As the co-host of home-flipping cable TV show Fixer Upper, Chip Gaines is used to being involved in other people’s life-changing developments. The on-screen renovator has recently made headlines for a much more personal revelation, however. And as it turns out, it’s an improvement in which a certain Nashville-based musical duo played a significant part.
Chip Gaines was born in 1974 in Albuquerque but grew up in North Texas, where he spent much of his childhood on his grandfather’s ranch at Wichita Falls. And the young man developed an interest in the lucrative business of home renovation at a relatively early age. He bought, refurbished and resold – or flipped – his first property, in fact, while he was studying marketing at Baylor University in Waco.
And following his graduation, Chip became something of an entrepreneur, founding numerous small companies. These included attempts at launching a fireworks business, a laundry service for students and several landscaping ventures. But Chip’s career really took off after he met fellow Baylor graduate Joanna Stevens – four years his junior – at the auto-repair shop at which she worked.
Joanna went on to found Magnolia Homes, a home accessory outlet, which with Chip’s assistance eventually became a player in the real estate game. By this point, however, the pair were more than just business partners; indeed, in 2003 they tied the knot in their hometown of Waco. It wouldn’t be until nearly a decade later that the happy couple would become household names, though.
That’s because it wasn’t until 2013 that Chip and Joanna began to showcase their expertise on television; the couple had flipped more than 100 homes at that juncture. In Fixer Upper, their HGTV show, the Gaines would help and advise clients to buy and remodel a house in need of repair then sell it on for a significant profit. Chip took on the role of general contractor in the reality show, while Joanna served as the designer.
And Fixer Upper ended up being a hit, running for five seasons before bowing out in 2017. That same year, however, the Gaines gained a spin-off show, Fixer Upper: Behind the Design. The new format focused on the creative aspects of their home refurbishments.
The Gaines also still run Magnolia Homes, which has the stated aim of “making Waco beautiful one home at a time.” The husband-and-wife team own a store, too, named Magnolia Market and which sells a wide range of related goods. And in 2016 Chip and Joanna reflected on their experiences together in print, producing the joint memoir, The Magnolia Story.
Meanwhile, the Gaines live on a 40-acre farm near Waco with their four children: Drake, Ella, Duke and Emmie. Following the birth of their youngest in 2010, however, Chip and Joanna appeared to have closed the book on their baby-making days. Or so it seemed, anyway, before the pair took to Instagram to reveal some news.
Specifically, in January 2018 the Gaines announced on Instagram that they would soon have a brand new addition to their household. And in the adorable post to the picture-sharing website, both Joanna and Chip are shown sporting matching bumps under their tops. Their amusing portrait was captioned, “Gaines part of 7… (If you’re still confused… WE ARE PREGNANT).”
And it turns out that one particular folk-pop duo may have inadvertently played a part in producing the Gaines’ fifth child. On Friday, October 13, 2017, the couple attended a Johnnyswim show in their hometown. And the sentimental sounds the Nashville musicians provided that night seem to have got the Fixer Upper stars in the mood for love.
Chip later took to Twitter to make an admission about what happened following the show. There, he wrote, “You might recall a few months back… the ever amazing, ever romantic @Johnnyswim was in Waco. And they put on a little too romantic of a concert… Anyways, one thing led to another, & we are officially pregnant. And I could not be more EXCITED!”
Joanna, however, had actually tweeted about the evening just 24 hours after the gig had finished. “Can’t stop thinking about last night, I loved it so much! Chip’s #chipstarter was [excellent] and the amazing crowd blew us away, and of course all the music… was just so GOOD. Can’t wait to do it again tonight!”
And Chip’s confession didn’t go unnoticed by the musical duo in question: Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano. Shortly after Chip had tweeted his news, in fact, the official Johnnyswim profile jokily responded, “We do what we can!” Coincidentally, Joanna and Chip had discussed the subject of raising kids in an interview filmed just five days after seeing the musical duo in action.
While talking to Entertainment Tonight in October 2017, furthermore, Joanna revealed that she and Chip had decided to call time on Fixer Upper to spend more quality time with their four children. She explained, “I think a year longer, maybe we would’ve lost some of that passion. And I never want to show up and act.”
Joanna also went on to add that the fact that Fixer Upper’s final season was the fifth of the show’s run was also significant to the Gaines’ decision. “I think the number five is symbolic for grace,” she explained. “We have the grace to get through season five. It’s perfect – that just felt right to us.”
And, without any knowledge of the family’s impending addition, Chip also chimed in. “Isn’t that odd?” the unsuspecting dad said. “We’ve only got four children, but the number five continues to resonate.” Just three months after the interview, though, the Gaines would discover perhaps why that number was so significant.
And Joanna isn’t the only member of her family to hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet once again, as her younger sibling, Mary Kay McCall, welcomed her sixth child in early 2018. McCall was seen on screen in 2017 when her home renovation was featured on Fixer Upper.
But the surprise baby news seemingly hasn’t deterred Chip from achieving one of his main personal goals: running a marathon. Indeed, the star is still set to compete in a 26-mile event which starts at the Gaines’ Magnolia Market in May 2018. And apparently his kids have been encouraging him in his endeavors, cheering dad on during his strict training regime.
Meanwhile, the Gaines’ youngest boy, Duke, has proved that the family business should be in good hands in the future, as the nine-year-old was seen helping out Chip, Joanna and former pro footballer Tim Tebow in a January 2018 episode of Fixer Upper. The three Gaines and their guest star were working in conjunction with Tebow’s charitable foundation in order to design a wheelchair-friendly home for a family of four.
As for the latest addition to the Gaines gang? Well, the next member of the family is expected to arrive in July 2018. And just 24 hours after revealing the news of her pregnancy, the star uploaded a video of the baby’s ultrasound on Instagram. Joanna captioned the post, “Chip swears he can already tell it’s a boy. Look at the little heartbeat.” Perhaps, then, the Gaines will call him Johnnyswim…