Since its premiere in the Spring of 2014, HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” has become one of the highest-rated shows in the network’s history.
Watch just one episode and it’s easy to see why: The show’s stars, Chip and Joanna Gaines, are fun loving, witty, and bona fide experts at renovating run-down homes for families in the Waco, Texas, area.
Though “Fixer Upper” transformed the Gaines into a household name, the husband-and-wife pair have been true small-business owners for more than a decade.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, the Gaines — who live on a refurbished farm with their four children and dozens of animals — said their businesses wouldn’t be as successful as they are today without the guidance and feedback of “good counsel.”
“You’ve got to build relationships with your vendors, so when times get tough, you have this relationship with them where it’s a mutual relationship where you can trust each other, but it’s also a community of friends and counsel that can speak into your business,” Joanna said.
When they married in 2003, Chip — a self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur” — had begun flipping houses and renting them out to Baylor University students in Waco. He brought Joanna on board and she quickly discovered a hidden passion for home decor, opening a small boutique to sell her vintage finds, which would become the flagship of their ever-expanding brand.
“[E]ven when things are bad and you can’t see over the bills, you’ve got this counsel that comes in and says, ‘This is what we need to do.'” Joanna advises that “just surrounding yourself with good, sound people that can help you see the big picture.”
“I think of bankers, I think of attorneys, I think about both of our parents, who were always quick to give us a bit of advice,” Chip added. “That, coupled with just great employees early on who were willing to stick it out and fight with us through thick and thin, were certainly the keys to our success.”
They now own Magnolia Homes, a real estate, renovation, and design business, in addition to several small businesses under the Magnolia brand, including a retail shop, bakery, furniture line, paint collection, and a “Fixer Upper”-style bed and breakfast. The Gaines’ book, “The Magnolia Story,” debuted October 18 and chronicles the growth of their small business empire.
Watch Chip and Joanna share their advice in the video below:
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