• Chip and Joanna Gaines met in 2001, married in 2003 and have 5 children.
• Chip and Joanna opened Magnolia Market in 2003 and closed it in 2005.
• They shot to fame with the HGTV reality series “Fixer Upper” in 2013.
• In 2018, the couple announced their joint venture with Discovery, Inc, which became the Magnolia Network.
• In 2020, “Fixer Upper” returned to screens on the Magnolia Network.
About Chip and Joanna Gaines
Although Chip and Joanna Gaines shot to fame thanks to the HGTV reality series “Fixer Upper”, they were already making a name for themselves years prior, with their home renovation and redecoration business. From books to home décor lines and their own TV network, the affable entrepreneurs have succeeded in practically everything they do… and despite the occasional rumor of trouble in paradise, the business owners have built a picture-perfect empire which we’ll discuss later on.
Chip Gaines was born in New Mexico, USA, in November 1974. The ruggedly handsome TV personality was raised by his humble but hardworking parents, Bob and Gayle Gaines, and studied at the prestigious Hankamer School of Business. He enjoys a close relationship with Shannon, his sister, and loves to spend time with her when his busy work schedule allows for it.
Meanwhile, Joanna Gaines hails from Wichita, Kansas USA, and was welcomed to the world by her parents Jerry and Nan Stevens in April 1978. The brunette beauty is of Korean and Lebanese-German descent, and has two sisters named Mary Kay and Teresa. In 2001, the future celebrity graduated from Baylor University with a communications degree – coincidentally, Chip graduated from the same university with a degree in marketing and business administration three years prior, although their paths never crossed.
In late December 2022, Joanna sparked concerns after an unpleasant back injury forced her to undergo microdiscectomy surgery and stay on bed rest during the holiday season. After much online speculation, the Magnolia Network star took to Instagram to update her fans regarding her health.
News outlets report that Joanna first injured her back during her high school cheerleading days, while carrying out a complicated basket toss stunt. In 2001, she underwent her first microdiscectomy – a surgical procedure which removes the damaged part of a disk in the spine – and was forced to cancel her second date with Chip while recovering.
“I’ve always joked that my back likes to act up at the most inconvenient times, and I was a bit stressed [because] of the timing of it all,” Joanna wrote. As a hands-on mother of five, and busy businesswoman, bed rest was an alien concept for the former “Fixer Upper” host, but she later shared that she was grateful for the time off.
Since then, Joanna has made a full recovery, and is back to her normal schedule.
Chip and Joanna’s Relationship
Chip and Joanna’s first meeting came in 2001, shortly after Chip’s first visit to the automotive shop owned by Joanna’s father. Upon seeing a family photo behind the counter, he was mesmerized by Joanna’s beauty, and apparently, knew that he’d marry her one day. He returned to the shop several times in hopes of meeting Joanna, which became something of a running joke amongst his friends. He finally bumped into the brunette while she was working in the office, and they soon set up their first date.
Despite pulling out all the stops to strike up a connection with Joanna, Chip was 90 minutes late on the big day – and didn’t even give an explanation. Nevertheless, the first outing went well, but as Chip had bet fifty dollars with a friend to see who could go the longest without calling their date back, he didn’t get in touch with Joanna for months afterwards. As mentioned, Joanna’s microdiscectomy operation forced her to cancel their second date when they finally began talking again, so it’s amazing that the couple made it this far.
After a year of dating, Chip fooled Joanna into thinking that they’d be attending a private concert… but took her to a shopping center where he popped the big question instead. The couple then went to design Joanna’s ring at a jewelry store and enjoy a celebratory family dinner with their parents and sisters.
A year later, the couple tied the knot at Earle Harrison House mansion and bought their first house, which they began renovating upon returning from their honeymoon. Chip was in charge of construction work, whereas Joanne helped out with the other details such as interior décor. The house in question was the couple’s first project, and served as an important landmark in their business ventures.
Relationship – Part 2
Chip and Joanna made another dream come true with the opening of their first retail store, The Magnolia Market, in October 2003. Despite it being a personal goal of Joanna’s, Chip was the one who inspired and helped her to make it happen. The next few years were a busy time for the duo, as they not only worked on their business but welcomed four children: Drake, Ella Rose, Duke and Emmie Kay.
Although Magnolia Market closed in 2005, the building served as the business headquarters for Chip and Joanna’s next project: Magnolia Homes. Both parties have credited their working together as the foundation of their solid marriage, and in May 2013 with the premiere of “Fixer Upper”, they became household names after years of excellence in the real estate and home renovation industries.
Ten years after Magnolia Market closed, it reopened at the Silos in 2015, pulling in up to 35,000 visitors a week in 2016. From shops and restaurants to bakeries and other stores, the second version of Magnolia Market was far more successful. In 2016, Chip and Joanna also opened The Magnolia House bed-and-breakfast, launched a line of furniture, paint colors, and wallpaper designs, and published the first issue of their quarterly lifestyle magazine, The Magnolia Journal.
If that wasn’t enough, the now famous couple also published their first joint book, The Magnolia Story, which contained juicy relationship details, and plenty of shared moments for readers to enjoy.
2017 to Present Day
At the peak of their fame, Chip and Joanna were plagued by divorce rumors which began circulating online in 2017. Instead of letting the rumors get out of control, Chip branded Joanna the love of his life, and denied that a split was on the cards. However, the rumors returned months later when the former HGTV sweethearts confirmed that “Fixer Upper” would not be returning for a sixth season.
