THE COLONY – Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper attracted a rowdy crowd of more than 2,000 people of all ages Tuesday night at Nebraska Furniture Mart.
North Texans showed their affection for the Waco couple with several bursts of applause and laughter during a special appearance to promote Magnolia Home Furniture by Joanna Gaines.
The couple seemed surprised by the rockstar response and standing room only audience who came to witness their personalities up close and find out what’s next.
The next big thing is a restaurant.
The Gaineses purchased Waco’s famous Elite CafÃ© in May. The 8,356-square-foot landmark restaurant closed in early February, a victim of declining sales.
It’s going to reopen in the second quarter, Chip told the crowd.
And someone in the audience shouted out a suggested name: “Fixer Supper”
But Joanna gave away the likely dining concept: “Chip’s favorite meal is breakfast,” she said.
Chip also revealed that the fourth season of Fixer Upper, which will begin later this year, will include an Italian-styled home and he’s discovered he loves dark wood and Mediterranean design.
Customers purchased accessories almost like souvenirs at the ballpark. Only instead of miniature bats they were buying trays and decorative pieces.
Among the Magnolia Home accessories in the store are rugs, throws and pillows designed by Joanna and made by Farmers Branch-based Loloi Rugs.
Steven Loloi said the company’s orders have been “unbelievable.”
“We’ve worked with retail executives for years, and they play it close to the vest when we’re negotiating, but not with Chip and Joanna,” said Steven Loloi of the family owned and operated business. “Even the biggest buyers in the industry get giddy when they talk about Chip and Joanna.”
The standing-room-only crowd extended beyond a stage area set up next to their prominent display of Magnolia Home furniture. The bedroom, living room and dining room furniture is located in the main corridor entrance on the store’s first level in about 2,500 square-feet of space.
The couple answered questions that Nebraska Furniture Mart collected on its Facebook page from the public earlier this month.
How would you spend $1,000 on home improvements? Chip would put it outside in landscaping or new shutters. Joanna said, the kitchen or bath.
They were asked how they balance their demanding life. They don’t, Joanna said. When she’s at work, she’s all about that. But when she’s home the phone goes away and “we’re in our children’s faces.”
Once the show was a success, how did they know to move into furniture so quickly?
They started receiving so many requests from people to help them with their home remodeling projects, Chip said, they thought that furniture was a way to put some of the show’s ideas into peoples’ homes.
Magnolia Home Furniture is available at 500 stores nationwide including three Nebraska Furniture Marts.
Asked how the furniture line is doing, Chip confirmed with Standard Furniture, the Alabama-based company that manufactures the line “Texas has been the best market so far, but every other region has done phenomenal.”
Chip and Joanna may be back in North Texas soon. Their book The Magnolia Story will be released Oct. 18. Joanna said on Instagram earlier this summer that they were also recording the audio book.
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