“I can’t wait to meet Joanna Gaines!” says the Cupcake as we’re preparing for our road trip to Fixer-Upper famed Silos at Magnolia Market in Waco.
Either I oversold this little journey or she is one of those believe it and make it happen people at a ripe old age of 8.
We opted to head south from Dallas during rush hour – and a rain storm (yay) just so we could get there early. That’s how excited these four ladies were.
From Dallas, it’s super easy to get to Magnolia Market. Go south on 35, exit 335A, take S. 4th Street to Webster Avenue and you can’t really miss the silos. The weather played to our advantage, and kept the tourists at bay (okay maybe the rain wasn’t so bad). We found street parking pretty easily and made it in before the crowd.
If you’re a fan of Fixer-Upper, stepping into the Magnolia Market will make your heart race. It’s a sprawling store with two levels to explore, all oozing with Jojo’s magic touch.
You’ll see plenty of decorating items that, like the pull of two magnets, will leap into your leather-accented burlap shopping bag (they really need to sell those), and seeing them repeated throughout the store in different ways helps you to imagine how they might work in your own home.
And grab one more. Because two is better than one.
I’ve heard the inventory turns pretty quickly here and the displays change often, but I’ll tell you… you can sneak a peak into the warehouse and they are STOCKED deep with replacements. Ask if you need more than what you see on the market floor.
There are plenty of staff strapped with headsets to help – but not in a Victoria’s Secret pushy kind of way. They’re actually pretty popular, serving part docent, part design consultant, part finder. You’ll likely have to wait in line just to ask them a question.
We literally cruised the store’s top and bottom floors (there’s an elevator or stairs) about 4 times before settling on what to buy – or what to jettison from those deep and trendy shopping totes. The first two rounds were just assessing our options and gathering ideas. With each lap, we saw something new we didn’t see before, all of us girls constantly ooing and ahing.
Sadly, there’s not really any furniture to buy – at least yet. There are a few farm chairs and one set of stacking tables, but that was about it as far as the big stuff. As you may have heard, the Magnolia Home line of furniture is now available at Nebraska Furniture Mart, so point your SUV in that direction if you need the heavy goods.
You might think Magnolia Market is a woman’s mecca, but Chip’s vibe is strong. He has his own corner of the market packed with cool little tools and gadgets, books, and apparel. Just a hunch, but I’m going to guess his brainchild was the turfed play area – complete with baskets of balls – for the kids to play. The girls really enjoyed the oversized swings. How could that NOT be Chips’s contribution?!
The gravel moat surrounding Magnolia has food trucks lined up and plenty of covered picnic tables so even the guys can entertain themselves eating, drinking coffee, and playing with the kids while mom shops. It. Is. Perfect.
There are hints of more Joanna Gaines to come as there are signs like these all around:
But you can still admire the garden in progress. Even unfinished, it was welcoming and nearly picture perfect.
Fair warning, Magnolia Market has a lot to take in. As the crowd swells, it’s even more difficult to get a good look at the displays with so many people inside. I’ve read that they meter occupancy during busy times but thankfully, it wasn’t until we left that a sizable crowd was building outside the entrance.
One more word of caution, if your heart is set on the items at Magnolia Market being exclusively Joanna’s, you’re going to be so sad. They are absolutely curated to her style, but if you think you’re going to find one-of-a-kind items there, you’ll have crying eyes when you see them in another store somewhere.
Magnolia Market is reflective of Joanna’s life, and you can even purchase her favorite accessories, nail polish and perfume. I couldn’t leave without a bottle of Odeme polish in “The Derby” and still regret not buying the Tocca Perfume in Bianca.
How are the prices? I’d say they’re a little high for Waco, but not for boutiquey Dallas. Shirts are between $21 – $26, Hats are $26, mugs are $18 (I think), Joanna’s signature candles are $26. The faux succulent that I had in my hand a hundred times and didn’t buy was $36. Metal words are $32ish, framed wall prints around $100, large pillows $100, cotton stalks are $9 for short, $12 for tall. Cotton wreath $59. The little shoppers both fell in love with the French journals – which upon asking the Google, we found at Crate and Barrel for a couple of dollars less than at Magnolia Market.
Speaking of websites, Magnolia Market’s website has a lot of the popular items from the store, but not all by any means. And I also noticed that a few of the items on the website were listed as sold out, but there were plenty on the shelves in the store. One more reason to visit Waco.
Before we left, I interrogated the checkout girls: “What’s the best selling item in the store?” I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss any gems.
“T-shirts” (I didn’t have any, should I go back?)
“Mugs.” (Dang it, they were so super cute. Next time.)
“Joanna’s signature candles,” (Ha! I had three in my bag as gifts.) “anything with Magnolia on it.”
Bored with that game, I hoped I had softened her and moved onto something tougher and likely the most popular question I’m sure they get,
“Where are some of the houses they’ve worked on?”
“For privacy reasons, we can’t share addresses. There are some beautiful homes along Austin Street right behind us though.” (I suspected as much, but I kept trying.)
“So like, there are beautiful houses on Austin Street, wink, wink, or there are just beautiful houses along Austin Street?”
She smiled and said, “There are beautiful homes along Austin Street. I’ll give you a map of some of Joanna’s favorite places in Waco.” And with that, she handed me a print out of the map they have on their website. 🙁
Even though my efforts of persuasion failed, we left happy and eyes still peeled for a Joanna and Chip sighting as we ran through the curtain of rain back to the car.
Not quite through with Waco yet, we DID in fact drive up and down Austin street. It’s charming, (but beware of the weird unexpected roundabouts) and our favorite spot was a cute little store called, “Salvage Sisters.”
It has fun home finds on a significantly smaller scale than Magnolia Market, but the owner was incredibly nice and it’s so well merchandised with good prices. Be sure to put them on your must see list when you are Waco-bound.
Before we left Waco, we took Joanna’s recommendation to visit one of the restaurants on the Magnolia Market map — -but it turned out to be So. Much. More. I can’t wait to tell you about it next!
I would go back to Magnolia Market in a heartbeat. Even amidst the crowd on a Friday morning, I was longing for a larger in-store sitting area to just pause for a moment and absorb it all, envisioning how I could sprinkle that Magnolia fairy dust into every corner of my own nest. Let’s be honest, Fixer-Upper and Magnolia Market are on a different level than a store with beautiful things to style your home, right? Even if you took all the reveals out of Fixer Upper, people would still tune in. Chip and Joanna’s seemingly idyllic marriage and working partnership portrayed to us each week leaves us longing for another peek into their world. Their companionship is sweet and endearing and who wouldn’t crave more of that in their own lives? Shopping for a new candle or magnolia leaf wreath on your front door — those are great souvenirs but reality is that you can get those items elsewhere. Magnolia Market is more about the experience of a well-designed family shopping event that leaves you with a heartfelt memory. Of course you want a souvenir of that in your home. So go to Magnolia. Buy some cotton stems and a mug. Drive down Austin street. Just be sure you do it all in the rain.