As a self-professed fangirl, the day I met Chip and Joanna Gaines was truly one of the most memorable days of my entire life. They're my career idols, role models and the stars of my favorite show on television, so when I recently had the chance to hang out with them in Waco, Texas to celebrate with , I was excited to get to know them better and see what they're really like in person.
Throughout the day, we painted together, we sat down to talk about their careers and family and then we toured their offices and the property where I learned so many fun and interesting tidbits about the husband-and-wife duo. Here are 10 surprising things I discovered about the couple.
1. They're incredibly down-to-earth, thoughtful and polite, despite being famous.
Before meeting the Fixer Upper stars, I hoped that they would be just as sweet and fun in-person as they are on their show, but I also didn't want to set my expectations too high and be disappointed. As I mentioned before, I'm a devoted fan, so I didn't want to leave Waco with a broken heart if they didn't live up to their on-screen personalities. If they had been reserved, fussy or rude, I wouldn't have been that surprised — they're celebrities after all! But I was more than pleasantly surprised by our interactions.
When people ask me, what were they really like, here's how I respond: Imagine Joanna and Chip being the kind, friendly and funny people you see on television. That's how they really were — but even better! Throughout the day, Chip had us cracking up, and they both made me feel completely at ease and welcomed. All of my pre-meeting jitters quickly disappeared when I got the chance to speak to them.
Before we did anything that day, Chip and Joanna wanted to meet the few other journalists there and learn a bit about where we were from, what outlet we represented and if this was our first time to Texas. They took time to learn all of our names and share a fun tidbit or connection to something we mentioned in our conversation. They were incredibly gracious and thanked us many times for being there.
2. They're always thinking about their kids.
Right after Joanna Gaines introduced us to her , she wanted us to craft with it so we could see what it's really like to use it. When the Gaines and the group of reporters walked over to choose the item we would paint (frames, planters, trays, etc.), Joanna called out to Chip and said they should work together to make something for their daughters Ella and Emmie. Joanna used her time crafting with us to paint two gorgeous jewelry boxes for the girls. Even at work, you can tell the parents always have their .
3. They have made plenty of design mistakes throughout their career.
The couple shared with us one of the biggest mistakes they ever made when they first started fixing up homes for clients. Back in the day, they painted the exterior of their client's home "school bus yellow," and received quite a few snarky comments from neighbors about their painting mistake. To this day, they still cringe when they think about it.
4. Chip's office doesn't have a computer in it!
This may seem like a piece of pointless information, but to me, this fun fact reaffirms : He marches to the beat of his own drum. In his office at Magnolia Market, you won't find a single piece of computer equipment — not even a laptop — because Chip prefers to use his phone to correspond.
5. Joanna considers painting and crafting therapeutic.
She said she loves to relax by putting her earphones in, playing some tunes and painting away. (Same Joanna, same.)
6. Chip is *always* thinking about demolition.
When someone joked about demolishing a nearby wall, Chip warned us, "you can't joke about that!" All of his close friends and family know Chip loves to jump through walls and break windows. "Yesterday they kept saying they were going to demo these setups, and my buddy was like 'Hey, don't use the word demo around Chip,'" Chip told us. "'He'll just jump right through it.'"
7. They learned almost everything they know through trial and error — and the local library.
When Chip didn't know how to repair something or install a feature when he first started in construction, he would head to the library and use books to research methods, or he would just wing. "Fifteen years ago, Google wasn't a thing, so I had to figure out all this stuff out on the fly," he told CountryLiving.com. "I was literally at the library, looking in encyclopedias."
8. We all love Chip for his hilarious antics, but Joanna is funny too!
Throughout the day, Joanna cracked several jokes and poked fun at herself many times. After telling us , she made fun of herself for her panicked feelings over the thought of having a colorful piece in her neutral-filled home. Though her humor is more subtle than Chip's, she had me laughing, too.
9. Joanna loves to journal.
The designer keeps a notebook next to her bed to jot down ideas for her design projects, clients and business. She told us the inspiration for many of her projects comes to her while she's trying to go to sleep, so she keeps a diary there to write down any ideas that come while she's drifting off.
10. Kindness is very important to them.
Though this was never explicably said or addressed by the Magnolia founders, it was evident in the way they thanked us many times for being there, in the way they thoroughly listened in all of our conversations, how treated us like dear, long-time friends and how they respected their staff and other guests throughout the day. I felt moved by the warmth, hospitality and joyful nature they shared with us.