Hi, HGTV fans! This week, Good Bones showed the origin story of Two Chicks District Co., a home-decor store that opened last summer in Bates-Hendricks. Your recappers—Megan Fernandez, homes editor for Indianapolis Monthly, and art director Kristin Sims—attended the grand opening of D-Co last summer, so we are excited to see the backstory this week on Good Bones.
The store is located on East Street, the main thoroughfare of Bates-Hendricks, the heart of Two Chicksland in Indianapolis. The company has renovated many homes in this area, including the gray one next door to the shop. Before this renovation, they used the building as storage. Now it’s anchoring a corner that’s coming to life with more new businesses, giving the urban neighborhood something it desperately needs. Let’s see how we got there.
Megan: I was worried this episode would be boring for anyone who has already seen the store—although that would still be just a small fraction of the 2 million people who watch Good Bones every week. The hour doesn’t start out promising. Mina and Karen spend the first 13 minutes in the drab warehouse debating a proposed “Karen’s Corner” of merchandise. The only good thing to come out of this segment is seeing Mina Blair Witch it in a corner at one point.
Kristin: If we hadn’t visited the store last year, I might have tuned out. Before they actually labeled it Karen’s Corner in the end, I thought, Hey, there IS an area that has Karen’s pottery. Who knew that this is how it started.
Megan: Her original vision included putting her circular saw in that area for classes and such. Luckily, when the store opened, it was mainly her handmade cutting boards and animal figurines.
Kristin: Got to stock the store with small pieces that sell fast!
Megan: It’s going to cost $200,000 to renovate this baby inside and out. That sounds like a lot! Mina is scared it won’t be as fun to run a store as she has always imagined.
Kristin: Everything seems fun—even flipping houses—until you really get into it and it’s a lot of time and money.
Megan: This project actually involved three or four chicks. Kelsy Gray—Karen’s daughter, Mina’s sister, and the Two Chicks chief business officer—will run the store. It’s her baby. Alexa, another family member, is also heavily involved.
Kristin: Kelsy may look 16, but she has some great ideas and input into the business.
Megan: One idea she brings to the table is to glam up the concrete floor at the front of the store, which is actually a bar and bistro. She has seen the contractor’s metallic epoxy, which gives it some shimmer. MJ says, “Shimmer epoxy sounds terrifying, but I’m super into it.”
Kristin: It comes out great. I wonder how it has held up. My favorite part of the building is the word “Lincoln” in mosaic tile on the front sidewalk.
Megan: I always figured it referred to the intersection of East and Lincoln streets, but Karen’s research says it might be left over from the former Lincoln Theater, which showed silent movies.
Kristin: It’s in great shape. A little disappointed that they covered some of it with brick, but it certainly adds to the charm.
Megan: The crew shops for a statement piece to serve as the front counter, and Mina and Karen build my favorite feature at the store: a rope partition separating the adults-only bar from the family-friendly seating area. I’ve tried to figure out how to build something like that, and it’s pretty much what I thought—lacing a piece of thick rope through a series of holes in header and footer boards. I’m sure it was hard to secure the ropes tautly.
Kristin: While I like the rope wall, it is the weakest definition of a separation of a bar “for the children.” I’d be curious how Indiana defines what that division must look like.
Megan: Another great addition is a mural outside. It’s an iris, which is the official flower of Bates-Hendricks. Who knew neighborhoods have emblematic flowers?
Kristin: I wish they had identified the muralist, but that’s up to the editors, not Two Chicks. It’s by Bootleg Signs and Murals. The biggest surprise to me was featuring the store so long after it opened. They must really work and film in advance of air time.
Megan: It was snowing when they started demolition, so it must have been the winter of 2019–20, right before COVID-19 hit. Tad was so cold, he had fro-toe. So yes, they filmed Season 6 last year. The houses take six months or more to renovate, so they can’t wait to start filming in the year that a season airs.
Kristin: They told us at the grand opening that when Visit Indy takes surveys in other cities, Good Bones is in the top 10 mentions as a positive association with Indianapolis. I wonder if that sprouted the idea for a retail space.
Megan: Mina said the store has been an apple in her eye for many years, and now that it’s here, it definitely gives Good Bones tourists a starting point. One of the things they can buy is the hammer necklace that Mina wears, made by Indy’s Twigs and Twine Jewelry.
Kristin: I bet people buy the ceramic animals that Karen makes just so they can take home a piece of Two Chicks, or of Karen.
Megan: Those Karen’s Critters figurines are so cute. Speaking of, the Tadmanian Devil returns this episode. When Mina and Karen try to prank him by rolling him in wide carpet tape, he sees it coming, bursts free, and immediately uses his demo fork to yank down part of the ceiling, covering them all in debris. It’s impressively nimble. Maybe overkill.
Kristin: Tad better watch it. In one fell swoop, he could have taken out his mother and his meal ticket.
Megan: Karen isn’t his mother, but seems to be a mother figure. It has now been three episodes since we’ve seen a gross pre-renovation hellscape. Do you miss refrigerator juice?
Kristin: Ew, and toilet juice. No, I don’t miss them. I’d rather see the design and building process.
Megan: Let’s see if next week keeps things clean or gets nasty again. See you then!
Looking for products or paint colors seen in each episode of Good Bones? You can find a product list by episode on the Two Chicks and a Hammer website or mobile app.