One benefit of going through chemotherapy is the downtime. Whereas before chemo I didn’t take time to read books, I am now able to read a little more. One book I have wanted to read for awhile is The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper on HGTV.  I love their show and their enthusiastic spirit working together. It reminds me a little bit of me and Wayne as we have worked together on our businesses for over 8 years now. Albeit, Chip and Joanna have taken leaps to expand their business and their dreams. I give them a tremendous amount of credit for working hard, but still keeping their values intact.

 Their book was published in October, 2016 and I am just now finishing it. It took me a minute to figure out the writing style. They both wrote the book from their different perspectives and the font changes when one or the other is writing. Joanna writes the most and Chip provides excerpts and thoughts throughout.

I try to look for books that can inspire and this one fit the bill. The book takes us from each childhood throughout their time dating. They speak of what their families are like and how they were raised.  The bulk of the book shares how they started their business and what steps they took to finance and design and collaborate. They also speak of their faith and what inspires them to move forward in achieving their dreams. They are two very different people, but they do balance each other’s personalities. I respect their value system in making their family number one priority. Definitely a good read.

It just so happened that on our trip to Texas last October,  we were able to visit Magnolia at the Silos. I had been looking forward to visiting the market and the Silos Baking Co which had just opened earlier in the Summer. Waco, Texas was not what I expected. It sort of reminded me of an old town which had seen better days and  a better economy. There are a lot of run down areas in town. I got the impression Chip & Joanna Gaines have fueled a lot of income into this town and it is revitalized.  I often wondered when watching the show, why the prices are so low on these houses. I believe property prices will definitely go up with the added tourist connection and I am happy for the City of Waco.

Magnolia at the Silos was not too busy when we pulled in. However, parking is very limited and we had to park about two blocks away because there is no parking lot at the Silos. Many people parked on the street and a trolley is available to transport.

We were greeted at the door by Market employees who were very warm and friendly. The atmosphere in the Market is casual and the setup is beautiful. It wasn’t stark or cold and the items were displayed for easy access. I found a ton of cute, decorative “stuff” to bring home, but a lot of items seemed very expensive. I did buy a few things and when we checked out we were given a cute postcard with a thank you note and picture of Chip and Joanna. I thought it was a nice touch.

We visited the Magnolia Seed Supply which was a small building off to the side of the silos. The building was almost as small as a shed and didn’t offer a lot of merchandise, mostly t-shirts and “fairy garden” items. The garden outside of the Seed Supply is beautiful and quite large for the space. It was very well laid out and looked like an “active” garden space.

Our last stop was the Silos Baking Co. The line to get in wasn’t long for us and I think we were fortunate to visit at a slow time. There was a greeter at the door who handed us an order form and explained what the seasonal baked good was. We wanted to taste a selection of items so we ordered 2 cookies (which were large cookies) and one of each of the flavors of cupcakes. They were packaged beautifully and I was impressed with the attention to detail on each cupcake. Later that night we cut each cupcake into small bites and spread them on a platter to share after dinner. I didn’t think they were the best I have ever tasted, but a good cupcake. I think they are displayed creatively, but I think they must charge so much for each cupcake to pay for the packaging. I think the baked goods were a little pricey (but I could just be frugal?)!

I applaud Chip and Joanna Gaines for the awesome way they have created their business. I think they have created many jobs and increased the economy for Waco. They set a good example for families everywhere and I respect their values. I am inspired by their story.

If you would like to read their story, pick up their book here