Chip Gaines' upcoming memoir is a must-read for any Fixer Upper fanatic.
Titled Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned From Doing Stupid Stuff, Chip pulls the curtain back on his and wife Joanna Gaines' home remodeling empire. Readers will get to know the fun-loving HGTV star like never before, as he discusses life growing up in Coleyville, Tex., descending into a "deep depression" over his failed baseball career and the moment Jo expressed her desire to shut Magnolia Homes down forever.
Chip also serves up a healthy dose of inspiration, with thoughtful messages on pioneering an entrepreneurial spirit, picking up the pieces after facing adversity and his and Jo's "big secret" to happily owning a business together.
Before picking up Capital Gaines, read on for eight secrets from the force behind Fixer Upper:
1. Chip's learning disability helped him value an "underdog" mentality: As a child, Gaines revealed teachers separated him from other students to properly address his learning difficulties. He shared, "My positive outlook has blinded me to plenty of things over the years. Maybe it also protected me at times from the things I didn't need to see… Here's how that mind-set played out back in first grade. Kids can be cruel."
"So looking back," Gaines continued, "there's a decent chance that at least one of the kids in my class was calling me names while I was off learning to recite my ABCs. But rather than think about these possibilities, I was excited that I was invited to the gym in the first place. Honored even."
Courtesy Thomas Nelson
2. His battle with depression ultimately inspired the origins of his first landscaping business: Unexpectedly cut from the baseball team at Baylor University, Chip was forced to come up with a Plan B for his future. "The news hit me like a sucker punch to the gut," Gaines described, "and in the following months, I fell into something I can only describe as a deep depression. The only dream I'd ever had was crushed. The weight of that held me down for the better part of the year."
Gaines then got a job helping the campus landscaper, which after some time parlayed itself into launching his own venture. He recalled thinking, "Why am I sitting in her learning concepts and hypothetical business principles while he is out there grabbing the bill by the horns and actually making it happen?"
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3. Jo threatened to end things over a Spanish immersion program gone terribly wrong: Only six months into their relationship, Chip left his business endeavors to Jo while he traveled to Mexico for a three-month trip to learn the language. Gaines' preparations proved inadequate, with his then girlfriend calling him to say, "'…You have three days to get back to Texas, or this relationship is over.'"
"My heart broke. There are hard moments in life when you see yourself for the tonto that you are. This all felt so much bigger than a few bounced checks... It became my mission to prove to Jo, my parents her parents, and myself that I could do this—that I was the real deal, and I wouldn't stop until I made this entrepreneurial dream of mine a reality."
4. It wasn't love at first sight for Chip and Jo: The handyman met his future wife at the age of 26, reflecting in his memoir, "The first time I saw Joanna, I knew for sure that I wanted to date her, but I wouldn't say I knew for sure that she was ‘the one.' Several dates in, I still wasn't plotting to buy the ring."
5. He considers their differences the glue that keeps their marriage strong: Gaines sheds a ton of light onto his relationship with Jo, explaining, "They say opposites attract. I don't what kind of research has been conducted to back up this theory, but if mine and Jo's relationship is any sort of testament, that statement couldn't be more accurate. During our dating years, it was glaringly obvious how different we were from each other. She's a quiet, detailed, cautiously safe door locker, and I'm a wild, obnoxious break-every-rule-in-the-book risk taker."
6. So what's their secret to mixing business and pleasure so harmoniously?: Chip's advice is as follows—After a "few big fights" he said the couple realized, "The key is always giving each other enough slack in the rope to make mistakes. Affording each other a little extra rope has (mostly) equaled smooth sailing for us."
7. Jo wanted to shut down her home accessory store to focus on motherhood: Most can't imagine a world without Fixer Upper, but about three years after Chip and Jo opened Magnolia in 2003, the Gaines matriarch wanted to pull out of the project completely.
With two of their four kids already born, Chip remembered, "Joanna is an all-or-nothing kind of woman. This characteristic made it hard for her to balance home and work and feel like she was doing either one with excellence… To be able to give the babies her full attention, she knew she'd have to give up the shop." While filming the first season of Fixer Upper in 2013, Jo decided to reopen Magnolia and the rest, as they say, was history!
8. HGTV was reluctant to film in Waco: Fixer Upper is totally synonymous with the quaint city in central Texas, but as Chip revealed in Capital Gaines, the network wasn't completely convinced of its star power. In his words, "Considering Waco's reputation and relatively small size, it was hard to convince HGTV to believe that basing our show solely in Waco, Texas, would be a recipe for success… Then a miracle happened: HGTV got excited about the city being featured as part of the show background of our new show."
Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned From Doing Stupid Stuff is now available everywhere books are sold.