Why Chip Gaines Says He and Joanna ‘Couldn’t Have Picked a Worse Time’ to Start Magnolia Network

by Samantha Whidden

Their highly anticipated Magnolia Network officially launched earlier this month, but prior to its debut, Chip Gaines admits that he and his wife Joanna Gains couldn’t have picked a worse time to start the network.

According to the Hollywood Network, along with stating that he and his wife launched the network at the wrong time, Chip Gaines compares the launch with a housing development that nearly bankrupted them when the bubble burst over a decade ago. Chip Gaines says that despite his and Joanna’s increased popularity over the years, they weren’t really looking to be TV stars. “Jo and I weren’t looking to be on TV. TV found us.”

Chip Gaines also admits the criticism towards him and his wife is stressful. “As an American white male, it’s hard to be perfectly diverse,” he explains. Gaines declares that in their own company, they have close to 700 employees and one of their “biggest passions” is making the group of employees represent all people. 

Chip and Joanna Gaines were co-hosts of the hit HGTV series Fixer Upper From 2013 until 2018. The couple has worked on more than 100 houses in the Waco, Texas area. The Magnolia Network offers a brand-new collection of original shows that the couple curated themselves. The network is available through Discovery+ and the Magnolia app. 

Chip Gaines Talks Struggles With ‘Fixer Upper’ Fame 

During an interview with Cowboys and Indians in 2018, Chip Gaines reveals what he experienced with the Fixer Upper fame. “TV was a funny thing for me. I’m an authentic, sincere person. So as long as things are natural and organic, I’m in my element.”

Gaines admits that the more staged something becomes, the more he feels boxed up. He had that feeling towards the end of his Fixer Upper journal. “I felt caged, trapped. Jo and I couldn’t figure it out. I mean, why? You’re getting to have all this fun, right? But it’s like if I put a camera in your face and said, ‘Hey, say something funny.’ Of I put a camera in your face and said, ‘Hey, be smart.’ I just struggled with that environment.”

Chip Gaines then explains that he believes the hard work that he and his wife put into the show, along with their relationship, family, and businesses are really where he will see the “fruits” of his labor. He also describes the first three years of Fixer Upper to be the best years of his life. “The last two years, not that we don’t look back on them fondly, but they were more of a job.”

Chip then calls him and Jo breaking away from the TV series as liberating. He then adds, “Jo and I are both kinda giddy, just like, ‘Man, what’s the future look like and what’s the next step? Because we’re both business people, and that’s fundamentally who we are.”