Chip and Joanna Gaines started 2022 with a bang, when they officially launched their very own cable television Magnolia Network in the first week of the year, in partnership with Discovery, Inc. This recent business joint venture and the years of hard work they did on cable television including the very popular TV show “Fixer Upper,” elevated them to become home renovation TV genre royalty, and immensely upgraded their financial status to multi-millionaires.
- 1 Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Backstory
- 2 The Gaines’ Rise to Prominence
- 3 The Gaines as the new media moguls in partnership with Discovery
- 4 Chip and Joanna Gaines’ net worth
Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Backstory
Many viewers were impressed by how Chip and Joanna Gaines have been together for almost 20 years. It was fascinating to know that these two almost didn’t make it as a couple.
How did the Gaines couple meet?
Both Chip and Joanna are alumni of Baylor University, but they didn’t actually meet there.
Chip walked into an auto shop owned by Joanna’s father to have his car fixed, there was a photo of her on the wall of the shop, and he knew that he found “the one.” At that time, she was just 23 years old and fresh from college graduation; her father hired her to do the marketing for them, including starring in their family store local commercials. Chip kept returning to the garage for repairs, and gave other excuses, hoping to get a glimpse of Joanna. It took him a while to finally get to meet her in 2001, and land a date after complimenting her on the commercials. He was an hour-and-a-half late for their date, but was charming enough that no one could stay mad at him.
A $50 bet that almost ruined his future with Joanna
In one interview, Chip declared, ‘I knew I’d marry her one day just by the picture on the wall.’ However, due to a $50 bet he made with his roommate, John, he almost lost his chance with her.
Both Chip and John went out on dates and they both decided to see who could hold out the longest in not contacting the girls after the date, which was the reason why he didn’t call her for months after their initial date. She wasn’t that bothered, because at that time, she was more leaning towards quiet men, and Chip was anything but that – he was always talking about the house he bought, remodeled, and flipped. She also didn’t like him taking risks. However, when he got in touch with her again, they started dating. – he said it was like dating a cyborg, because Joanna took a lot of time getting to know him. When he finally said the words, ‘I love you’ to her, she replied, ‘Thank you.’ He jokingly said that was how cyborgs operate – they were married by 2003.
Their first rental was their first ‘Fixer Upper’
Chip and Joanna lived together before married, even if it was against their Christian upbringing.
16 years and it feels like we're just getting started… I love you Chip Carter Gaines #16
They said they were already engaged at that time, so they just ‘fast-forwarded’ everything. When one of the rental properties on Chip’s list for renovation opened up, the couple moved into the smelly 800 square foot white cottage. Since they were financially broke at that time, they tapped into their creative spirits and renovated it themselves – she did the design while he did the construction for what they both proudly called their first ‘Fixer Upper.’
Married in May 2003
Both Chip and Joanne realized that they couldn’t live without each other, and so on one date night he arranged a wedding proposal. She thought that they were going to watch a concert in a mall somewhere near his hometown – little did she know that both of their families were waiting for them, and when they arrived, Chip got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. She was overwhelmed but said yes, and they were married in May 2003 at the historic Earle-Harrison House and Pape Gardens in Waco Texas.
The Gaines’ Rise to Prominence
Around five years before Chip and Joanna did the home remodeling TV show, “Fixer Upper,” the couple was trying hard to make ends meet, as they weren’t spared from the effects of the housing crisis that hit America. Joanna could vividly remember that they used to ask each other back then if they were going to make it, as they were far from being the modern icons of home renovation at that time. As much as they didn’t want to be in the same situation again, they both believed that they wouldn’t have appreciated what they have today, if they hadn’t gone through such hardship in the past.
It started with Magnolia Market
After they renovated their own home, it gave them confidence that they could do it professionally together, but they had to start somewhere small. He was already in the business of flipping houses after remodeling them, but far from what they are doing now.
