Let me tell you why I like Chip and Joanna Gaines.

They pursue their passions.

They overcome obstacles.

They do so wonderfully, as a loving team with such mindful hearts.

I like Chip and Joanna Gaines because they inwardly and outwardly live into values I admire.

Sure, there’s also the fact that Joanna and I share a love for home design–but honestly, that’s not my favorite thing about her. Her shared interest makes her even more relatable to me, but the reasons I admire her most are listed right up there.

In fact, I’m about to drop a bombshell: Joanna Gaines and I favor very different design styles, and I don’t dig hers all that much. Farmhouse just isn’t my jam. Joanna does it flawlessly, and I appreciate her keen eye for it, but that’s not the main reason why I admire her. Don’t get me wrong, I’d have a blast styling someone’s home with a modern farmhouse look–but I wouldn’t do it in my own home, and I wouldn’t enjoy doing it all the time. Joanna does it incredibly well, because she’s talented and because she loves it. I daresay Joanna feels the same way about my favorite design, midcentuy modern. She can totally pull off a beautiful midcentury modern home, but it’s not her favorite choice of style. (If we had to step away from our favorites and meet in the middle, we would probably land somewhere near Scandinavian design.)

What I love about Chip and Joanna Gaines isn’t so much what they do, but how and why they do it.

I first admired the Gaines because of the Fixer Upper TV show they unintentionally landed. Though I don’t watch much HGTV (probably because I’m living it a little too much to also find entertainment in it), Fixer Upper is my favorite home renovation show. Again, not particularly because of the designs–but because of who the Gaines are.

What really made them feel like “my people” even more than watching their show was reading their heartfelt book, The Magnolia Story. The Magnolia Story resonated with me in so many ways. Chip and Jo share about how they first connected, how they made their way into the world of home renovation, what they love as individuals and how that brings them together as a team… They share their hearts, their struggles, their strengths. I relate to their values, their obstacles, their passions, their will to create. The way they live life serves as a positive example for a far broader audience than just home design fanatics. (I know, this is all coming from a design fanatic, but trust me on this one! Give the book a read, and I bet you’ll find you relate to it too!)

Anyway, that’s why I like Chip and Joanna Gaines, and that’s why I wanted to visit the Magnolia Silos during our vacation to Texas.

For those who don’t know, Magnolia is the main umbrella under which Chip and Joanna run several business components. There’s the Magnolia Market shopping center, Magnolia Home decor line–not to be confused with Magnolia Homes, the renovation company– Magnolia Bakery (including the Silos Baking Co location), Magnolia House bed and breakfast, and more…it can be kind of confusing. They basically do it all!


On our first full day in Texas, Matt and I ventured out from Austin to Waco to check out the grounds at the Magnolia Silos. The Silos are a sort of community gathering place featuring a market, bakery, garden, several food trucks, and a large yard.

Once we completed the hour-and-a-half trek, I kept an eye out my passenger window for those famous silos. But just like Chip and Joanna Gaines, the silos were so unassuming. They didn’t stand out against everything around them, shouting, “Look at me! Here I am!” In fact, they kind of snuck up on me in their modesty as we turned a random corner. And I like them even more for it.

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And behind the modest first-look, absolute grandeur. I couldn’t put my camera down! Everything is so beautifully put together.

I’ll take you on a bit of a tour through our Magnolia venture–and I’ll even include some additional links to enhance your internet-travel experience.

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Magnolia Market

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This is the Magnolia Market, filled with all sorts of Magnolia-made and Magnolia-supported product. In The Magnolia Story, Joanna explains her love of putting together an experience for her store customers, rather than just placing some practical stacks of product. I think she pulled that off wonderfully. Several little nooks are set up throughout the store, each of which features neatly arranged decor and items for purchase. Some items appear to be decor but are in fact available for purchase. They must just replace particular decorative items as they’re snatched.

I’ll share a few photos from inside the store, but you really can’t beat being there in real life.

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Chip’s corner was filled with tools, leather products, hats, and more. Of course, a main decorative feature is his famous “demo day” tagline.

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Also spotted: some of Jimmy Don’s iron designs.

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We loved how they hung dipped paint brushes to show the dried colors in Joanna’s Magnolia Home paint line.

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This image above features only one main section of the Magnolia Market. In total, it’s about twice this size. And yes, it was packed. We went on a Friday (which we were warned could be pretty busy), but truly, the traffic moved quickly. We purchased some items but didn’t have to wait in line long at all.

Magnolia Bakery / Silos Baking Co

Speaking of long lines… The bakery had a surprise grand opening this past summer, but you could have told me it just opened days before we arrived. The line into the bakery wrapped around the back of this building for quite awhile, and I never saw it get any shorter.

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The Grounds

The grounds feature an astroturf lawn with yard games and comfy seating. Just beyond that are several picnic tables surrounded by food trucks. We ventured around the grounds a bit and grabbed some BBQ at one of the trucks (which we selected only after visually devouring the menu at every single place…)

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You could spend the whole day at the food truck park and astroturf lawn alone. We lucked out with such a beautiful day, and it was so nice to just soak up some sunshine and observe the grounds for a bit. If I lived nearby, I’d surely stop in to relax here often. I could’ve stayed here engulfed in my very first issue of the The Magnolia Journal, but we had things to do and places to see. (By the way, I just discovered that a one-year subscription of The Magnolia Journal is currently on sale for $20 at Amazon–YAY! I’m subscribing right now. This link will take you to the subscription page!)

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The Garden

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After seeing the splendor of Magnolia’s progress, we took a drive to visit the little place where it all began. This old Magnolia market, also known as “the little shop on Bosque”, is where Joanna first opened a home decor store. This is where she started forming connections with clients interested in her eye for design. As Joanna was running this shop, she was also helping Chip fix up little flips. And with their growing clientele between the two, they sparked what would become the multi-faceted Magnolia of today.

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The trip to Waco was worth it. I’m thankful to have seen up close the fruit of Chip and Joanna’s years of labor.

The Gaines are inspirational to me not because they are famous, but because of how they pursue life and spread light to those around them, despite their fame. I believe the story of Chip and Joanna Gaines is full of beautiful lessons for us all.

Are you a fan of the Gaines? What about their journey resonates with you?

3 replies on “how I really feel about the Gaines + Magnolia

  1. I LOVE THIS! You wrote so thoughtfully about your trip and about why you look up to these two. I agree – they are super genuine and just an amazing team. I haven’t read their book yet, but I think I need to! How incredible that you and Matt got to experience this visit together. The market looks so beautiful and fun, and I also love the paintbrushes to show the dried color. That’s so creative. What is the magazine/journal like? It looks like she has a great mix of topics.. hmmm! You’ll have to tell me how you like it once you’ve had your subscription for a little while. I also loooove all your photos. I almost feel like I was there with you! ❤

    1. You would love the book 😊 They’re good at making things relatable outside of home renovation by highlighting universal themes. The magazine features lifestyle and home topics…Food, clothing, design trends, home tips… Kinda like HGTV magazine, but way less ridiculously colorful 😜 Thanks for the love, girl!

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