HGTV stars reanimate neighborhoods while growing a family business

Published On: November 4, 2020

If children dress up like you on Halloween, it might be safe to say that you’ve made it. Made it, that is, as television stars, as have HGTV’s “Good Bones” hosts Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen E Laine. The mother-daughter team were featured keynote speakers Nov. 4 at the ATA Virtual Expo 2020.

“So many young children watch our show with their parents. Little girls dress up like us for Halloween!” exclaims Hawk, the daughter of the team, adding, “We’re just two gingers from Indiana.” These proud Indianapolis, Ind., residents were chosen as keynote speakers at Expo, in part, because the event was scheduled in their city until the coronavirus pandemic necessitated a virtual show.

Hawk and Laine’s business, Two Chicks and a Hammer, is a family business that started in 2006 when Laine bought a building for her business and Hawk bought a house to rehab. Renovating the buildings were basically a side hustle, because the work couldn’t support them. 

They were forced to grow when a small television production company happened upon their Facebook page. In 2014 they filmed a pilot—with just 32 days to do a house renovation, rather than their usual six months. The renovation worked out, but “The growing pains were horrendous,” says Hawk. “We had to learn the reno business and the TV business at the same time.”

Their mission is to reanimate properties in older neighborhoods in their hometown. “We don’t flip house,” says Laine, “We rehabilitate houses. If we rehab three or four houses on a block, we change the block. We care about the neighborhood and others see that. We make neighborhoods better. Our craftmanship and commitment makes a neighborhood better.”

Registration for ATA Virtual Expo 2020 is open through Nov. 12. All Expo sessions will be posted on the Virtual Expo platform for viewing during Expo and for 30 days after Expo has concluded.