DIY Projects

Clint Harp: My Interview With Him At The DIY or Don’t Expo

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Clint Harp! This post is not only about an interview with Clint Harp, who is someone I have admired for a long time, but it is about a girl who started a blog, on a whim, sharing what she loves to do and getting to do things that she never would have dreamed about. I have worked so hard on this blog and my platform and when opportunities like this present themselves, I have to pinch myself because I can’t believe they are happening.
If you love Clint Harp from Fixer Upper, click over to read all about the time I got the opportunity to interview him at the DIY or Don't Expo.
This post is going to be so much fun to write. I learned a lot from sitting down with Clint Harp and I can’t wait to share it all with you.
{Affiliate links are used in this post so you can find Clint’s book easily. You can read my disclosure HERE.}

So, let’s get to it. A couple of weekends ago, I got to do something I never thought I would do. I mean, I always thought it would be super fun, but I never thought it would ever happen. Like every other person who loves design, DIY, home decor and HGTV, I have watched all of the Fixer Upper episodes.

It was fun to watch Chip and Joanna, but I also loved to see what project they were going to have Clint Harp come in and do. From the beginning, I knew Clint was “my kinds of people” when he talked about dumpster diving for wood to use in his projects. I also loved that Clint and his wife Kelly took a huge gamble on one of my favorite houses on the show – “The Beast”. Clint always seemed so real and relatable. I saw his story in our story.  
About a month ago, I finished Clint’s first book “Handcrafted” (find it HERE). It gave great insight to how Clint Harp and Kelly got started and their story. The book solidified what I thought about the Harps from watching them on TV. 

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I received a message from an Executive Assistant to Harp Design Co. asking me to come to the DIY or Don’t Expo in Des Moines, Iowa to sit down with Clint Harp and ask him a few questions.

{Insert freak out mode with screaming and lots of smiles.}
When I settled down and came to my senses, I thought maybe it was spam. Maybe it wasn’t even real. So, I responded and waited. After a couple of days, I received an email back with the confirmation, directions and details. I was going to meet Clint Harp! 
{Insert freak out mode with screaming and lots of smiles.}
If you have been following along with me on any platform this winter, you know the weather has been horrible in Iowa and the weekend I was supposed to meet Clint, the weather was supposed to not be good at all. I decided we would travel a day early just to make sure we got there safe. If I was going to meet Clint Harp, the entire family wanted to come. We headed to Des Moines the Saturday before the Sunday I was meeting him.  

When I knew I had to prepare a couple of questions, I reached out to a friend who has done these kinds of things to see what kinds of questions she would ask.

She gave me some great questions and I added a few of mine and was ready to meet Clint Harp. Okay, let me be honest, I was nervous leading up to that Sunday, but Sunday morning I was feeling more at ease and just went into it to have fun. There were three other bloggers in the room with me. I love meeting other bloggers and getting to talk “shop” with them.
There was a blizzard in Des Moines that weekend so Clint’s flight was actually cancelled. He had to drive from Kansas City to Des Moines the night before and didn’t get there until like 3:30 AM. That made him a little late to our meet up, but it was so good because the other bloggers and I got to talk and get to know each other. 

Clint finally got there and when he walked into the room, I could tell how “normal” and easy-going he was. He talked about the weather and his road trip to Des Moines.  

His road trip story was a good one. He needed to rent a car in Kansas City and drive to Des Moines. While at the rental counter, a man came up and said, “I am going to Des Moines, do you mind if I ride with you?” Clint had no idea who this man was, but he said, “okay.” He said okay! That was the first story he told us when he got there and right away, we were learning what kind of man he is. Who would drive with a random stranger on a three-hour drive (four hours because of the weather)? I know I wouldn’t. Would you? The “stranger” turned out to be a well-known Iowa wrestling coach. 
Clint had workshops scheduled throughout the day at the Expo so he had to stick to a schedule. Because of that and since he got to our meet-up late, each blogger got to ask two questions. 
Here is what we asked and Clint’s answers:

