Chip and Joanna Gaines have been a household name since their hit HGTV series Fixer Upper first premiered in 2013.
Four seasons of the highest-rated HGTV show in network history, a New York Times bestselling book, a quarterly magazine, a paint, wallpaper, rug and furniture line, a bakery, successful retail shops, and a happy marriage later, the Gaineses are America’s power couple. They’ve found their niche, and the world can’t get enough of it.
Not to mention the inexplicable desire to move to Waco, Texas.
But in a recent interview with People magazine, the Gaineses open up about the long road of hard work and faith that led them to where they are today.
“Nothing has come easy,” Chip says. “We’ve worked so hard to have this beautiful family and this farm—it really does seem like the American dream you heard about growing up.”
The couple met in 2001 and tied the knot in 2003. For years after that, they admittedly lived off of the cash in Chip’s wallet as they scraped by in the house-flipping business.
“I remember when we first got married the only money we had was what was in Chip’s pocket. He always had a wad of cash, but we were broke. If I needed to go grocery shopping it’s whatever was in his pocket. That’s how we paid the bills.”
Of course, now they’re running the Magnolia empire along with a laundry-list of other accolades in their quest for success.
Joanna says it can be challenging to find a balance between achieving their dreams and becoming worn out. But at the end of the day they find the most comfort outside of their comfort zones.
“I think comfortable for us can be a little dangerous. The second Chip gets content, he gets really restless. It’s not about, ‘Let’s get here and then we’ll be happy.’ We like the idea of having to wrestle a little bit and figure things out. That’s where we thrive the most.”
Through all of their endeavors, the couple’s top priorities are their marriage and their four kids: Drake, Ella, Duke and Emmie.
“Jo and I both made a commitment pretty early on that the two of us are the most important variable,” Chip explains. “If we can figure out how to be right as a couple, then obviously we a have a lot better opportunity to be right for our kids.”
And for those of us whose mommy-efforts are put to shame by Joanna’s seamless entrepreneurship, farmhouse design aesthetic and perfect hair, she says not to fear—raising kids and running an empire isn’t as easy as TV makes it look.
“We’ve had to, over time, figure out a way so when we’re at work, we’re all in. We’re efficient with our time, we’re filming. But then when we get home, we’re all in at home.
I think that’s how we kind of bring balance mentally so we’re not all work/no play. For me, it’s the garden and being outside and working with my hands; for Chip it’s just doing the whole cowboy thing, and we incorporate the kids.”
As if we didn’t already want to be their best friends, Chip and Joanna’s down-to-earth personalities and homegrown roots are what keep them grounded and thriving.
The dynamic duo just finished filming season 5 of Fixer Upper, and as you can imagine they’re staying busier than ever balancing all of their businesses and even incorporating new ones.