Magnolia Market and Beyond!
Updated: Oct 31, 2019
The ice has broken upon the river at the riverhouse. Finally we are seeing more rain than snow. It has been such a long winter. The snow came early and stayed late with many days of overcast weather. But as the spring and summer seasons seemed to be creeping up on us, we decided It was a good time for a break before our own fixer upper and crafting season begins.
As many of you know, the first part of our Spring Va-cay was to Waco Texas, home to Chip and Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper Fame. I loved the idea of going there, but not for the reasons you might think. I did not meet the beloved couple, nor did I expect too. But, I found traces of them everywhere!
We landed in Houston because of the other leg of our trip to Galveston Island (heavenly) and for those of you who might be interested in duplicating this trip from the East Coast, Dallas Airport is waaaay closer to Waco than Houston. But eventually we got there in our cute little white rental car. Using Apples Maps, we made it through the harrowing rush hour of Houston and arrived late afternoon in Waco. Whew!
First impression, this is no rinky-dink little town. It is a full on serious University town with gorgeous turn of the previous century old buildings in addition to Baylor. And Baylor University is huge!
Here are the fast facts according to Wikipedia.
“Baylor is a private Christian University, chartered in 1845 and is one of the oldest continuously operating universities in Texas. The campus is a whopping 1,000 acres and is the largest Baptist university campus in the world.”
It is a gorgeous campus and more importantly to us, they have the cutest little fixer upper boutique hotel open to both parents of students and those dropping by to check out Fixer Upper World. You can check that out here. We stayed in a two bedroom two story condo directly across from the campus and a five minute drive from The Silos. How cool is that!
We dumped our bags, regrouped and off we went to Magnolia Market. We were there midweek at the end of the day, and much to our delight, the place was pretty much empty so we were able to get enough pictures to give you a pretty good idea about what we saw. But if you were looking for really unique items and examples of upcyled creativity, that is not what was there. It really is a very nicely done nod to Fixer Upper style with most things there readily available at Hobby Lobby, Home Sense and the like. Very little was made in North America, and it all seemed to be scaled down in size from what I would assume the original piece looked like. Mostly made in Bangladesh and China. But, I knew that going in. So, I bought a fun baseball shirt and cap that said Magnolia and I was delighted with my souvenirs.
We wandered outside, around their gardens, the green space, the food trucks and garden shed. Television is such a deceptive medium. Everything seemed smaller than I thought it would be, but pretty much what I expected. “Fixer Upper World” was really very pretty. So, was I disappointed? No, not at all. And here is why.
At the front of the Market there is a huge sign, a proclamation if you will, which says “The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be”. Magnolia Market is more a venue for hosting than it is a shopping destination. They host everything from musical events, and annual craft markets to weekly farmers markets. If you can, try and time your visit so you can attend one of these events. That is where you will find the creativity that informs so much of what Joanna does so well with the rock solid support of Chip. In Joanna’s words, “Authenticity is an open invitation to find the life you were always meant to claim.” (Magnolia Journal, Letter from the Editor, issue #10). If you come to Waco to see Magnolia Market and experience a piece of Fixer Upper World, keep in mind the Market at the Silos is just a representation of the richness that is sparkling in this little town. You have to go further than the Market to find it and it is well worth the effort.
The next morning we went to Magnolia Table and the food was delicious, the servers pleasant and homey and the attached tourist shop was nice too. I picked up the Magnolia Table Cookbook and a nice little card "from" Chip and Joanna thanking me for coming. I glued that to my cookbook and dated it.
On our way to Harp Design, we ran into Jimmy Don and I picked up this cool sign made in his shop. Yay me, something not mass produced overseas! Wait til you see what I did with it! He loves the tourists, signs the back of his projects and is happy to pose for pictures. He really is a character!
From there we scooted over to Harp Design, but there was not much happening there, but mass produced things similar to what we found in Magnolia Market. I think Joanna must have all of his cool furniture pieces!
Magnolia, the little shop on Bosque was a must see for me. Now it is just a dumping ground for damaged goods and discontinued items. But the price is right with many things at 50% off or more. I found a sweet and happily oversized tiered cup cake tray for 60% off and I scooped it! I will show you that later!
The big deal about The Little Shop on Bosque for me, was that it was ground Zero for Joana’s creative dreams in Waco and it isn’t much bigger than my Epilogue Studio and Gallery in Browns Flat, NB, Canada. Now, I am no Joana Gaines on any level, but I love the creative process, collecting, curating, creating unique pieces and sharing my love of these pursuits with others. In that respect, Joanna Gaines is one of my design culture heroes. As my dad would so often quote to me, “You’ve got to have a dream to have a dream come true” I love how Joanna and Chip’s dreams are playing out. So cool!
We also went to Magnolia House. No Chip and Joanna, but I chatted with a lovely grounds keeper who assured me the Gaines’ were a delight to work for and every bit as lovely as they appeared on tv and yes, Chip does indeed keep them laughing! From there we toured some of the neighbourhoods. As near as I can tell, there are plenty of 70’s and 80’s Fixer Uppers to keep both Magnolia Realty and anyone else who choses to fix up, in business for a long time!
Common Grounds Coffee House was a delight and probably one of the most unique coffee shops I have ever seen - oh, and the coffee was great too. It is perched on the edge of Baylor Campus. Another don’t miss if you like coffee and quirky!
Finally I turned my attention to the other creatives in town, as well as some of the coolest antique places you could imagine! The Findery was my absolute all time favourite! I am told Joanna has shopped there and some of the staging we see on Fixer Upper has come from this store. Be still my beating heart! In addition to these photos, they have a website and ship pretty much everywhere. If you want vintage with a stylish hand made twist, you will absolutely love this shop! Here is how they described themselves:
“The Findery is a medley of goodness for you, your home and your style. Our family is made up of four shops living under one roof—so no matter your style, you will be sure to find that perfect something. Carefully curated and uniquely stocked, we promise you will leave saying “Wow!”. From uncommon finds for your home to statement pieces for your closet, The Findery will quickly become your place, like home.”
That pretty much sums up what I found. I am so glad they are online and ship! Don’t go to Waco and not check them out!
Keep in mind a lot of the antique stores are open Thursday through Saturday. I was disappointed that some of the most interesting ones were not available for me to visit, due to our travel schedule. All in all, Waco was a great little visit. If you are a fan of farmhouse style decorating, you will not be disappointed with the loads of little shops and boutiques the downtown is filled with.
I hope a little bit of that magic rubs off on me as I prepare for my first ever Spring opening of Epilogue Studio and Gallery in Browns Flat NB Canada this Spring.
Follow me on Facebook@SimplyCraftingDebMacCallum for updates on what we have going on this Spring!
Epilogue Studio and Gallery
“Just when you thought the story was over”
Opening Spring, May 18th 2019