My visit to the town of Waco Texas last week surprised me a bit. It was smaller and quieter than I expected. That might be because I managed to miss the entire area where Baylor University is located. (I hope to make it out there next week.) Plus I am pretty sure anywhere seems sleepy compared to Los Angeles!
Waco has had tough luck if you recall the tragic shootout and standoff in 1993 between FBI agents and Branch Davidians and the ammonium nitrate explosion that occurred at the West Fertilizer Company in 2013. But the town of Waco should be best known for the it's wonderful people! Waco residents are not only proud of where they live but they are the friendliest people I have ever met!
And ... they all love the Gaines family. I talked to a lot of people while I was in Waco and every single person had something positive to say about Chip and Joanna Gaines. They love them as much as the fans of their tv show! My best example of Waco hospitality was when a neighbor knocked on the door of the Magnolia house to deliver Halloween candy and a welcome note. All he wanted to do was welcome us to the neighborhood. Amazing.
I mentioned earlier that I really enjoyed Chip and Joanna's new book "The Magnolia Story". I just saw that the book is now #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List. Of course it is! I would suggest you listen to the book as it is narrated by Chip and Joanna. You can do that here.
Thanks for joining me on this fun journey.
I was so excited when I returned home to unpack my suitcase with my purchases from the Magnolia Market. Somehow I imagined I would put everything out and my house would look just like the Magnolia House. Wrong. My house doesn't look different at all. (Apparently I bought too many Christmas gifts and not enough stuff for the house.)
On the plane ride home I read the book by Chip and Joanna Gaines titled "The Magnolia Story". It's a really good read and feels like an honest portrayal of how they met, their early struggles, how they almost went bankrupt and how they ended up with their widely popular TV show "Fixer Upper".
But guess what? I am now obsessed with Joanna Gaines and her "brand" Magnolia. I love the fact that everything in her store is identified with chalkboard signs. With real chalk (ok, actually they use chalk pens but it's still real chalk). I love the two fonts she uses for everything that has to do with Magnolia. I love all of the thank you notes and cards that are always included in your shopping bag with a purchase. I love that her new rugs are named after her kids. I love that she has an "image team". And I love her "industrial farmhouse look" in all of her remodeled homes with shiplap to make the walls look really cool.
So I am a bit obsessed with shiplap, chalkboards and chalk pens, mason jars, metal marquee letters and cut-out metal signs. Yep, I am hooked. Good thing I am headed back to Waco on Monday. Yippee.
If you have seen the Fixer Upper episode when Chip and Joanna remodeled a home in McGregor, Tx then you know the Magnolia House is pretty awesome. It's a B&B that has five bedrooms and two bathrooms and shiplap everywhere! Technically it sleeps eight people but only six if no one wants to share a bed! Downstairs there is the living room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom. Upstairs there are two single rooms, a large open bedroom, bath and coffee room.
I think most of the furniture and rugs are from Joanna Gaines private collection that is now available for sale. But there are lots of antiques and flea market finds that really make the house unique. I love all of the unusual art consisting of tin with magnets holding small typed motivational sayings.
I saw some question about whether or not the Magnolia House is a true "B&B". My answer is "kind of" as they provided a very nice breakfast on the first day that lasted us the entire time! I also love the chalk boards with chalk pen lettering. I already ordered this exact countertop sign seen below (from Save-On Crafts for $23.00). Does this mean I need to take up calligraphy to make these amazing sings? (I just might need to talk to my friend Margaret who is taking an online class!) And the hanging tables in the twin room? Absolutely brilliant!
A few of you asked if there was anything I didn't like about the Magnolia Market or House. The house is located a bit far from Waco, about twenty minutes, and there aren't many healthy restaurants nearby. There are train tracks that are nearby and some nights the trains were rolling well past midnight. Other than that, it's magnificent.
Don't miss tomorrow's Artists Helping Artists podcast. The show is titled "What I Learned at Art Marketing Boot Camp". My co-host Margaret Sheldon and I will be discussing lots of exciting things! Click here for more information.
After a full day of having fun at Marketing Boot Camp all of us headed to the Magnolia Market and Silo's for a planned visit. (My previous visit was a "scouting trip".) I have to admit I was seriously bummed that I wasn't driving a u-haul home. It would have been fun to hit the back roads of Waco and shop for great vintage finds. Not to mention all of the cool stuff I would have bought at the Magnolia Seed Shop!
Joanna also recently opened a Bakery at the Magnolia Market and Silos and it's pretty cool. Duh. Of course it is. The presentation of the bakery items and cupcakes is fabulous and I love the parchment paper muffin liners! The minute you enter thee store the smell is yummy. (Unfortunately I didn't taste any of the baked goods as I gave up sweets three years ago. But I do have it from a good source that the muffins, pastries and cupcakes are very good.) I am determined to never use muffin tin liners again. From here on out ... parchment paper it is! (And by the way, the cupcakes are only named shiplap. They aren't made of shiplap, I promise!)
I did manage to head back in to the Magnolia Market for one last look. Good thing I will be back in a week because all of the Christmas merchandise will be on display!!!