Fans of Chip and Joanna became understandably uneasy and were disappointed to learn that their favorite small-screen couple was taking a break from TV; meanwhile, the Gaines put out a joint blog post in which they explained that they needed more time for their businesses and children. Shortly afterwards, they released a home and lifestyle collaboration with Target, named Hearth & Hand with Magnolia.
Despite claiming to need a break in their busy schedules, Chip and Joanna made a life-changing Instagram announcement in January 2018: the Kansas native’s fifth pregnancy. This led to rumors that the couple had decided not to renew their contract with HGTV, so as to try for another baby without having to worry about promoting or filming for “Fixer Upper”.
Magnolia Table, the duo’s new restaurant, opened in Waco the following month. Specializing in breakfasts and brunches, Magnolia Table uses homegrown ingredients from Joanna’s personal garden, and boasts hundreds of reviews from content customers. Mere months after the grand opening of the eatery, Joanna and Chip welcomed their third son Crew, who arrived two and a half weeks early. Joanna also confirmed that Crew had been a “surprise”, dispelling earlier rumors regarding the sudden cancellation of “Fixer Upper”.
In an April 2019 press release, Discovery, Inc. confirmed their multi-platform media joint venture with Joanna and Chip’s Magnolia empire, which later morphed into the Magnolia Network, and became the couple’s most ambitious project to date. Despite welcoming their fifth child, the fast-paced entrepreneurs show no signs of slowing down.
In August 2020, fans of “Fixer Upper” were thrilled to learn that the series would be returning to screens, this time available exclusively on Magnolia Network. Less than a year later, Chip and Joanna celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary, which they commemorated with sweet online posts, and a sit-down interview with none other than Oprah Winfrey.
On the surface, “Fixer Upper” is like any other home renovation show. However, the general public’s interest in the series was sparked thanks to its reboot on Magnolia Network. Over the years, various former participants of the series have discussed their experience with media outlets, sharing the show’s best-kept secrets.
Jaime, for example, shared that the finished home always contains furniture from Magnolia Market – which homeowners can only keep if they purchase. It makes sense for Joanna to use the show to promote her wares, and she does try to keep as much of the couples’ existing furniture as possible, but some homeowners were left disgruntled when most of their new furniture was removed.
I can't believe tonight is our very last episode of #FixerUpper. This picture is from our pilot in 2012 & the last scene in 2017. What a journey this has been! Check out my blog for an update from us & to see what's on the horizon for us & @Magnolia. https://t.co/8DsQXJmQJa pic.twitter.com/C1BlHL5TJw
— Joanna Gaines (@joannagaines) April 3, 2018
Although at the start of each episode Chip, Joanna, and the couple in question can be seen perusing properties in Waco, the homes are normally picked out before filming. A season three participant named David Ridley confirmed that he had already purchased his house before being chosen to appear on the show, meaning that “Fixer Upper” is rife with scripted elements, much like other reality series.
More surprising, however, is that HGTV didn’t pay for any renovations. The couples pay for the demolition work, whereas the network covered Chip and Joanna’s services, which can cost thousands of dollars. HGTV also paid for one big item which was normally an extravagant piece of furniture. It remains unclear how much of the renovation work, if any, is paid for by Magnolia Network these days.
There are various requirements for aspiring participants of the show. Couples must search for a home within 40 miles of Waco, and must also have at least $30,000 available for renovation work… but according to online sources, the homeowners can’t go near their properties while renovation is underway. This is done to ensure that the couples’ reactions are genuine when it’s time to film the big reveal, but as Jaime shared that his two-minute reveal scene took eight hours to film, it seems pretty pointless to forbid the couples from being part of the actual renovation process. Nevertheless, there haven’t been many “Fixer Upper” horror stories for now, as most couples have been content with the finished product.
Chip and Joanna are an extremely image-conscious couple who work hard to keep their brand free of any controversy. However, they came under fire when news outlets confirmed that the pastor of their church, Antioch Community Church, was against same-sex marriage and promoted sexual orientation conversion therapy, which ranges from counselling and therapy to chemical castration and other abusive treatments.
Although the Gaines were quick to put out a statement in which they denied discriminating against members of the LGTB community, and pointing out that “Fixer Upper” included participants from all walks of life – including same-sex couples – they made no comment on their pastor’s personal views. For now, we don’t know if the Gaines are still attending Antioch Community Church, or if their pastor is indeed homophobic.
Chip and Joanna were also previously accused of deceiving Kelly Downs, an unhappy participant of “Fixer Upper”. In a no-holds-barred interview, Kelly blasted Magnolia Realty and the city of Waco, describing it as the “Wild West”, and complaining about the noise in the area. The Downs’ front window was also ruined by a drunk driver, and they claimed to feel harassed and intimidated in their new neighborhood.
Luckily for Chip and Joanna, Kelly’s interview has largely been forgotten about. As we mentioned earlier, most homes on “Fixer Upper” are purchased before filming. Kelly failed to mention if the home in question had been picked out by the Gaines, or by herself and her partner.
Other residents of Waco also have a bone to pick with the famous couple, who’ve turned the formerly sleepy town into a roaring tourist attraction. Local tax hikes, parking issues, and ever-rising home prices are just some of the downsides to Waco’s newfound fame, but given that “Fixer Upper” is back and better than ever, there’s not much that can be done about these issues.