"It's the pursuit of goodness we're after."
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Transforming Laurel, Mississippi, into the shellacked gem you see on HGTV Home Town isn't always true to reality—and the show's Erin Napier will be the first to admit that that's okay. Evolution is a process, and watching Laurel grow makes all the long hours logged when the cameras aren't shooting worthwhile. Sometimes, things in town aren't as perfect as the TV set betrays, but we can all learn and grow from setbacks just as much as strengths.

As Erin Napier puts it in her own words in a recent Instagram post, "Is Laurel the picture perfect [fairy-tale] town you see on TV? No town is. It’s all a work in progress with no end. Does the south have a problematic history? Yes, along with every other place on earth. No place is perfect." Continuing, she paraphrases former President Theodore Roosevelt, writing, "As Teddy famously said, it’s not the critics who make a difference, it’s the doers. There are still plenty of old soreheads who will say nothing is good enough. But those who say it can’t be done need to get out of the way of the ones who are doing it. It’s the pursuit of goodness we’re after."

For Napier, revitalizing downtown Laurel and seeing what an impact doing so has on locals is one of the most rewarding things she can do for her community. "The day our store [Laurel Mercantile Co.] opened, a lady came in and told me when she was little her mother would bring her downtown to shop for school clothes and back then it felt special, magical. She told us she feels that magic again," Napier shared with Southern Living of one of her favorite compliments about downtown's transformation. Words like this certainly inspire the Napiers to work harder than ever to continue to improve their little town.

If you're planning your own trip to Laurel, Mississippi, check out our guide of five things to do while you're in town.

We can't wait to see what's in store for the next chapter in Laurel, Mississippi. Are you a fan of Home Town? We bet you're loving season four as much as we are. Have you made a trip to Laurel yet?