INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — You know that feeling you get when you drive down the street where you live? Now, imagine if you got that feeling on every street in the neighborhood, and you’ll know what it’s like to drive around Fountain Square with Mina Starsiak and Karen Laine — otherwise known as Two Chicks and a Hammer.
The mother/daughter team have been rehabbing (don’t say flipping!) houses in the Fountain Square area for more than 10 years now. They started when Starsiak just got out of IU and Laine was still practicing law. But they became the most unlikely TV stars in Indiana when a production company saw their Facebook page, cut an audition tape and landed them their own show on HGTV. “Good Bones” has just been renewed for a fifth season.
“I don’t like watching the show cause when I see myself on TV, I think, ‘Why didn’t someone say, ‘Hey, you’re wearing your pajamas,’ or something. ‘Who let you out of the house?’” said Laine.
Laine and Starsiak admit that being genuine is a big part of their success.
“You couldn’t script us if you tried! It is very real, very genuine. When we’re doing demo, we look like we’re doing demo. We’re sweaty and dirty and have black boogers. Where on another show, someone’s swinging a hammer and you’re like, ‘You have hair and makeup, what’s going on?’” said Starsiak.
The two chicks still maintain their home rehab business independent of the TV show. They showed off one of the townhomes they built as new construction and put on the market. They are both self-taught and admit they weren’t always rehabbing experts.
“My first house, I put in verde butterfly granite, which is hunter green! Now I’m saying, ‘What was I thinking?’ Now, I would walk in and go gut it! It’s got to go. But it was the first house,” said Starsiak.
Laine and Starsiak both say making money isn’t really what they’re all about. They say they’re about transforming neighborhoods and changing lives. There’s no denying their impact on Fountain Square. They led the way in making it vibrant, desirable and safer.
“Crime is very local. You can localize it [to] one house in a neighborhood, and that’s the genesis of crime in the neighborhood. So if [you] can turn that house, you’ve changed the crime in the neighborhood, you’ve eliminated it,” said Laine.
After rehabbing close to 100 houses in their careers, Starsiak and Laine have simple advice for anyone starting a home project of their own.
“People all the time say, ‘I want to do what you do,’ and what I would like to say to them is do it! Pick a house in your neighborhood that needs love, and take your time and do it. Live your dream,” said Laine.