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Family life by design: Brothers grow business, open storefront

By Kristen Tribe | Published Wednesday, August 1, 2018
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The Hayhurst brothers – Jake, Daniel and Seth – wandered through an old wood frame house they just won in a live auction.

GRAND OPENING – From left, Jake, Daniel and Seth Hayhurst stand outside their new storefront in Bridgeport. The brothers held a grand opening party Friday night before they premiered on the reality TV show, “Texas Flip N Move” on the DIY Network. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The purchase was made while filming an episode of “Texas Flip N Move,” a reality show on the DIY Network.

They inspected their new purchase, brains already buzzing with renovation and design ideas. As they meandered back onto the porch, they found an older man sitting there, his eyes filled with tears.

“I’ve got 50 years of memories in this house,” Seth recalled him saying. “Thanks for buying it, but please, treat it right. Give it what it deserves.”

Then the man began to cry.

The weight of the project was not lost on the brothers, whose work centers around family and designing spaces that are not only beautiful, but also foster meaningful relationships.

FAMILY BUSINESS

Since 2014, the brothers’ design/build business has grown from occasional projects to a skyrocketing brand that includes designing homes and businesses, regular appearances on reality TV, a new storefront in Bridgeport and a partnership with Oak and Eden Handcrafted Whiskey.

Daniel said the evolution of the business has been remarkable.

“Being able to work with them,” he said, gesturing to his brothers, “It’s a whole family affair, really. Our wives, everyone is involved and gets along, and I get to work with my brothers. It’s just kind of crazy we get to do that.

“We’re doing all the things we love with the people we love.”

Daniel and Jake started the business after recognizing there was a niche market for designing spaces and the furniture that goes in them.

“I had a background in construction and custom home-building in the Jackson Hole, Wyo., area,” Jake said. “After Daniel and I recognized the design niche, we ended up doing some pretty unique jobs where we designed the interior and exterior of several businesses.

“One of our biggest ones was West Oak Coffee Bar in Denton, which got us widespread recognition and some other jobs.”

The brothers also designed Kimzey’s Coffee in Argyle and Trinity Street Coffee Bar in Decatur.

Seth joined his brothers about a year-and-a-half ago, bringing his mortgage experience and a knack for numbers.

“Daniel and I are both really kind of artistically minded and not the most business savvy people,” Jake said. “But we really enjoy working with our hands and creating things. We floundered around doing some really cool things but not really making any money. So it’s been a great shift for the Hayhurst Brothers for Seth to come on board and head up the business side of it.”

Seth compared Jake and Daniel to a wild stallion “that’s out there just crazy.”

“You know, that thing has more raw ability to do something, but if you can’t find a way to put a bit in its mouth and find a way to make it go the direction it needs to go when it’s supposed to go there, you can’t ever have a productive thing come of that,” he said, grinning wildly.

Before he could finish the last sentence, his tale was met with raucous laughter from the younger Hayhursts.

Although their design work for North Texas’ businesses first earned them recognition, the team has focused more recently on home design and builds. With their wide-ranging skills, they’re able to offer a complete package, including site selection, design, construction and the mortgage – a portion of the business run by brother-in-law Wes Gregg.

“There’s a lot more benefit to us to build someone’s home because you can truly affect generations of a family by creating beautiful spaces for them to live in and find ways to use space intelligently,” Seth said. “People around here think you have to have a 4,500-square-foot house to enjoy being in your home, but they have four rooms no one ever goes in.”

Jake said they try to design houses to bring families into the heart of the home, and for the Hayhursts, that’s the dinner table. The boys, and their three other siblings, were made to sit down together every day for breakfast and again at dinner.

“It’s neat to talk to clients about the aspect of joining around the dinner table and communicating with one another,” Jake said. “You start the day talking to one another, go about your day and then gather around the table again, talking again, in the relationships that matter the most – your family.

“In today’s families, you end up sitting around and each kid gets their food and goes to their room or to a TV tray,” Jake said. “I’m not saying that’s wrong, but when people ask us how we have the relationship that we do, this is a big part of it. We’re very passionate about family, marriage and bringing the family back together and sharing our experience with other people.”

