Clint Harp had a hammer and he wanted to hammer in the morning, in the evening and all over this land.
Harp, who has appeared on the HGTV series “Fixer Upper” and starred in the pilot, “Against the Grain,” for a potential series on DIY, walked away from a six-figure job in medical sales to pursue a career as a carpenter. That walk will bring him to town as the guest speaker for the 26th annual Fresno Home Remodeling & Decorating Show.
He has seminars scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, July 16, and 1 p.m., Sunday, July 17, during the three-day event at the Fresno Fairgrounds. Those attending also can meet with merchants offering a wide variety of products and services to help you with your home improvement needs.
During his seminars, Harp will talk about his life and how he and his wife, Kelly, went from nothing to the thriving Harp Design Co. in Waco. He credits his spouse with pushing him to make his career dream come true.
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“What’s great about my wife is that she presses me to be the best version of myself I can be,” Harp says during a break from moving into a new home. “She’s seen me go through a lot of career changes. When I told her what I was planning on doing, she said that she would be behind me 100% as long as I was behind myself 100%.”
He was. After quitting his sales job in 2011 to build furniture, Harp’s success with the company and on TV shows has been so great the couple had to move out of their home that happens to be located next door to their design company offices. It got increasingly harder to get some privacy because of the proximity.
Harp spends his days making such items as tables, bar stools and candlesticks, plus having the family home featured on an episode of “Fixer Upper.” The fixing was all part of his wife’s designs and Harp did “all the grunt work.”
The passion to work with wood was initially sparked by Harp’s wife’s grandfather.
“He built houses for years and had me working on large machinery that I shouldn’t have been using when I was very young,” Harp says. “As for making people laugh or being able to get up in front of crowds, that comes from my father and uncle who were always making people laugh.”
He’s passionate about carpentry work but doesn’t want to be called a master carpenter. Harp says that’s an insult to master carpenters. He’s basically just good with hands and knows how to “figure stuff out,” he says.
Harp took a shop class in high school. He showed then how he wasn’t going to follow the norm by making a trash rather than the typical spice rack.
That natural skill to talk to people comes out in his HGTV and DIY work. The test episode of “Against the Grain” focused on the shop and also showed the custom backyard island Harp created. There’s no word on whether more episodes of “Against the Grain” will be ordered for DIY, but Harp has plenty to do to keep him busy between running his business to speaking engagements.
A lot of running his business is getting the right materials. Harp is a major supporter of using recycled wood when possible. Many of the pieces produced by his company are a patchwork of pine, oak, mahogany, walnut, poplar and other reclaimed woods rescued from old buildings, fallen trees and scrap piles. He often gets telephone calls from people tearing down a structure who offer him the wood to be used on future products.
“A guy called and said he had a barn 20 minutes outside of town. He said we could have every bit of wood. So, we pulled the barn apart,” Harp says. “In Waco we get a lot of pine, pecan wood and oak. It’s a mixed bag.”
Because he’s so busy, there’s not a lot of time to do a lot of demolition work to get material. Plus, he needs a consistent type of wood to produce the line of products his company sales. Harp can still support his recycling ways through a warehouse that specializes in recovered wood.
Harp’s seminars are free with admission to the home show. Reserved seats and a special meet-and-greet ticket are also available. Go to http://www.etix.com/ticket/v/11338/fresno-shows-fall-home-improvement-show to buy the tickets.
Fresno Home Remodeling & Decorating Show
- Fresno Fairgrounds, 1121 S. Chance Ave.
- 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Friday, July 15; 10 a..m. - 6 p.m. Saturday, July 16; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday, July 17
- $8 for adults, free for children 12 and under get; and $4 for seniors 62 and older
- Parking is $5
- For more information, 916-780-9424 or 800-897-7899 or go to www.fresnoshows.com/summerinformation