Clint Harp has been a staple on HGTV’s hit show “Fixer Upper” since the beginning. His part in the show has turned him into a celebrity and even lead to a deal for his very own television series. His seeming ‘luck’ at having his wildest dreams come true all stemmed from a huge leap of faith in himself. Just six years ago, Harp was in medical sales, but his real passion was building furniture. In the beginning of 2011, his desire to pursue that passion led to him quitting his six-figure job in Houston and dive in feet first. As he explains, “The only way it was going to happen is if I completely went for it.” He had two kids at the time and his wife, Kelly Harp, was a stay-at-home mom. He recalls conversations the two had where they were discussing things like bankruptcy and trying to figure out how to stretch their savings. The summer of that same year, the family moved to a small apartment in Waco so Kelly could pursue her graduate degree. Clint continued with his efforts to launch his furniture business, which was tough in an apartment. The Harps also added a third child, which added to the financial pangs they were really starting to feel. One night over dinner, friends mentioned Chip Gaines, a builder from Waco who owned Magnolia Homes. As Harp was was looking to start picking up work building furniture, he thought of a connection Gaines might know where he could rent a woodworking shop. He gave Gaines a call in December, but never heard back. A few months later, the family pulled into a gas station following an afternoon at the park. Harp recalls that he was unsure if they could even afford to fill up the tank and thinking to himself, “What did I do?” It was then that he saw a Magnolia Homes truck pull in. He approached the driver and asked if he knew owner Chip Gaines. Turns out, the driver was Gaines, and when Harp explained what he wanted to do, Gaines invited him to hang out that afternoon. The two drove around discussing Harp’s idea, and a few nights later the Harps went to the Gaines’ house for dinner. There, the Harps met Chip Gaines’ wife, Joanna, who was selling some home-decor pieces out of her home and looking to add more, including furniture. Harp ended up renting shop space on the cheap from Habitat for Humanity, a charity he’s been involved with for many years. Finally, he had someone to build furniture for, and he was feeling positive about the future of his enterprise. The good fortune was just beginning though. Within a few months, the Gaineses were approached by High Noon Entertainment about developing a television show. Harp says the whole thing seemed insane. “I met Chip at a gas station in February or March of 2012 and by October or November, we’re filming a pilot for HGTV,” he says. His regular gig as Joanna Gaines’s go-to furniture maker on the show has allowed him and Kelly to open up their own store, buy the shop building and commercial-grade tools and even add some employees. What’s more, the couple’s own series, “Wood Work,” aired on the DIY Network earlier this month. Clint typically uses recycled and reclaimed wood from old structures, fallen trees, and scrap piles to build his pieces. “There is the beauty of this idea, of something being left for dead and brought back to life,” Clint told the Austin American-Statesman. “I felt that way about myself. For me, I’m kind of reclaimed as well.” (Sources: Austin American-Statesman, Country Living)
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