WACO, Texas (KWTX) On the eve of the release of her latest book, Joanna Gaines and her husband Chip are opening up about closing a major chapter of their lives: ‘Fixer Upper.’
(Photo by Rissa Shaw)
“The season was beautiful, it was fun, it was exciting, it was hard work, but once we closed that chapter – for us there was no looking back,” said Joanna. “Five years was a good run, and now we're excited for what's to come."
It was a shock to many last year when the couple announced they were stepping away from the HGTV show at the height of its popularity.
However, like the Magnolia flowers and trees that inspired their company’s name, Chip and Jo are going back to their “business roots.”
"We're both business people really, fundamentally, and so it’s like the TV thing was such a whirlwind, it was like starting a business, there were so many entrepreneurial elements that we enjoyed, so much creativity that went into it that we just loved,” said Chip. “But after we ran that course, and then now we've really gotten to focus on our business and Jo's written a couple of books, we've done some stuff, we had a baby, I mean, it's really fun how our hearts are drawn to the business, but not necessarily back to television in that vein.”
Chip says he doesn’t miss it, possibly putting to rest rumors of another TV show in the near future.
“I don't (miss it) for some reason,” said the former 'Fixer Upper' star. “We felt like we were supposed to take a break, and something about having Crew on our side has certainly forced us into that, ya know, slowed things down a little bit."
While fans were heartbroken about the show’s cancellation, the couple announced some heartwarming news around the time the final season launched in February: Joanna was pregnant with their fifth child.
“He’s a trooper,” Joanna said of her baby boy.
The couple had Crew, 4.5 months, in June, however, they don’t seem to be slowing down much: after ‘Fixer Upper’ wrapped in April, the Gaines’ hosted the inaugural Silo District Marathon in May (which Chip trained for and finished), Crew was born the following month, Magnolia’s annual Silobration was in October, and Joanna’s design book “Homebody” is being released Tuesday, Nov. 6.
“It's not just a coffee table book with really pretty homes in it, it's a guide,” said Joanna. “My hope is that when people read it, it really helps them identify their own style, if they kind of feel stuck in their own home that it nudges them in the right direction."
Joanna was in New York promoting the book this week with an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon scheduled for Friday.
A businesswoman, mother, and wife, Chip says he’s proud.
“She’s three-quarter computer, I call her the cyborg,” said Chip. “Jo has a lot of her daddy in him, just a workaholic and she loves it, but the fun thing about Jo is she never forgets about the kids, she never forgets about me, she sort of has this innate ability to juggle all of these things."
Joanna says she’s been working on “Homebody” for years.
“Hopefully it's something people see and not look at it and think 'oh my house is not going to look like that,’” she said. “Instead, just really finding contentment with their own space and finding ways to make it come alive and tell their own story."
The Gaines’ story will continue to be set in Waco, according to the couple.
“We love Waco, I mean that's the bottom line,” Chip told KWTX. “We chose to be here, we were both transplants ourselves; she came from the Austin area, I came from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, both Baylor grads, I mean, we graduated just like thousands of Baylor students every year who choose to go elsewhere or choose to stay here, and for Jo and I we really wanted to make a difference, we had a real passion for this town and we still do.”
Their passion for Waco and it’s surrounding communities continues to grow; like the old grist mill in Valley Mills which Magnolia is turning into a third bed-and-breakfast, the Gaines’ say we can expect them to purchase future area properties that inspire them.
“When you look at the grounds themselves — the Silos could be something, so we can't wait to explore that, we recently bought the (Waco) CrossFit building, and we want that to be something great,” said Chip. “There's no doubt about it, there's going to be investments made on our behalf.”
The couple hopes it boosts businesses around them.
Chip and Jo’s biggest investment, however, is in their family which, if Chip has anything to say about it, may not be done growing.
“He likes the idea of lots (of kids),” laughed Joanna. “I mean, he could go on forever.”
Both say they’re open to the idea to having a sixth child, giving Crew a “buddy” as his closest sibling is eight-years older than him.
“I’m mostly done, I'm mostly done!” said Chip.