They opened a retail store in 2003 and named it Magnolia Market, also known as The Little Shop on Bosque Boulevard; they chose the name ‘Magnolia’, as it reminded Chip and Joanna of one of their first dates – he climbed a Magnolia tree to get a flower to give to Joanna, and it symbolized not only their love but also how it started between them. The little shop sold everything a house needed, such as decorative items, housewares, and even clothing accessories, and clients would ask for her help with the interior design of their houses. The retail shop thrived, however, time became a factor, and with two children to take care of, the couple didn’t have any choice but to close the retail store in 2005. They focused on raising the kids properly, and expanding the construction business, Magnolia Homes.
Magnolia Homes became successful and led to “Fixer Upper”
Without the retail store to worry about, Chip and Joanna, devoted their time to their family, and making sure that Magnolia Homes become successful. After about 10 years of buying, renovating and flipping houses, an offer from cable TV, HGTV, came in 2013. They agreed, and a reality television show about home improvement and remodeling was born called “Fixer Upper” produced by High Noon Entertainment. They starred and hosted the series, and while the pilot episode was aired in May 2013, it wasn’t until April 2014 that viewers were able to enjoy full episodes of the first season of the series. It met with instant success with close to two million viewers, and it didn’t take long before the show became one of the most-watched home improvement series on TV, catapulting the Gaines to fame both in the US and worldwide.
— magnolia (@magnolia) March 21, 2022
Re-opening of Magnolia Market but as a huge complex at the Silos
Becoming huge reality stars enabled the Gaines couple to build and market their Magnolia brand. They re-opened the Magnolia Market, but instead of just a small retail store, it was re-launched as a huge retail complex located near the Silos in downtown Waco. It occupies two city blocks, and has several shops including Silos Baking Co, The Old Church, Katy Ballpark, and small stores under The Shops at the Silos; all the Magnolia businesses can also be found there. Joanna made sure that the items in the store changed, depending on the season, and a year after it was opened, reports came in that around 35,000 people would frequent the complex each week, which made it one of the most visited spots in Waco, Texas, clients and tourists.
More businesses were launched in 2016 and 2017
The Gaines continued expanding their business in 2016, launching product lines for furniture, wallpaper designs, and paint colors, but they didn’t stop there.
With a lot of tourists visiting Magnolia Market, they opened a bed and breakfast joint called The Magnolia House, to provide additional accommodation, and even published a quarterly lifestyle magazine called “The Magnolia Journal”, and to share how they did it all, they co-wrote a book entitled “The Magnolia Story.” In 2017, they only launched one product line and it was called “Hearth & Hand with Magnolia.” It was a home and lifestyle brand that they came up with in partnership with Target.
Canceled “Fixer Upper,” divorce rumors, a new baby, and a restaurant
There were divorce rumors surrounding the Gaines couple which started sometime in August 2017. Most celebrities don’t address such rumors, but a fan tagged them on Twitter as the rumors continued proliferating on social media – Chip then tweeted that it would never happen to them.
For a time, the fans were appeased by his tweet, however, when it was announced in 2018 about the cancelation of their TV show, “Fixer Upper,” after being on air for five seasons, the rumors returned. Most of the viewers thought that the next announcement they would hear was the filing of divorce, but what they had instead was a pregnancy announcement on Instagram; Joanna became pregnant for the fifth time. They also announced that they were excited about the launch of their new restaurant called “Magnolia Table”, with most of the ingredients used in the restaurant coming from her vegetable garden. It was such a huge hit as people flocked in!
The Gaines as the new media moguls in partnership with Discovery
Just when everyone thought that Chip and Joanna’s reign on home improvement shows was over, because of the cancelation of their reality-TV show, Discovery, Inc. announced in 2019 that they’d landed a deal with Magnolia that included a cable network and a streaming app.
Soft Launching of Magnolia network in 2020
To kick off the soft launching of the rebranding of the DIY Network they renamed Magnolia Network, the Gaines had a four-hour special presentation entitled “Magnolia Presents: A Look Back & A Look Ahead.” Chip and Joanna were co-owners of the network, and also took the roles of chief creative officers along with Allison Page who was the head of the HGTV network. They were scheduled to officially launch the network in October 2020, but the pandemic happened caused by the Covid-19 virus, so the date was pushed back a few times. There were reports that it was rescheduled sometime in 2021, thinking that everything would be back to normal but the executives thought it would be best to wait for another year.
