By now you have likely heard of the HGTV show “Fixer Upper” featuring my close personal friends Chip and Joanna Gaines. If you haven’t logged into Netflix lately and experienced this TV gold, let me give you the brief overview. Chip and Jojo are the most adorable couple that renovate old houses into drool-worthy homes. It all takes place in Waco, Texas where home prices are apparently very low and the renovation costs are even lower. (For those that have watched the show…how many times have you considered moving to Texas considering the home prices?! Yes. Me too.) This show is all over the place and if you ask me, the couple is the not-so-secret secret sauce to the whole deal. They are hilarious, smart, witty (double points) and make houses look like a Pottery Barn catalog on a Target budget. It’s addicting.
Why am I talking about this?
I recently took a pilgrimage to the heart of the Fixer Upper story – I visited Magnolia. Magnolia is Chip and Joanna Gaines’s home goods store located in Waco, Texas. Now you may be thinking, “Wow, that’s a serious obsession to visit/stalk this couple all the way from Minneapolis.” You guys – there were Australians visiting Magnolia. The obsession is real.
I thought I would share my experience with you. You could call it a girls weekend / personal and mental relaxation weekend / me-time / couples getaway. Whatever you call it, if you are considering a weekend trip in the near future, I encourage you to add this to your idea list. Besides being a great getaway, it is also fairly low-budget, which we can all agree is a good thing.
So, let’s get to the good stuff.
The store is stunning – I cannot think of a better word to describe it. They sell everything from dishes to wall décor to Magnolia t-shirts (yes, I bought one) to outdoor garden décor. Every item is merchandised beautifully and thoughtfully. They took time to think about how to display their product in a way that inspires you and gives you multiple ideas of ways you can work it into your own home. I swear I walked around the store for hours looking at displays and wishing I could drive a semi-truck home with all of the mental purchases I was making to decorate my home (my husband would have loooooved that). The only trouble for me was to select items that could fit into my already full suitcase. Poor planning on my part. With some of the displays and larger items I found myself looking at again and again, I made a very long list of DIY projects. We will see if I ever carry any of those plans to completion (my track record is telling me I will not do it).
Something that shocked me is the sheer number of people visiting the store. I mentioned earlier that people visited from far off countries. Yes – there were busloads of people on a Monday morning at 10:30AM. It was total madness. Every square inch of the store was filled with people. We shopped around for a while and decided to take a break outside for a bit. Another woman came out and said she felt as if she just ran a marathon. We decided to return to the store in the late afternoon and were pleasantly surprised at how few people were there. It was much quieter and a lot less crowded. I suppose people want to get into the store early for the best items – so know that you’ll battle crowds if you shop first thing in the morning!
Lastly – and my favorite – is that Magnolia is not just a store but more of an experience. That sounds cheesy to say – but it’s true! The store is located in the middle of downtown Waco, but has a huge yard space with tons of seating, picnic tables, swings, and outdoor games. They encourage people to hangout in the yard, make a day of it, and best of all – eat at one of the many food trucks parked on their property. They had all sorts of food truck options from fresh juice to crepes to specialty grilled cheese. These people know how to delight their visitors! They also plan to open a garden shop and a bakery in the near future. I just might have to make a return trip.
I could honestly gush more details to you all day. Even if you don’t visit in person, let this be an encouragement to watch “Fixer Upper” on HGTV, check out the Magnolia blog, or plan a girls weekend somewhere that inspires you.