(Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Chip and Joanna Gaines Earned Their Cold Hard Cash with Sweat, Tears, and Home Renovations

Before Chip and Joanna Gaines renovated houses for millions of tv viewers, owned a television streaming service, started a lifestyle magazine, or ran a Texas real estate agency, the Waco couple's journey started with a car that needed to be fixed, specifically in Joanna's father's Firestone auto shop. Joanna's picture was hanging on the wall behind the service counter and Chip couldn't ignore her beautiful face as he paid for his car repair. Soon he saw her doing local TV commercials for her father's business and Chip Gaines was smitten.

In 2001, fate finally smiled upon Chip and he ran into Joanna in person. He swept her off her feet by blurting out "Hey, you're the girl from the commercials!!", according to Country Living. Smooth, Chip. Real smooth.

Chip and Joanna Gaines

(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery)

They got married in May of 2003 and began building their home design and home renovation empire later known as Magnolia Homes. The Magnolia Market home design store was opened for business. They began flipping houses, renovating, and designing under the name Magnolia Homes in a husband/wife team one stop shop.

They opened Magnolia Realty in 2007, born "out of the belief that home isn't just a handful of walls but a place where you become who you were made to be"according to the website's about page. In the early 2000s the couple would purchase homes, renovate and redecorate, and sell them through their reality company.

But times were tough. Joanna previously confessed to Parade, "The four or five years before we did [Fixer Upper], when the housing crisis hit, things were so hard for us. For four or five years, every Friday, we were saying, 'Are we gonna make it?'"

Little did they know that in a few years time they would have a combined net worth of $50 million.

Chip and Joanna on tv

(Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)

In 2013, the couple got their first taste of television fame as they were booked to host Fixer Upper on HGTV. The premise of the show was simple: Chip and Joanna would find fixer-upper houses for buyers with a budget of around $200,000 and an additional $30,000 for expert renovations from the reality show celebrity couple. The show followed the couple working on the house adding touches of farmhouse chic (which is now synonymous with the Magnolia brand). With 79 episodes, the couple made at least $2.37 million just from episodes alone.

The show was an instant success and the Gaines quickly went to work on building their brand. In addition to running Magnolia Homes and Magnolia Real Estate, their empire includes a line called Hearth & Hand at Target that produces over 300 items as well as three vacation rentals in Waco, Texas, which range from $347 a night to $1020.

Between the two of them, Chip and Joanna have written and released eight books. Chip wrote "No Pain, No Gaines" and "Capital Gaines: The Smart Stuff I Learned by Doing Dumb Stuff". Together, they wrote "The Magnolia Story".
Joanna also wrote two cookbooks - "Magnolia Table Cookbook" and "Magnolia Table, Volume 2", plus the cleverly named "Homebody", which she subtitled "...a guide to creating spaces you never want to leave."

And of course the entire Gaines family is equally as talented. Chip and Joanna are the parents of five children who are credited as co-writers on their two children's books titled "The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be" and "We are the Gardeners".

Oh and let's not forget about their quarterly magazine, The Magnolia Journal.



They brought back the storefront of Magnolia Market which was closed for a few years while Chip and Joanna had their children. Originally housed in a building called The Little Shop on Bosque, Magnolia Market reopened at a very cool space called The Silos in 2015 with all sorts of special events and mini markets.

Recently, The Gaineses launched their own TV network and streaming service called Magnolia Network. You can now watch the entire library of "Fixer Upper" episodes in addition to their new television series, Fixer Upper: Welcome Home.

With all these multiple streams of revenue its estimated that Chip and Joanna's net worth is around $50 million.

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This article was originally published July 26, 2021.