however this made me nervous as a result of it was going to be one of many first belongings you noticed on the reveal. Also, I actually make furnishings out of among the most terrible items of wooden, that are often about to be taken to a landfill or burned. This door was made out of wooden which simply seemed horrible. I usually have this expertise at any time when I’m constructing with these supplies the place I discover myself going, “Oh crap, I actually hope I could make this wooden work!” I had that second for positive with this door, however fortunately it labored out.

Q: You additionally made the beautiful picket island for the kitchen, which your spouse determined to cowl with a Carrera marble countertop — a choice with a shocking finish end result. Do you two usually collaborate on items?

A: Thank you, and sure we do. Actually, one of many important causes I flip my very own desk legs is as a result of on the primary desk I made (which I wasn’t actually proud of), Kelly knew I may do even higher. She pushed me to strive one thing completely different than simply straight legs. I went and acquired a lathe with the little cash we had (which was disappearing quick) and simply went for it. Kelly has an amazing eye for design, which I depend on usually. We’re lucky sufficient to work collectively, and we regularly like the identical type of design. I like to let Kelly, and in addition the remainder of our employees (Britt, Jacob, and Melissa), communicate into the design facet.

Q: Lastly, what recommendation would you give to somebody who’s desirous about taking over a fixer higher?

A: 1. Go for it! 2. You could need to surrender…don’t. three. Move to Waco, and apply for the present! On a sensible be aware, as my granddad says, “Do it proper the primary time, so that you don’t have to return and do it once more.” I do every little thing I can to reside by that, and it has at all times served me effectively.

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