Alright Fixer Upper fans… this edition of travel Tuesday is especially for you. In October my husband and I had the chance to visit Dallas on business. Of course when I heard “Dallas” all I was really thinking about was Waco. As a huge fan of the Fixer Upper show and especially the cute Fixer Upper cast, I checked to see that Waco was only a 90 minute drive from Dallas and knew we had to visit Magnolia Market. I love reading the Magnolia Market blog, and I’m pretty sure from watching the show that if we lived in Waco, Chip and JoJo would be great friends to have. 😉 You can imagine my disappointment when I looked up the Magnolia Market hours to see that we happened to be in town the week before the grand opening of the Silos. Bummer.
As luck would have it, three weeks later we needed to head back to Dallas. I couldn’t believe my luck, because I had never even been to Dallas before, and now I was getting to go twice in a month, I knew it was fate, and a visit to Magnolia Market was definitely on the agenda this time. We loaded up our rental car and headed out early on Saturday morning to visit Magnolia Market. It also was not lost on me that the only car the rental agency had for us when we checked in was a spiffy new Ford F-150. It couldn’t have been a more perfect way to cruise through Texas, and it gave me plenty of options for making lots of big purchases. 😉 This was definitely meant to be!
(check out the sea of people waiting outisde!)
It took us exactly 90 minutes to drive from Dallas to Waco and it was a beautiful drive. We just don’t see that much beautiful open land here in So Cal. I should have prepared a bit better before we left to know what to expect, but here are a few things to help when you visit Magnolia Market and the 6 things to know before you go:
1. Expect LONG lines. Magnolia Farms is a little piece of Hollywood in a very remote little town in Texas and you won’t believe the hoards of people that Fixer Upper has brought to town! I knew that Waco was small and remote, and by watching the Fixer Upper show I could tell that they were doing great things for Waco, but man. Being there, I officially think it is fair to say that Chip and JoJo Gaines are single-handedly transforming that city. Granted it was a Saturday, and they had only been open for a couple of weeks, but we waited in a very long, Disneyland style line outside the building. They would let a few people in at a time to help with crowd control inside. I would imagine that if you are visiting on a weekday or maybe even now that they have been open for a few months, that things may have calmed down a bit, but be prepared just in case!
2. The Staff is SUPER friendly and helpful. The day we visited it was SO crowded and things were flying off the shelves. I could see displays, but often the items that were supposed to be on the shelves were all gone. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. They often have more of the product in the back in boxes, and they are more than happy to get it for you. There are LOTS of employees. Just track one down and ask for help. It was refreshing to see people who seemed just as excited to be at work as we were to be there shopping!
3. Magnolia Market and the Silos are not just a store. With everything being so new, and I suspect because it was kind of an off time of year to visit on a random weekend in November, there was not much going on, but, I can see the vision that JoJo has. There is a synthetic grass picnic area, food trucks, cute picnic benches, a darling working farm in partnership with a food bank, and, a lot more building space. I would love to go back and see things once it is all completed. I can imagine that being sort of a gathering place for the town of Waco with concerts and festivals happening there. If you are visiting, plan on spending time to shop and grab something to eat at one of the cute food trucks on the property. Sit at a picnic bench, watch kids playing games on the lawn and make some new friends in Waco. It is a fun place to hang out and is as warm and welcoming as you can imagine.
(image via pinterest)
(image via Magnolia Market Blog)
4. The weather in Waco can be extreme…depending on what time of year you are visiting it can be super cold and windy, really hot and humid, or in the middle of an awesome thunderstorm. The day we visited it was FREEZING!!! Sunny, but with chilling high winds and ice cold temps. Needless to say, standing outside for about an hour in a line was not a very pleasant experience in that weather (especially in the flip flops I had on!) 😉 Know before you go what the weather is supposed to be like and come prepared. IF you do end up standing outside for long periods of time, you will be much happier if you are dressed appropriately.
5. Waco is a small town, but these are not small town prices! Frankly, I was quite shocked by the mark-up on many of the things for sale at Magnolia Market. Being from a very expensive area of the country, I expected to see a little bit of a price differential in a small town in Texas, but this was definitely NOT the case. I felt almost as if I was looking at Anthropologie in terms of pricing, and I wonder if a small town like Waco can ultimately support those prices once the lines of tourists have died down. Most of the items you will find are home accents and gift items.
(image via Pinterest because it was WAY to crowed for me to get a nice shot like this! 😉 )
(what the crowds were like inside when we were there)
pretty styling and inspiration in the shop
6. Almost all of the merchandise at Magnolia Market is mass-market goods. That was a little disappointing for me. As a designer, I know where most of these things come from, and I know that I can find many of them at places like HomeGoods for WAY less. I think that is another reason why I was so shocked at the prices. Don’t get me wrong. There are SO many cute things and the store is of course styled adorably, so you can’t help but fill your little basket. You are there to shop and to take home a souvenir and support this cute family, but just don’t be surprised when you are shopping at HomeGoods the week after you return home and you find the same thing you just purchased at Magnolia Market for a much cheaper price. Maybe this is in the plan, but I would love to see more of a curated market of unique goods by local vendors like Clint and others that she works with regularly on the show. The merchandise mix is changing regularly, so I’m sure there is something more in the works. Now that their line of Magnolia Market furniture has taken off, and with her new line of Magnolia Market Paints and Loloi Rugs, I’m certain that the retail space will increase and there will be many more unique things available.
There is so much room to grow that I’m sure this will be a bustling city hub for years to come. And Waco could really use it. The weekend we were there a brand new In-n-Out was opening. If you thought the lines at Magnolia Market were long, you should have seen the drive through line wrapped throughout downtown Waco for that opening! There were so many police directing traffic it was insane! I have no doubt that there would not be an In-n-Out in Waco without Chip and JoJo. They aren’t just fixing up houses anymore, they are fixing up an entire city.
Looking for more fun places to visit? Check out our travel gallery. If you’re a fixer upper lover, you might also enjoy our new series designed to help you get the Fixer Upper look in your own home:
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