Rebooted “Fixer Upper” as part of the new streaming services
As part of the deal that they had with Discovery, Inc., Chip and Joanna rebooted their popular home renovation show “Fixer Upper,” but gave it a new name – “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home.”
Instead of waiting for the Magnolia Network to be officially launched, the TV show was made available in their new streaming services, so that loyal viewers could enjoy the show again. It was a great marketing ploy to have the viewers subscribe to them, who were also given advance access to the newest content that the Magnolia network would provide, the moment it was officially offered as a cable channel, such as Joanna’s cooking show, “Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines,” along with “First Time Fixer,” “Homegrown” and “Family Dinner.”
Magnolia Network’s official launch as a basic cable network in 2022
The Gaines and Discovery waited until January 2022 to officially launch Magnolia Network as a cable channel. They said it was the right time as the pandemic has been somewhat curbed, and vaccination shots have rolled out not only in the US but around the globe. Filming was easier as travel restrictions were eased, and everyone adjusted to what’s now calls the new normal.
Joanna said, ‘At first we were a little rusty, getting back on camera, it was like, What? Where do we look? What do we do?’ Eventually, like true professionals, they were able to adjust well, and treated it as Fixer 2.0.
The Gaines shared that when they aired the final episode of the original “Fixer Upper,” they both thought that it was a closed chapter in their lives, never thinking that they would end up doing more, or getting involved deeper with a TV network and streaming app. All they wanted was a little break from all of it, as they had been doing so many things at the same time. Chip easily shared that he and his wife were too naive when they agreed with rebuilding the cable network, and it didn’t help that it happened during the pandemic, but they learned so much from it, and hopefully in the future that they can confidently say that they were successful in running a TV network.
Chip struggled with fame while Joanna took it in stride
While many dream of being famous and successful, some people can’t handle the fame when it hits them, as happened to Chip Gaines. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, in a special show called “Super Soul,” Chip candidly admitted that he struggled with the fame. He said, ‘I lost a part of myself that was really… it was sad.’ While his wife, Joanna, was never really bothered by it because she was too grounded, he had a difficult time adjusting to it. It took him around two years while filming to fully comprehend how to deal with it, as he tried to see what he’d lost exactly, during the process of being popular and successful. It took him another year off-camera to understand why he was uncomfortable with fame.
If you follow Chip Gaines on Twitter you just saw the news…Congrats Joanna & Chip! We can't wait to meet…
Chip and Joanna Gaines’ net worth
During the time Chip and Joanna Gaines took a break from being on TV, to concentrate on their kids and relationship, authoritative sources estimated that they each had $10 million as their net worth, but that was around four years ago. Even if they weren’t seen on the small screen, they never stopped working, and most of their business endeavors were highly successful. In fact, they changed the tourism economy in Waco, Texas, and helped change many lives in the city. They converted three of their real estate properties into vacation rentals, mostly booked all year round, and The Magnolia Market has had a major impact on their hometown. They published books that sold like hotcakes, and their product lines were a massive success, especially the one partnered with Target. Sources now estimate that their combined wealth is now over $50 million.
Things got even bigger for the couple, after making the multi-media deal with Discovery, Inc. There was speculation that the Gaines couple was not only able to double their net worth, but multiply it several times. They weren’t just back on TV as reality-TV stars, but as creative content executives as well. It was reported back in 2017 that HGTV paid them $30,000 per episode of “Fixer Upper,” so during its five seasons, Chip and Joanna made close to $2.5 million. They are back on TV this 2022, and the appearance fees increased immensely especially since they are more popular than ever. They have creative control over their show, as well as profit-sharing with the network’s annual earnings.
Some analysts said that they could very well end up as billionaires if things go as planned. However, it can get tricky as it would highly depend on the success of the Magnolia network, and the streaming services. With the tough competition they have now on both cable TV and streaming services, nothing can be guaranteed, but they are now appropriately referred to as at least multi-millionaires – well, you couldn’t say that they haven’t worked for it!