Chip & Joanna Gaines Admit “We Were Broke”, Reveal How One Big Risk Sparked Million Dollar Empire.

chip & Joanna gaines

You probably already know Chip and Joanna Gaines, the famous (and adorable) duo behind HGTV’s hit home renovation show Fixer Upper. Perhaps the most beloved couple in American, Chip and Joanna melt hearts every episode with their sweet relationship, flawless teamwork, small-town parenting, and lots and lots of shiplap. They’ve also picked up adorable fans along the way.

But things weren’t always so carefree for Chip and Jo. In an interview with, the pair revealed that– before Fixer Upper took off– they were totally broke. “The only money that we had was what was in Chip’s pocket” Joanna recalled. But they took a leap of faith, starting their marriage with nothing but their love for one another.

“We were together. I forget the rest.” – Walt Whitman & @jimmydon522 Happy Valentine’s Day @joannagaines

A photo posted by Chip Gaines (@chippergaines) on

“I remember when we were first married the only money that we had was what was in Chip’s pocket,” says Joanna. “He had this wad of cash and so if I needed to go grocery shopping, if I needed to just go find a new shirt, it’s whatever was in his pocket. We pretended like we were rich so that my dad would be real proud, but… We were broke.”

Chip laughs, remembering their early days as a couple. “Her dad spent the first two years of our marriage asking me if I was going to get a job. And I was like, ‘I have a job and I like my job.”

“True story!” Interrupts Joanna.

“I flip houses, I’ve got some rental properties, I do some construction. That’s a job! Full time deal!”

Despite the pressure from Joanna’s dad, Chip and Joanna took a risk with the show, and it paid off! But, as it turns out, that’s just how Chip and Jo like to live. “Jo and I like to roll the dice,” says Chip.

A photo posted by Chip Gaines (@chippergaines) on

“We’re building– hopefully– big, relevant, long term, sustainable ideas and business and concepts and partnerships.” says Chip. But, when asked if they now feel financially stable, Chip adds this: “It never feels really like you’re okay. You look around and you’re like, ‘Okay, I’ve got this farm, I’ve got these gorgeous four babies, but wow. Do we really need to buy this?'”

Chip recalls the day that Joanna first showed him the silos, what would become the location for Mangolia Market at the Silos, Chip and Joanna’s home goods store. It’s a store, but it also features a lawn where food trucks park and community activities take place. People travel from literally around the world to visit the Silos in tiny Waco, Texas.

A photo posted by Chip Gaines (@chippergaines) on

“I remember when Jo brought us to the silos, and I was lookin’ at this thing, going ‘What? Babe? No. We can’t do that. There’s no way we can do that.’ But here we are… Looking back, it’s the biggest no-brainer in the world today. But two years ago, going and borrowing that money was a scary proposition.”

Joanna agrees, remember how fearful they were. But the pair say they continue to dream big and take risks. This past June, they even opened up a bakery, called Magnolia Flour.

Today was a fun day. @chippergaines

A photo posted by Joanna Stevens Gaines (@joannagaines) on

“I feel like we always push each other like that” says Chip. “But, when you think about it, you know, all the greats had to do that. We certainly like to continue to challenge ourselves and push our chips in when we have the opportunity to.”

It seems that, for this couple, their boldness in pursuing their dreams has paid off! Those days of fishing for cash out of Chip’s pocket are now only a memory.

When asked what’s next for the Gaines family, Chip laughs, replying with: “World domination!”

Share this couple’s bold philosophy today!

Want more good news?

Sign up for Smile, our free daily good news email with over 600,000 happy and optimistic subscribers!

You share, we give!
Every time you share an article, we donate to Smile Train to provide life-changing cleft surgeries to children in need.

$17.64 raised today! Learn more here.

Share to Give!

Every time you share an article, we donate to Smile Train to help provide life-changing cleft surgeries to children in need. Spread good news, change lives! Learn more here.

$17.64 raised today!

Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.