1. What is the best thing and the most challenging thing about working with Kelly? 

Right away, he said “the best thing about working with her is that I love her and the most challenging thing is that I love her.” He said that to make it work, they have a rule that they can’t talk about work when they get home at the end of the day. When they get home after work, it is family time. He said they have to be “disciplined with their words and discipline with their time” and that is why it is best not to talk about work when they get home at night. I loved this because I think it is so true in life in general.
We have to be disciplined with our words and our time. Just think about that for a minute. Clint also said that they stick to a schedule with their kids and bedtime. When the kids are in bed, it is mom and dad time. That is the time Kelly and Clint have together. He said that another thing that is great about working with Kelly is that he has his wife as his business partner. There is no other human he could trust as much as his wife.
He always knows that she is in his corner and on his side. If his business partner wasn’t his spouse, would he talk to him/her like that? Would I treat him/her like that? Would it be like this? No. Again, I loved this because we need to think about that in our own relationships. Think about the way you talk and treat the people you love the most. Would you talk to or treat someone else that way? Sometimes we are quick to say something snappy to someone we love, but would never be caught doing that to an acquaintance or someone not as close to you. I think we take for granted those that are closest to us and we need to be more mindful of how we are talking and treating them. Great point! 

2. What has changed for you being in the public eye? 

Things have obviously changed for Clint in Waco since it is such a small town, but he still wants to live his life, go to places and eat out, so he does. He said that the Fixer Upper show caught the authenticity of the people in it and the job they were doing, so people watching the show felt like they knew Clint, Joanna and Chip. People wanted to get a piece of what they were watching. Clint recalled a time when it got a little too close.
On a Father’s Day morning, someone knocked on Clint and Kelly’s front door at “the Beast” house that was in Fixer Upper. The guy said that he was sorry to bother Clint, but he and his had driven far and would like to meet Clint and get a photo. Clint being the guy that he is, did what the guy asked. After the guy and his wife left, Clint walked in the house and told Kelly they were moving. Privacy and protection were becoming more and more important. 

3. When you quit your job and started the show, did you second guess that decision? What made the final decision to follow the dream?

He second-guessed it many times and was even job searching when they were doing the pilot for Fixer Upper. A few times, he thought that he was a husband and father and needed to have a full time job with a steady pay check. He said that many times he tried to get out of the situation with the woodworking and the show. He reached a boiling point with his corporate job and couldn’t do it anymore. Clint said he started following his woodworking dreams when the Fixer Upper show opportunity fell in his lap. He called following this dream, “jumping off the cliff”.
Clint knew that when someone follows their dreams and passions it doesn’t look like it did for Clint. He knew his situation wasn’t normal and knew it was like winning the lottery. What are the odds this would have happened? Who does this happen to? He also talked about feeling like a phony. He said that you get to the point where you feel like someone is going to call you out and say you don’t know what you are doing – call you a phony. Then he said the best thing – none of us know what we are doing. We are all learning along the way. He finally got comfortable saying he didn’t know what he was doing. Not knowing what I am doing is the name of my story as well. I have had to teach myself everything along this journey. I didn’t know anything coming into it. But, doing it that way, I feel like I learned it so much more. 

4. What is your favorite thing to build?

A table. It brings people together. People eat at tables, they fight at tables, they mend relationships at tables, they make up at tables, they play games on tables, etc. People always go back to a table. You can always find common ground with someone sitting at a table with you. I loved this answer. I will never think about a table the same way. There is so much more than just furniture being built.
The furniture we have in our homes soak up memories, conversations and history. We build our lives around these pieces which makes me even more happy to decorate our home the way we do. Clint even said that if he could title his book all over again, the title would be “It’s Not About The Furniture”. Furniture is the hub for the life that is happening on and around it. Furniture serves a great purpose, but it is the lives, relationships and generations that is the most important part. 

5. What is next for you?

Clint is open to wherever his journey takes him. They have some things in the works and he is just excited for the ride. 

6. Do you have time to get in the workshop and build anymore?

Right now, it is hard for him to get in the shop. He wants to build a shop where he lives so he can “get away” and build in his free time. He made a bowl for Kelly at Christmas and a vase on Valentine’s Day. If Joanna’s assistant calls and needs something, he usually will go in and do that.  

7. How important is sustainability to you?

Clint is not dumpster-diving anymore. He uses real wood on every project. His pieces are built to last. He loves that the Harp Design Co. is creating business for other businesses in Waco. Sustainability is extremely important. 
The opportunity to interview Clint and sit down at a table with him was so much fun. His story is so good and getting to dive deeper into it was something I will never forget. If you want to learn more about this story and get inspired by the journey he has taken, I recommend getting his book. There is so much you can learn from somebody else’s story. 
After the interview, I went upstairs to the Expo and watched Clint Harp turn a candlestick. I recorded some of it and added it below:

What are some questions you would ask Clint Harp is given the chance?
If you love Clint Harp from Fixer Upper, click over to read all about the time I got the opportunity to interview him at the DIY or Don't Expo.

If you liked this Clint Harp post, check out these DIY projects:

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