Home Town star Erin Napier took to Instagram this weekend to respond to criticisms of her and husband Ben Napier’s stores, Laurel Mercantile Co. and Scotsman Store & Woodshop. Napier, 35, noticed a Twitter user complaining that the prices at each store were too high. She pointed out that the high costs are due to everything on sale is made in the U.S. This is all part of their efforts to help American small towns and manufacturing, as seen in their shows Home Town and its spinoff, Home Town Takeover.
At the start of her post on Friday, Napier noted that many of her fans are just starting to discover the stores she and her husband own in Laurel, Mississippi, where Home Town is filmed. A Twitter user recently visited the stores and told Napier that they were “disappointed” with their prices. So, Napier used her platform to explain that high prices are necessary.
“Laurel, like many towns, was built on manufacturing,” Napier wrote. “We believe that if we are going to be serious about revitalizing America’s hometowns, then we have to be serious about supporting American manufacturing and the small towns that depend on it. We believe that American makers deserve fair pay for quality work.”
Although their profit margins may be smaller, the Napiers built their stores around the question, “Is there a reputable American manufacturer of this product?” Napier wrote. If they cannot find American sources for a product customers want, they either completely skip the product or try to find companies that use components manufactured in the U.S. They might also search for “expert manufacturers” from other countries that follow “ethical and sustainable business practices.” If they cannot find any product that fits their criteria, they might make them at Scotsman Co. themselves.
“When we buy things that are made in the USA, we make our small towns stronger,” Napier wrote. “So when you ask why we don’t sell cheaper imported goods, ask yourself: what is the real cost of a bargain? Read all about it at the link in my profile!” Napier also added a link to an August 2019 blog post she wrote titled “American Made By Design,” in which she explained why it was important to make sure all products she offers are made by local businesses or in the U.S.
The Napiers have made a point to support small towns and businesses throughout their career. Home Town focuses on their work in Laurel, while their limited series Home Town Takeover saw them help revitalize Wetumpka, Alabama. In an April interview with PopCulture, the Napiers said they wanted to share all they learned in Laurel with another town and change the perception of life in small-town America. “So many people want to do what has happened in Laurel in their town, and they’re coming to us and asking us for advice and so we felt like this would be a good way to kind of say this can happen anywhere,” Ben, 37, said at the time. “It doesn’t have to be Laurel.”