If you've been meandering around our website, you might be wondering who is behind Old Haigler Inn. Allow us to introduce ourselves: we're Brian and Starr Haigler.
We're probably a lot like you - we like pizza, going to the beach, movie nights with our kids, and spending time with friends and family. We got married in 2003, we have three kids, and we've spent nearly 17 years working to build a life together. Here's how we ended up building an Inn in Mint Hill, NC...
Brain has been a realtor most of his career, and he started in this industry prior to the recession in the mid-2000s. When the recession hit and the real estate industry dried up, Brian began to hear stories from people who were desperate to sell their house to move to a job in another city, people who needed to move to be closer to family, and other reasons, but they felt "stuck" because houses were not selling. Brain began to think creatively - something that comes naturally for him.
We began to try to buy some of these houses to help people out as much as we could, renovate the properties, and rent them out because there were lots of people looking to rent at the time. Before we knew what we were doing exactly, we became house flippers and landlords for the rental homes that we flipped. If we couldn't help someone trying to sell their house, we would try to find a solution for them too. Sometimes they could afford to rent the house themselves until they could sell it and other times there was another investor who could buy their house. We just wanted to help people do what they needed to do. It was a season of learning and caring for others in unconventional ways.
Investing in real estate, managing renovations, understanding building materials and interior design quickly became part of our skill set. But as we grew in this industry, added children to our family, and the real estate market rebounded, we began to see other needs going unmet in our area.
As a busy family of five, we run around like crazy to work events, supporting our kids in their activities, education, and more, we are very involved in our local church. Some days it seemed like we didn't have time to catch our breath. We were weary of this busy life that we constructed, and in need of rest.
Brian and I started making time together a priority. We had always done an anniversary trip, but adding in an overnight once or twice a year, planning dates for just the two of us to connect, being intentional about having time together as a family to actually see each other's faces (not screens) and hear what our kids are thinking and learning. As we saw how this benefitted us as a couple and as a family, we began to dream about a place here in the Charlotte area that offered a break from our busy lives and a place to connect with loves one. The dream for Old Haigler Inn was born.
As we began to pursue this idea, we realized that God was calling us to something bigger than ourselves. We were being called to build a place where people could learn in classes and conferences, people could celebrate with loved ones, a place where marriages begin, anniversaries are celebrated, and families are restored.
Now you might wonder how an Inn can do all of those things. One word: environment.
The dream that was birthed in our hearts wasn't just about creating an Inn for accommodations and events, but creating an environment where the cares of this world melt away, all of your needs are met, and you can truly relax. Think about that for just a moment. When was the last time you were able to truly relax? To not think about where you need to be, what you need to do, your finances, your job, your responsibilities, and instead focus on your spouse, your kids, and your heart?
That's our goal - our vision - for Old Haigler Inn. To create a warm and welcoming environment where every detail from the linens to the scent to the furniture placement allows you to relax and connect with the people that matter most in the world.
We are a work in progress - not just as an Inn but also as people. We're learning as we go, and adding to our property little by little. Right now we're primarily booking through Airbnb with two cottages open for bookings, and a third property, The Lodge, that will be opening later this summer. Eventually we plan to have multiple types of buildings and accommodations to suit many different needs.
We want you to know that you are invited and welcome here. Yes, you! Our heart is for you. We want to be a respite and a bright spot in you life. If you need to get away from the chaos of life, you are welcome here. If you need a place to celebrate an event or loved one, you are welcome here. If you need a place to talk, write, sleep, connect, or play, you are welcome here.