A Short Drive North From Austin
Just a hop, a skip and a jump north from Austin (with a short stop at Buc-ee’s in Temple, of course!) will get you to the historic and surprisingly progressive mid-sized Texas town of Waco (pronounced way-coe). This is a historic place, partly because of a tornado that ripped through the streets on May 11, 1953, killing over 100 people (!), and it’s surprisingly progressive because of the savvy TV couple who have taken the place by storm in a totally different way. Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of HGTV’s hit show, Fixer Upper, have renovated dozens of homes in their home town with whirlwind speed, going and blowing all night long to finish the job if need be.
Photo courtesy At Home – a Blog by Joanna Gaines
Chip and Joanna Gaines Have Taken Waco By Storm
In addition to renovating homes like The Americana House from Episode 18, the success of the Gaineses’ business ventures have spun off into retail space, bakery goods and a full-service restaurant. (Read the whole Magnolia story here.) Yep, to say that Chip and Joanna have taken Waco by storm could be considered quite the Texas-sized understatement.
All Us Girls Gotta Go
Back when Magnolia Market was first a “thang,” my friend, Jana and I traveled up I-35 from Austin to check it out for ourselves. After a quick pit stop at Buc-ee’s in Temple for a snack to tide us over to whatever else were were about to eat in an hour, we put the pedal to the metal and kept on truckin’ till we pulled up into the parking lot of the church across the street from the Silos.
As far as road trips to see the success of TV peeps are concerned, our afternoon in Waco was our first rodeo; however, we have since visited the Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. It seems like we’re getting pretty good at being on the cutting edge of these things, if you ask me.
Sturdy Brown Shopping Bags Make it Easy
To our credit (pun intended), the depletion to our bank accounts was fairly minimal both at the Magnolia and the Mercantile. We did notice a unique strategy at Joanna Gaines’s place, though. Once you make decisions and pay out, the friendly cashiers put your stuff in big, sturdy brown bags, which turned out to be so fortuitous. Do you know why? That’s so that when you’re walking out of the store and your eyes travel across a beautiful decorative item you missed on the first go-round, you can snatch it up, snag a place in line again and the attendant can just add it to your sturdy bag.
That Joanna is one smart cookie – or cupcake.
Adding a bakery at the Silos and calling it by the same name? Genius. Putting cranberry orange biscuits on the menu? Outstanding. Publishing her recipes in a cookbook? Joanna Gaines is definitely on a roll.
Photo courtesy Silos Baking Co.
Magnolia Market is a Motivational Place to Shop
Magnolia Market struck me as a place that is made up of two parts inspiration and one part motivation. Of course, it could strike you just opposite, if you’re the kind that gets motivated before you’re actually inspired.
Jana was more on the motivated side of things. Her daughter’s wedding date had recently been put on the books, and Jana couldn’t wait to do some scouting for reception centerpiece ideas. She and her daughter eventually decided to use some lanterns instead, but we did like these metal bases and greenery.
I wasn’t looking for anything wedding, since our big Austin wedding already occurred (yes!), but I did bring home a couple of these signature scent candles, because I was positively sure they would make great gifts.
Purchase a signature scented candle with the newest design look from Magnolia here.
Beautiful decorative touches are all around the store, like these artificial tulips that look very real.
It’s Definitely Time for a Second Visit to Magnolia Market
Of the two of us, Jana is the only one who has made another shopping trip to Waco. In fact, she’s been several times, but I’m going to make her go again soon – with me. After all, we two savvy progressives are all about making history.
What about you? Have you made the trek to Magnolia Market? Did you sweeten the visit with a cupcake from the Silos Bakery? Leave a comment below – we’d all love to hear what treasures you found!
Encouraging intentional adventure,
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PSS: When Jana and I were waiting in line for lunch at Pioneer Woman Mercantile, the young woman in front of us was reading Chip and Joanna Gaines’s book! She and her husband had come all the way from Indiana to celebrate their anniversary in Pawhuska. Does that make us all some sort of market/mercantile cult following?