Because the table is the centerpiece of a Hayhurst design, it’s one of their favorite pieces of furniture to build.

“Quality is the main thing,” Jake said. “We want the tables that we build to be legacy pieces that you pass down to your kids and grandkids.”

Seth now has the Hayhursts’ childhood table, which all agree is not a fine piece of furniture, but “it was clawed and scratched over as to who was going to get it because of sentimental value.”

“And what’s cooler than also handing down something that’s super high quality?” Jake asked. “(Our childhood table) is not something I want in my house design-wise, but I still want it.”

Final Touches

FINAL TOUCHES – Jake Hayhurst makes last-minute adjustments to store inventory before hundreds of guests arrive Friday night. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

TV STARS

The brothers, who work together, also live together. They and their families all have homes on a 700-acre farm outside Bridgeport, and it was shenanigans on the home place that sparked the idea of a TV show.

“We’re always doing fun things out there,” Daniel said. “We have friends from Denton and the city come out and they were always saying ‘y’all need your own TV show,’ and we just didn’t give it much thought.

“But then it dawned on us it would be good advertising for our business, good exposure.”

“Texas Flip N Move” already filmed in the area, so it seemed natural to approach them first. Daniel, who attended film school in Los Angeles, put together a video of the brothers, their projects and crazy antics, and the producer jumped on it immediately.

“I found his email after Googling the production company, sent it to him with a little blurb, and seven minutes later he emailed me back,” Daniel said.

“And it took three-and-a-half minutes to watch it!” Seth chimed in.

The brothers were lavished with compliments about their great personalities and fun ideas, then given an offer to join the already popular reality program with the potential for a spin-off of their own in the future.

“If it goes the way we hope it will go, then we’ll have our own show that features Bridgeport, that features Wise County and this sort of stuff, so that’s where we’re at now,” Seth said.

The season featuring the Hayhursts premiered last Friday night and episodes air at 8 p.m. every Friday on the DIY Network. Seth said there are 13 episodes in the season, and in each one there is an auction for a house that will otherwise be demolished. The auction winner renovates the house to flip it. Seth said he and his brothers have done five or six for the show already.

Daniel said the premise doesn’t exactly fit their style, but it will still allow them to showcase their work.

“The crew is awesome,” Jake said. “We get along with them and laugh a lot, but it’s taken a little bit to figure out everything and how to balance it.”

In the midst of filming, the brothers were also renovating a building in downtown Bridgeport, 1305 10th Street, which is now their retail store, design center and workshop. The family and Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce held a grand opening Friday night, just before the brothers’ reality TV premiere.

The store incorporates the talents of all the Hayhursts.

“Daniel’s wife, Amber, and our sister, Anna, paint, so we’ll have their art. My wife, Christin, does pottery and her mother hand dips beeswax candles and makes candleholders. We obviously build custom furniture, so it’s all things that go with the home,” Jake said.

He said the shop will also feature the work of a local blacksmith and Turkish textiles, all handmade and sourced from a family friend. Of course, they also sell Hayhurst swag – T-shirts, caps and the like.

Hundreds of people showed up for the ribbon cutting turned party, although the brothers sheepishly wondered earlier in the week if anyone would come. Fueled by creativity and a true zest for life, they’re still in awe things are falling into place, allowing them to make the most of their family life and business at the same time.

“For me, I had a really sweet gig, making really good money in the mortgage industry,” Seth said. “But when my second son, Harvey, was born, I heard that song ‘Drive,’ and Alan Jackson talks about teaching your son to drive out on property.

“We grew up that way, and I thought I don’t want to raise my boys on anything other than a big piece of land. I became really impatient to be with my brothers and raise my kids in the country.”

He said any time you drive by the farm there are likely to be kids running around, water hoses being sprayed and just general “wildness.”

“There’s hundreds of acres and a barn full of motorcycles. And I get to work with Jake and Dan,” he said. “It’s ridiculous, but also kind of dreamy.”

Demonstration

DEMONSTRATION – Blacksmith Zack Stephens of Keller showcases his art at the Hayhurst grand opening. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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