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Chip and Joanna Gaines: Inside Their 20-Year Texas Love Story

Chip and Joanna Gaines became the ultimate marriage goals on their hit HGTV show, Fixer Upper. Fans became obsessed with watching the goofy Chip Gaines flirt with his wife on the air while they turn a dumpy old house into a family's dream home. They immediately became HGTV's sweethearts that warmed fans' hearts one house project at a time. As you'd expect, their love story is just as charming as they are.

Chip first caught site of Joanna in her father's automotive shop in Waco, Texas. He told PopSugar that he immediately knew she was the one.

"Her dad made the mistake of putting a pic of the family behind the counter at his [automotive] shop. I knew I'd marry her one day just by the picture on the wall."

The Sweetest "Meet Cute"

Joanna had first gotten a taste of being in front of the camera by starring in car commercials for her father's business. A young Chip kept coming in for "car repairs" until he finally ran into her in 2001 and asked her out, complimenting her commercials. In The Magnolia Story, Chip wrote that he almost messed up his chances with Joanna because he placed a $50 bet with a friend to see who could wait for the longest before calling back their dates. Luckily, Jo gave him another chance, but took her time warming up to him.

After Chip said "I Love You" for the first time, Joanna said, "Thank you."

"Yeah, that's the way cyborgs respond to 'I love you,'" Chip told US Weekly. "She said 'thank you' and I was like, 'I am so freaking sick of this,' and I grabbed my basketball and I walked home like a 4-year-old."

Business Partners

After a year of dating, the couple moved in together and started working on their first reno. 

"I remember crying when Chip said we were moving in — it was dumpy and it smelled bad. We fixed it up and fell in love with it," Gaines wrote. "To this day, if you ask us what our favorite house we ever lived in we both go back to this little white 800 sq ft home. We were broke and were forced to be creative with our resources and we were proud as punch about this place. Most of what I learned creatively stemmed from this little fixer upper."

"At first, I couldn't believe how kind Chip was — he had kind eyes, and made me laugh a lot," Joanna told PopSugar. "I knew he was the one because I knew I could trust him."

The Magnolia Empire

The couple tied the knot in 2003, and their Waco store Magnolia Market opened soon after. The couple began selling the farmhouse decor items that have become synonymous with Jo Jo's signature style. Before becoming Fixer Upper stars, the couple also welcomed four children — Drake, Duke, Ella and Emmie. Baby Crew followed in 2018. 

"We're this odd yin and yang, this whole opposites attract," Chip told People.

"It really was this powerful chemistry that happened early in our marriage. We enjoyed spending time together, taking on challenges together. I would argue that at the end of the day, we learned early that we're a lot stronger and powerful when we're pulling together, as opposites to pulling against each other. We're a powerful force when we operate like that."

He said that the secret ingredient to their many years of marriage is not only having mutual respect for each other but actively working on their relationship. After years of hard work on mastering the home renovation space in addition to becoming one of America's most beloved couples, the Gaines family is still going strong and happy as ever.

After five successful seasons of their HGTV show, multiple local businesses that have boosted the Waco, Texas, economy, and more projects up their sleeve, Chip and Joanna Gaines are a true inspiration. 

For more Chip and Jo, tune into the revamp of Fixer Upper on The Magnolia Network as well as Joanna's mouth-watering cooking show.

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