'Fixer Upper' stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have built a thriving empire that includes books, retail, hospitality, and a TV Network. With the expansion of Magnolia Network launching last week, the home renovation couple is now making the transition to becoming television executives.
"It's become this passion project for us and we're just so excited about it. And now we're finally here, and we can't wait to show the world what we've been working on," said Joanna.
She emphasized that Magnolia Network will show "real people doing real things" rather than scripted content.
"The thing that I think wakes us up in the morning and gets us to work is the idea that we get to tell people's stories," Joanna added.
The Gaines are also bringing in guests to host different shows.
Andrew Zimmern, an Emmy and four-time James Beard Award-winning TV chef, will host "Family Dinner" where he travels across the country to visit with families and hear about their favorite foods.
Zimmern said Chip and Joanna are "genuine" people who believe in taking a chance when it comes to their work.
"They are who they are. They are consistent. They are reliable. They believe in taking risks and they believe in vulnerability," he said. "They did not put any boundaries about what kind of show I was going to make. They essentially let me make the show I felt was important."
Clint Harp, a carpenter who had been featured on Fixer Upper, will host his own show, "Restoration Road with Clint Harp" in which he sets out to look for damaged items in need of repair.
"Joanna didn't have to call me to keep making furniture for Fixer Upper. She didn't have to. They were fine on their own," Harp explained. "But she kept giving me opportunities. And I've told her this to her face and in front of other people before, just how grateful I am."
And Joanna pointed out the uniqueness of Magnolia Network and why it's different than other programs.
"I think it's kind of good that we didn't come from a background that understands television, honestly, because then we'd get kind of stuck in our minds about, 'Okay, we need a formula, we need a format,'" Joanna noted. "For us, it was just like, 'No, we want to find people who are authentically doing this. We want to tell their story. We're not going to shape their story.'"
The couple also received support from another well-known figure who has built a business empire - Oprah Winfrey.
Chip and Joanna recently spoke with Winfrey, who launched the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) in 2011 and were inspired by the successful media executive.
"Something about that really made us believe that it was possible," said Chip. "That she really believed in us meant a whole lot to us."
Magnolia Network will replace the DIY Network and feature original shows, new seasons of some DIY shows along with past episodes of Fixer Upper. There are also plans to debut a television channel in January 2022.
But as their family and business enterprises continue to expand, the connections they have developed with others have become stronger.
"I believe that each of us, in every circumstance, has what it takes - that built within the construction of who we are is whatever that moment in time requires," Joanna concluded.