Things You Might Not Know About Fixer Upper Stars Chip And Joanna Gaines RelationshipPublished on October 21, 2016. Updated May 20, 2020
Chip and Joanna Gaines are one of the most beloved couples on television right now. The Gaines currently star on Fixer Upper, the most-watched HGTV show of all time! The reality series follows the married couple around as they work with clients to buy and remodel old homes in central Texas. Not only are they the perfect couple, but they are also the perfect team! Joanna works as the decorator while Chip brings his construction expertise to the table as the lead contractor on all their projects. The fourth season of Fixer Upper will be premiering on Nov. 29 and their new book The Magnolia Story hits the stores this month! Chip and Joanna Gaines are at the peak of their careers right now, so lets take a look at 10 things you might not have known about this amazing couple:
10. How They First Met
Even though the reality couple both went to Baylor University around the same time, that’s not where they met! Chip and Joanna first met at the tire store Joanna’s dad owned. Chip would go in all the time and one time saw a photo of Joanna. “Her dad made the mistake of putting a picture of the family behind the counter at his shop. I knew I’d marry her one day just by the picture on the wall,” said Chip in an interview with Pop Sugar. They finally met one day when Chip went in to have his brakes fixed and Joanna was working in the shop. “My buddies used to always joke that no one could get their brakes done as often as I got my brakes done,” said Chip in an interview at KWTX. When he finally got the chance to talk to her in person, he said, “Hey, you’re the girl from the commercials!” This was enough to get her attention and Joanna eventually fell for his quirky sense of humor.
9. Saying ‘I Love You’
Joanna and Chip got married after dating for a little over a year. Their wedding was on March 31, 2003 and they’ve now been married for 12 years! In an interview with US Weekly, Chip looked back on the early days in their relationship and he revealed he was the first one to say ‘I love you.’ But when he did, it didn’t exactly go as planned considering Joanna responded to his proclamation of love with a simple ‘thank you.’ It’s pretty clear that Chip is the romantic in this relationship while Joanna is more of a realist. “Yeah, that’s the way cyborgs respond to ‘I love you.’ She said, ‘thank you’ and I was like, ‘I am so freaking sick of this,’ and I grabbed my basketball and I walked home like a 4-year-old,” said Chip.
8. Their First Real Fixer Upper
When Joanna and Chip first got married, they bought a run down house that needed a lot of work. Chip’s job at the time was flipping houses and renting homes out to college students. That was his job, but Chip has revealed that Joanna’s dad wasn’t too keen on the idea of flipping houses for a career. This didn’t stop Joanna! Once she joined in on the fun, she said she was hooked. Their first “fixer upper” was the first home they bought together. Joanna describes the house as being “all over the map.” She told HGTV in an interview that “the front room had sailboats in it, the kitchen was mustard yellow and French themed, and the back den was rustic with cedar paneled walls, hanging horns and cow hides. I guess I was testing out my style.”
7. Magnolia Store
The crafty couple started out as small business owners with a boutique named Magnolia, but now it’s grown in to a full blown lifestyle brand! The name ‘Magnolia’ came from the tree! “We we were dating, I would pick these blooms from Magnolia trees. If you’ve ever seen them, they are almost just bowl-like, and that whole thing just always inspired us. So when we had the opportunity and were trying to figure out what to name her little boutique, Magnolia Market just stood out to us,” said Chip. Joanna used the store to develop and sharpen her design skills, but they eventually closed the store when they started to have children and focus more on their construction business. In 2014, when they were becoming more successful as a renovating team, they reopened the boutique and transformed the little shop into what is now known as the Magnolia Market.
