Little known fact about me…I may be an Ohio girl, but I married a Texan. He’s lived in Ohio with me for 11 years now, but each year we trek back to Texas to see all my husband’s family. Last week we crammed in one last minute trip to Texas before our daughter turned two so that we could get one last trip under our belt only buying THREE plane tickets instead of four (oy vey!). My inlaws live in the Fort Worth area, but we decided to make a trip to Waco for the specific reason of visiting Magnolia Market…home turf for mega stars on the HGTV hit, Fixer Upper. Truthfully, I had hoped I’d get a glimpse of Chip and Joanna Gaines, but alas…that didn’t happen. Instead, we got to visit Magnolia not once, but TWICE during our visit…and today I’m sharing some tips on visiting Magnolia Market if you’re ever heading to Waco, Texas.
Last Thursday, we were visiting my mother in law (MIL) and were looking for something to do. She suggested that she’s not too far from Waco and perhaps we’d like to visit Magnolia Market. We already had a standing date with Casey’s cousin to visit on Saturday, but since we needed something to fill the day (and I’m obsessed with the show) we decided going twice wouldn’t be an issue.
The funny thing about Magnolia is that on the show, I really pictured it was out in the middle of a field somewhere…but honestly, it’s right in the heart of the city and is very industrial. So don’t be shocked when you hop off the highway to discover you’re a few blocks away. I know we were. Maybe you saw some of my photos on Instagram (@thecardswedrew).
When we went on Thursday, it was busy, but nothing too crazy. When we went back, child free, on Saturday…
It was pretty much like this all day. And I’ll be honest….it wrapped around the block. When we walked up, we considered leaving. We weren’t going to wait for hours to see a shop…albeit we drove almost 2 hours to get there. But we decided to stay and the line moved fast. The good news…we weren’t standing in super hot weather. SO here’s my second tip….
Tip Two: If you have to go on a weekend (not advised), go during a season or time of day where it’s not too hot…because the line may be long and there is nothing worse then waiting in a long line in the blazing heat.
It took us probably 30 minutes to get into the store and the lines moved fast. One concern I had was if anything would even be left by the time we got in! I mean, EVERYONE was walking out with large bags…and with hundreds of people entering and exiting constantly, how could they possibly keep up? But they did…I had no issues finding what I came for…
When you first walk in the store, you can pretty much expect this chaos…people everywhere. When we went on Thursday, we saw about 1/4 this many people. You can really take the shop in more when you see it empty. The displays are AMAZING. It smells good, it’s so homey and inviting. My husband, who hates to shop, said, “I literally could buy everything in this store.” **mic drop** MY HUSBAND COULD BUY EVERYTHING IN THIS STORE. Something he has NEVER said…ever.
The store itself has a great feel. Fresh, inviting, modern, cozy…all the things that the Gaines’ show stresses most. I could live in Magnolia Market. No joke.
Let’s look at some of the displays…
She has a whole floral and garden section off to the right when you walk in…I loved the faux potted plants, but could only take home so much with me, so those will have to be for another day.
The store was filled with rich wood and great farmhouse finds. Lots of white and vintage pieces. They have amazing signs and home decor options…and their displays show ways to use the pieces. Above, you’ll see their famous Magnolia Wreath as seen on the show. It’s $95. I didn’t buy it because instead I bought one of their metal signs, but I really considered it.
A lot of my friends asked about prices…was it super expensive? Let’s just say…it wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t Pottery Barn expensive either. I felt it was really nicely priced with the exception of a few items. We picked up a few small things and had a little sticker shock, but for the most part, we were pleasantly surprised with the prices. I definitely think it’s cheaper than shopping at Pottery Barn and has better variety than Pottery Barn does.
Tip Three: Search their online store and decide what you have to have in advance. With the chaos in the store, it’s helpful to know what you came for and work on finding your “must haves” quickly.
One of my favorite things I bought was Joanna’s Signature Candle. Yes, it’s a whopping $26…and I was real close to saying no….but then I decided that I couldn’t leave without it. It smells so good…clean, refreshing, cozy…it’s amazing. I’m pretty sure when mine runs out, I’ll have to buy a few more. It’s that good. Don’t leave without one.
Tip Four: Don’t leave without a Joanna Gaines Signature Candle.
Once you make your way through the main store, you have to go to their “outer” market area where they have a lot of sale items. It’s SO unique and a bit more open…so if you’re not into the crowd in the store, this will be a nice reprieve. I loved the lights they hung and the great industrial look of the space. It’s so cool that they took this building and managed to keep it the same, but make it look nice and inviting.
Out in this area they had some great deals…they had large industrial letters for sale too…I desperately searched for an A, E or D, but had no luck. They had some great wall pendants that I considered, but decided where a bit too heavy to get home with us. Then I found this great table full of mercury glass.
Funny embarrassing story about the mercury glass…I was trying to find a trio of different glasses, small, medium, and large for my mantel. The glass circled in white looked different to me than the others. When I went to pick it up, I soon realized that it was TWO and not one…and one fell to the floor and broke. Imagine…a room of 200 people literally going silent and turning and staring at me. GAHHHHHHH! I was SOOOO embarrassed. My husband stepped away from me like…who’s that idiot. LOL. Luckily for me, it was a $5 votive and they were super nice about it.
Tip Five: Don’t break anything. LOL!! They’ll be nice about it, but you’ll feel like an idiot forever.
I’ve NEVER broken anything in a store…and of course, the first time I do…it’s in Magnolia Market. Awesome.
Once you’ve found your treasures and checked out (there’s a front and a back checkout…so look to see where the longest line is), you need to spend some time outdoors. Get a drink, grab a snack, eat some lunch…enjoy the gorgeousness that is the outside of Magnolia Market. When we went on Thursday, we played whiffel ball with our son on the green space. He had a blast and it was so pretty out.
Tip Six: Enjoy the outdoor space. Don’t bypass it!!
Magnolia Market really is an experience…not just a store. The Gaines’ have made a space where you can go enjoy lunch, play outside, walk through their garden area…and then go in and SPEND SPEND SPEND!! The food trucks were parked their daily and they have some great options from crepes to specialty grilled cheese sandwiches and more…the crepes were obviously the most popular. Also in the store, they sell fresh popped kettle corn. They position it right next to the checkout…just to tempt you. I saw nearly half the people buying it as they checked out.
Tip Seven: Indulge in a sweet treat…kettle corn or a famous food truck crepe.
They sold a lot of apparel there too. When we went on Thursday they had a huge display of #shiplap t-shirts for sale. On Saturday after we went back, they were nearly out of ALL their shirts. I saw this fun hat at the checkout and insisted that my husband get it for himself. It’s my little souvenir for him as thanks for letting me spend way too much money at the store. lol.
Want to see what I walked away with?!?!?
Here’s what I got:
White Lantern (not online)
Joanna’s Signature Candle
Magnolia Market hat
I seriously could have done so much more damage, but I reigned myself in. I can’t wait to go back again.
My final tip…
Tip Eight: Go without kids.
Yes, it’s kid friendly and lots of people bring their babies, but toddlers and older will make your shopping experience harder. Trust me from experience...taking my two and six year old on Thursday was tough. When we returned Saturday without them, it made the trip much more enjoyable. If you can’t go without kids, leave them outside to eat and play with an adult while you go in and shop.
Overall, I had so much fun visiting Waco and Magnolia Market.
I’d highly recommend you make the visit if you’re in Texas and have the time. Make a day trip of it with your girlfriends. There’s another fun shop down the street called “The Findery” that is also worth visiting.