Mina Starsiak Hawk
Indy Like a Local
Who is Mina?
A Fountain Square resident and one-half of the mother-daughter duo who star on HGTV’s Good Bones, which just wrapped up its fifth season.
Q: Earlier this summer, you opened Two Chicks District Co. just south of downtown. How did the idea for a retail store come about? We’ve been talking about it for quite some time.
We obviously ended up with a unique platform because of the show, especially in a time when brick-and-mortar really isn’t the best idea to start opening. We thought we’d be able to figure out a way to make it feasible because of the show platform but also by combining the beer and wine/bar portion of it with the store. We’re hedging our bets on that covering more bases so it’s a neighborhood hangout and also a retail store. When Alexa, who is our COO, came on, she had asked me to do a vision board. ‘These are all the things I want for the company,’ so we had some direction. OK, what do we want to tackle first? One of those was the store.
Q: Were you inspired by any boutiques here in Indy?
I describe it internally as a mash-up of Silver in the City with the home vibe, like World Market or Chatham Home – that idea with approachable-enough pricing that makes sense for the area we’re in. And then throwing the element of beer and wine bar in there. I don’t think there’s any home stores [in Indy] that have that. So maybe we’re unique in that part.
Q: Why was it important to have the store in Bates-Hendricks?
We loosely looked at commercial sites to build, but the only one we were ever serious about was Bates-Hendricks in that warehouse. We owned it; we’d been using it for storage. But just the location made sense. We started in Fountain Square, but when the business took off we were moving into Bates-Hendricks and buying that warehouse and then the house two doors down as a package. We had our office in the house portion of the package. It was the first place we actually really put roots down as a company. The neighborhood has always been super supportive. So it just made sense. It seemed like the right fit and the right decision.
Q: How do you describe the shop and what people can find there?
The idea was that there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re going to work on your laptop and you want a cold brew and a cheese plate, or a glass of rose and wander around shopping, you could go and furnish your home, or you could go the day before Father’s Day and get a gift in a pretty bag all in a one-stop shop. Or really any holiday, a bachelorette party, a baby shower, birthday, Father’s Day. Ideally, there really is something for everyone.
Q: Have any items from the store showed up on Good Bones?
Right now, we just did the last reveal of season five today. We didn’t actually have a lot of the product in for most of the reveals on season five. But we’ve incorporated some in now and going into season six, we’ll have a lot more. If it’s not necessarily the same product, it’s the same vibe, the Two Chicks style.
Q: Is it too early to ask about shoppers might expect for the holiday season?
We put in our candle order for Christmas last week. We have some amazing, amazing, amazing smells coming in. Next week, Alexa and our designer and manager are going to Atlanta and buying Christmas decor.
Q: Switching gears, did you discover any new restaurants during the stay-at-home orders earlier this year?
It’s been really fun seeing how some of the restaurants have transitioned. So Bluebeard, which I love, pretty much every Thursday we get pizza from them. It’s the best pizza on the most amazing sourdough crust. I hope they continue that. Over in Bates-Hendricks, really close to us is 1718 Housebar. They opened toward the end of last year. They’ve opened back up their outdoors. It’s a fun, nice neighborhood place with yummy food. That’s been nice to have around. Other than that, it’s been a lot of Cluster Truck.
Q: Where do you like to take your son, Jack, for fun?
I know it’s probably not traditional, but it’s really nice to go walk over around the [Eli] Lilly campus during off hours. There’s rocks to climb on and flowers and plants. There were 15 bunnies last time we walked through there. Especially on weekends, he can run free and not worry about cars. It’s our urban version of hiking in a park somewhere.
I’ve been researching a lot about Forest School, which is this co-op idea with parents and caregivers getting together a couple times a week. It’s this child-led adventure throughout a park. You stop and have a snack, sing songs. That ideally will start back up again soon. There’s charters all across the country. It’s really good prep for kindergarten and first grade. They socialize with other kids and get independence.
Jack [son] and Karen Laine [mother and co-founder of Two Chicks and a Hammer] at Two Chicks District Co.
Q: What are some lessons you’ve learned in doing Good Bones for five seasons now?
I think it’s applicable to me, to life, to really any career is figuring out healthy boundaries and balance. I think it’s an ongoing work in progress. It’s changed over the years. Steve and I regularly have conversations about the structure that works best for us. Instead of trying to come home by 4 and being half-present, what I’m proposing is, we don’t come home until we’re ready to be home. That’s likely going to be 5:30. But when I’m home, I won’t be on my computer, I won’t be on my phone. The same for him. When we’re home, we’re home. The same thing with the show. The network would love to get 30 episodes a year out of us. And that’s just not possible. Especially being pregnant [note: Mina gave birth to baby Charlotte in mid-September, 2020], I tell them, ‘Hey, I’m not feeling great today. I’m really tired, so if we can try to make the day as efficient as possible, that would be lovely.’ They’re like, ‘Yep, got it, we can do that.’
Q: Can you pick a favorite project or one that has special meaning to you?
There’s definitely a handful. Obviously, my own renovation. But my sister has actually bought two of our homes. In season one or two, she bought a tiny yellow house on Elm. She met her fiancé, they had dog babies and needed another home, so we renovated one on Hoyt she ended up buying. We just did MJ, our designer’s, house. The reveal today was for two of my good friends that are buying a house in Bates-Hendricks. Those personal ones that we have buyers who we know are always extra special.
Q: Any news you can share on season six?
We’re actively filming. We started just before the shutdown and picked back up. We’ll be filming season six probably into March. We’ve got a pretty good head start on it. A lot of it is in Old Southside.