Before Clint Harp ran into Chip Gaines at a convenience store in Waco, his luxury furniture company wasn’t setting fire to the woods.
“Our first summer I made two, maybe three, I think we made a bed and we didn’t sell it. We gave away some pieces.” Harp said with a laugh in a phone interview. “I didn’t make a lot of money at the time.”
But returning to Houston to sell pharmaceuticals wasn’t an option he seriously considered. His garage became his workshop. He built and broke things out of reclaimed wood, pallets he found everywhere. He spent his spare time building a home at Habitat for Humanity.
But then came a change. A chance meeting with Chip He Gaines at a gas station meant that Harp Design Inc. skyrocketed in collaboration with Chip and Joanna He Gaines on his reality show “Fixer Upper”. Fans came to the North Waco neighborhood when the world learned that Clint was Gaines’ favorite carpenter and that he and his wife Kelly were making and selling furniture.
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“Chip and Joanna were our first customers,” Harp said. “The next thing we know is that we’re building things for other people. Then ‘Fixer Upper’ started and I became the lead carpenter in the show. The growth pattern really From being slow to being clingy for your precious life, Fixer Upper’ took off and we were doing our part and contributing. Well, fast forward to today.
On Friday, Clint Harp confirmed that he and Kelly are closing down over furniture manufacturing concerns. They have three children of his own, and Kelly is pursuing a master’s degree in clinical psychology. Clint will continue his work in the documentary Restoration Road, which airs on the Magnolia Network. This documentary follows him as he traverses America, finding and exploring beautifully restored old homes, barns and other structures.
“We’re filming the new season now, and I arrived from Maine at 2:30 this morning,” Harp said. The show is produced by Big Table Media.
A Facebook post explains why Harp chose to go in a different direction with Harp Design Co.
“For over a decade, we’ve been fortunate enough to fill homes across the United States and even abroad with the products we love,” the post said. “Thank you for giving me this opportunity. However, after much thought and consideration, I have decided that it is time to close the doors of Harp Design…. On the one hand, this is a sad and difficult decision. On the other, this is an exciting step into what HDC could be next.”
“Whether they purchased a candle holder, a cutting board, a handmade table, or any other product we believe in, we continue to thank our customers for their involvement in creating and growing HDC. Thank you to all over the years, you have meant the world.”
Due to the circumstances, the store and the storefront will be closed after the end of business on January 20th. The team has completed some products, but no new orders will be accepted. The company’s website offers ready-made tables for purchase.
Harp sold the former Four Star Manufacturing Company building at 1316 Franklin Avenue to serve as a major woodworking store. Listing agent Greg Glime said the property has just hit the market but is already offering tours to interested people. It has instructed prospective customers to submit their offers by Friday.
According to a marketing brochure distributed by Glime, the asking price for the 9,900-square-foot building, built in 1926, is $595,000.
“I think this would work well for woodworking, but I think it would also be useful for contractors and businesses that need industrial space, assembly and distribution,” Glime said Friday. “The deadline to accept an offer is one week from today for him. If I don’t get an offer to accept, my job isn’t done.”
His marketing brochure expands the list of possible uses, stating, “With store and warehouse availability, this property is well suited for the perfect retail, restaurant, or office space.” Neighborhoods include Dealers Electrical Supply, First Methodist Church and Waco Habitat Restore, according to the solicitation.
Glime said he hasn’t made an official list but is also looking for a buyer for the Harp Design Co. headquarters at 808 N. 15th St. He said it would be ideal to find a buyer for both buildings, but they are separate deals.
Harp also said it plans to have warehouse sales of tools, shipping supplies and household items in the coming weeks.
“Sometimes chapters close,” Harp said. “We’ve found our limits. Why not focus on what gives us the most joy, what drives us, what makes us feel alive? It makes me cry…but , we love what we’ve created over the years, what people put in. They trusted us in that responsibility.”
Karla Pendergraft, marketing director for the Waco Convention Center, said the harp design will remain in the public’s mind.
“Harp Design has no doubt been a regular fixture with visitors enjoying Waco’s Magnolia Trail,” Pendergraft said in an email. In the same way, go to the property to take pictures or see it in person.
“So it’s not ‘lost’ for Waco. And their restoration roadshow has the potential to reach new visitors to Waco. ”