6. Biggest Parenting Mistake
In an interview with People magazine, Joanna revealed they (well, Chip) made a huge parenting mistake when they were new parents. Chip accidentally left their 6-week-old child home alone while he went to the grocery store. Joanna said she went out for a run and left her husband and their now-11-year-old son together at the house. When she got back from her run she realized Chip had left their son, Drake, home alone! “I walked in and discovered Chip had prepared an elaborate breakfast for me. I sat down to eat, and I looked over at Drake. He was sound asleep in his swing, still wearing nothing but his diaper.” She asked Chip if he took Drake to the grocery store with no clothes on. “Chip gave me a real funny look. He said, ‘What?’ I gave him a funny look back,” said Joanna. Chip then said to her, “‘Oh my gosh, I totally forgot Drake was here. He was so quiet.'” Joanna said it happened again about a week later! She was coming back from her run when she saw Chip driving down the road, “He rolled up to me with his window down and said, ‘Baby, you’re doing so good. I’m heading to work now. I’ve got to go.’ I looked in the back, thinking, of course he’s got Drake. But I didn’t see a car seat.” She didn’t go for another run until Drake was a year old!
5. HGTV’s Fixer Upper
The home improvement stars were approached about doing their own show after HGTV saw a few photos of homes they had previously flipped. When Joanna first got a call from the network offering them a reality show she said Chip thought it was a scam! He encouraged her not to return their phone call, but of course she did, and the couple are now reality stars. The show premiered back in 2013 and is now hugely popular. It’s one of the highest rated HGTV shows and attracts millions of viewers each season! Chip and Joanna admit that working with a spouse can be difficult, but they are incredibly lucky that they work so well together. “Somehow the cards were dealt and Jo and I love to work together. We love to be together, but we joke to some of our friends that if we hadn’t gotten so lucky we probably would have killed each other by now,” said Chip.
4. Big Family
Chip and Joanna have four children: Emmie, 6, Duke, 8, Ella, 9, and Drake, 11. Raising their kids on a farm means their family loves to be outdoors: “They love being outside, they love farm animals and they are sure to always keep things interesting around here,” said Joanna. The family has 60 animals in total, including chickens, cows, horses and goats. “We always knew we wanted a family, but I think four, four surprised us,” said Joanna. It wasn’t planned that they would have a big family, but it just kind of happened! Chip and Joanna also said when they hit three, they wanted to even out the number so they had one more! Joanna said she’s open to having more children, “I look at life as the more the better. If I found out we were having another baby, I would be really excited. We like a full plate. That’s just how Chip and I operate.”
They raise their family in Waco, Texas in a 100-year-old farmhouse that sits on 40 acres of land. The home has been fully renovated, but still has that old farmhouse style with tons of re purposed vintage pieces thanks to Joanna’s great taste in decorating. This house has tons of character because it still has all the original molding, trim, flooring and shiplap walls. The couple said their family had complete faith in them when they bought this old run-down farmhouse. “They have seen some pretty bad homes that we have purchased…this one honestly didn’t scare them, mainly because the land was so pretty.”
2. They Don’t Own a TV
Many people would be surprised to learn that a couple who is featured on a television show doesn’t actually own a television! When they first got married they went to pre-marital counseling. Their counselor told them if they want a real challenge in their first year of marriage, they shouldn’t buy a TV for the first six months of marriage. “Then six months later we looked at each other and said, ‘How about another six months?’ And it just became one of those things were, 12 years later, we still don’t own one,” said Joanna. She also said their children don’t even really understand that their parents have a show because of the fact that they are so young and there is no television in the house.
1. Juggling Fame and Family
Joanna and Chip have made it clear that if it ever came down to choosing between their new found fame and their family — they would choose their family in a heartbeat. “We are thankful for our success. But if it ever compromised our ability to be a healthy married couple or our kids started to get a little bit off track, we would quit this thing in a heartbeat,” said Chip. The couple went from struggling small town business owners to reality stars with their own home improvement empire. “All of this sort of fell into our laps. We were just living our life out here in little bitty Waco. We had dreams and aspirations like most folks, but this has really been something else.” Joanna and Chip work hard to shield their children from the limelight because they don’t want it to affect their childhood or the way they are raised. “They’re so young and we want to give them the chance to have a normal childhood. Navigating around that — trying to really cover them in certain areas and just make sure that they don’t know everything as far as all that’s out there,” said Joanna.