Check back tomorrow as I share the inside look at the Magnolia B&B House.
I know I posted some photos on my blog last week from my trip to Waco and the Magnolia House. But my time was limited and I wanted to really share my experiences with you now that I am home and have more time.
I arrived in Waco on Monday night and rather than head straight to my hotel I just had to drive by the Silos! My GPS said the detour was only 1.3 miles so it was well worth it. As I drove up 4th street I saw the silos right away. They were bigger than I expected and the land area was huge. Magnolia Market was closing so all I did was take this picture from my car.
The store has a front and back room and you can see in the photos all of the cool vintage tables and containers used to display everything. I literally wandered around for an hour before I put anything in my bag. I guess I wanted to just take it all in. It was mesmerizing. And that "industrial farmhouse" look is just gorgeous. In the back room Joanna Gaines' new rug and paint lines are also on display!
After shopping I headed outside to the food trucks for lunch. I decided to forego my diet and eat from Cheddar Box, the adorable grilled cheese food truck. I ordered the fresh pumpkin, gouda and sage grilled sandwich and it was delicious. Certainly not the food you would expect from a food truck. It was amazing.
After lunch we headed down the street to a cute Vintage shopping store called The Findery. It's a two-story brick building with loads of merchandise. Don't laugh, but I spent the entire time imagining how I would convert it in to an art studio downstairs and an apartment upstairs. Just dreaming ...
More insider scoop on the Magnolia Market and Silos tomorrow. The Bakery and Garden Store are to die for!
I promised to share photos of this incredible home and here they are. Fortunately we were smart enough to take photos before brought in our luggage so you can see the fabulous job Chip and Joanna Gaines did remodeling this home. I love the shiplap and her new furniture line and the great rugs and the open shelves in the kitchen. The black and white floor in the bathroom is my favorite thing in the house. I wish I had a bathroom in need of a renovation where I could install this tile!
The house has five bedrooms, a family room, dining room, kitchen, mud/laundry room, two bathrooms and a coffee room. It's just so darn cute and well done. I can't even begin to explain how much I love this house!
The house is quite a tourist spot as people have been outside the front gate taking photos and peeking at the house every day, all day long. It's just a great testament to the amazing quality of the remodeling job Chip and Joanna have done on their houses.
Good thing I am coming back very soon!
Wow. The Magnolia Market and Silos are incredible. The entire project is so well planned and thought out. It's amazing!
The area is right in the middle of downtown Waco and it's so much larger than I anticipated. It's well suited for families and offers good shopping, food, entertainment and a great place to spend a few hours. They have the large Magnolia store, the Garden Store, the Bakery and the food trucks. They even have an outdoor wooden tent that has a huge sale with lots of items 40% off. So yes, I did do some shopping already.
This afternoon and evening we had a great time talking about marketing our art. We did some role playing and getting to know who we are. Tomorrow morning we will spend a lot of time re-defining our brands. I think there just might be eight new artists emerging from Waco by the end of the week! Can't wait!
I am never late to the airport. If you ask my husband he will tell you that I am neurotic about being early to the airport. It's simple, I don't like stress. And getting late to the airport is not something I do. Until yesterday.
I calculated my drive time to LAX based on the hundreds of trips I had already made to LAX. This year. Ok. That's an exaggeration. But I have driven to and from LAX eight times in the last month so that should count for something. I had an 8:20am flight so if figured if I left at 6:00am then I would get to the airport by 7:00 which would allow an hour and twenty minutes to get on my flight. Piece of cake.
First mistake? When I went to bed on Sunday night it was starting to rain. Since people in Los Angeles forget how to drive in the rain I should have moved my departure time up at least fifteen minutes. Second mistake? I thought about calling uber but I was afraid the driver wouldn't have a fast pass and thus not be able to drive in the car pool lane. Third mistake? I think I should have just driven faster. The drive took nearly two hours which was double the time I had calculated.
Needless to say, I got to the check in counter with 20 minutes to spare but I knew I had missed the luggage check-in deadline. And the ten 127-page Marketing Boot Camp binders need a lot of luggage space.
Fortunately the story gets better. I was put on standby for the next flight and made it. I also got the last seat in Dallas for the flight to Waco. I am much later than I expected but I am here!
I always try to fly to my workshops at least a day early to allow for weather and airline delays. Fortunately this was the first time I was delayed because of my error. But the Boot Camp doesn't start until tomorrow and I ended up only arriving about four hours later. I still have plenty of time tomorrow to get all of my morning errands done. I am cooking breakfast and lunch so I have a bit of shopping to do. I can't wait!
I am so excited! I leave Monday morning for Waco and my Marketing Boot Camp! This is the first of many Boot Camps to come (I promise!) and the first two are scheduled in Waco, TX at the Fixer Upper Magnolia Bed & Breakfast house.
We have a full agenda planned and we will be spending an evening at the Silo's and shopping time at some of the great places seen on the Fixer Upper show! The most important time will be spent in our brainstorming meetings in the house. It's geared 100% for the nine artists that are attending the bootcamp.
Stay tuned for lots of photos and updates this week!
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