When we were planning what we wanted to do during our month in Austin this year, I told Mr. MT Nest that I simply could not come to Texas without visiting Magnolia Market in Waco. Waco is only about a two-hour drive from where we are staying in Austin and we are both fans of HGTV’s Fixer Upper and of Joanna and Chip Gaines, so he readily agreed. My hubby enjoys Chip’s zany antics and we both enjoy home renovation, so the show has become our favorite.
Joanna and Chip are such an adorable couple, so talented, and they just seem so down to earth that you just feel like you’d hit it off immediately if you ever met them in person. As the day of our planned pilgrimage approached, my excitement grew. Even though my head knew that Joanna and Chip don’t hang out in the store, my heart dreamed that they’d be stopping by to take care of some bit of business or to pick up something needed for one of their projects during the time we’d be visiting. I spent a little extra time on my hair and makeup and made sure that I wore something that would photograph well just in case I had the opportunity to take a picture with one or both of them. Of course, there was no such luck. The closest we came to meeting them was the billboard bearing their pictures that we saw along the interstate on our way into Waco.
But even though my dream of a celebrity encounter wasn’t realized, we thoroughly enjoyed the Magnolia experience: The Silos…
…the gorgeous, iconic Magnolia sign…
…the farmhouse touches like the barn-door detailing and the old church pew near the front entrance…
…and we, (especially me), DID very much enjoy browsing the merchandise at Magnolia Market and taking some of it away with us.
As I entered the store, this valentine-themed display was the first thing my eyes encountered. A store employee greeted me and welcomed me to Magnolia Market.
To the right of the entrance, atop a beautiful wood table, was a display of small white glass tulip vases and Joanna’s Signature Candles.
We arrived on a weekday just after the store opened and the parking lots were nearly full. The store was teaming with shoppers. Some of them appear in the pictures I took because I simply couldn’t avoid all the multitude of shoppers.
The look of the store is very much the Joanna design esthetic. If you’ve visited the Magnolia online store, much of the merchandise is the same. But there are some items that aren’t available online. Some items are mass-produced in China (miscellaneous items) or India (textiles), but there are also items made in Texas or other parts of the USA. I tried to limit my purchases to items that were locally produced in most cases. I just felt like those items were the more unique selections.
There were items made from reclaimed wood.
And lots of high quality faux botanicals.
There’s an area filled with “guy stuff”…
…and an unofficial “husband waiting area,” a gorgeous extra-long church pew.
My wish list kept growing . It was hard to decide what touches of Magnolia I would take home to North Carolina. There are no shopping carts or baskets, but Magnolia employees are working throughout the store and will set aside items that you want to purchase behind the checkout counter. It’s easy to forget what you’ve already put aside, so I had to be careful not to completely blow the budget.
At the checkout, my items were wrapped and bagged and I was given a map showing other points of interest around Waco. I thought that was a nice Joanna and Chip touch to promote their hometown. We visited a few of the other points of interest before leaving Waco later that afternoon. (I’ll share more in a future post)
I left the shop with two shopping bags full of my favorite kind of souvenirs…the kind I can live with in my home to remind me of my time in Waco, Texas, and the kind I can give as gifts to special people back home.
After making my purchases, we wandered around to the back of Magnolia where there is a big open grassy area, picnic tables, and a graveled area with gourmet food trucks. We enjoyed a lovely lunch on a beautiful clear, warm Texas afternoon.
Around the back to one side of the grassy area, at the far end of the food truck area, there’s also a lovely vegetable garden with and a small building at the rear of the property. It looks like an area that would be perfect for a garden party of some sort.
Although this was “The day I didn’t meet Joanna and Chip Gaines,” my pilgrimage to Waco and Magnolia Market will be one of the most special memories from my trip to Texas this month. I look forward to unpacking all my Magnolia “souvenirs” when I am back at home in Our MT Nest!
Are you a fan of Fixer Upper, too? What would you like to ask Joanna and Chip if you met them?
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