How Chip And Joanna Gaines' Employees Really Feel About Working For The HGTV Stars

Chip and Joanna Gaines went from being HGTV stars, fronting their beloved show "Fixer Upper" across five successful seasons, to running their own bonafide empire off the back of its success, per E! News. Plenty of people would understandably be terrified to leave behind the show that made them famous, but when Chip and Joanna quit "Fixer Upper," they just got even more famous and successful. The couple built their Magnolia brand from the ground up, and now, they're reaping the benefits. 

As Insider notes, at the height of their HGTV fame, the Gaineses were earning a whopping $30,000 per episode, much of which was invested back into the business. However, it's worth noting that they founded Magnolia Realty long before the home renovation network came calling, back in 2007, in the couple's hometown of Waco, Texas. They've since branched out to Magnolia Market, various retail stores, and other businesses across the city. And, in 2021, the couple launched Magnolia Network.

Chip and Joanna are doing remarkably well, but with so many businesses on the go at once, what's it like to actually work for them? 

There are pros and cons to working for the Gaines

In an interview with 4Word, Laura Stafford, who was employed both as a designer at Magnolia Homes and also on "Fixer Upper" in the beginning, shared that although she did several different jobs during her time with them, which was pretty demanding, "Chip and Jo are very empowering and releasing," Stafford added. "They are dreamers who really make others' dreams happen too." Elsewhere, carpenter Clint Harp, whom "Fixer Upper" fans will already know, was down and out, desperately looking for work, when he happened to meet Chip at a gas station, as he regaled the Austin-American Statesman. Harp described working for the superstar couple as "an amazing job." Moreover, Harp now owns the Waco-based Harp Design Co. store. 

Employees writing on Glassdoor and Indeed shouted out the great team working alongside them, and how much "Magnolia cares about its employees" as major perks. On the downside, there are long working hours to contend with, and the Gaines' increasing level of fame can be tough to handle too, particularly when it involves demanding fans turning up at their Waco businesses, as one former store employee revealed. 

The Gaines have never wavered when it comes to fighting for what they want, with Chip telling Business Insider India, "We don't quit, we never give up. Failure is not an option, losing is not an option." It's unsurprising, then, that they expect the same approach from their dedicated staff. 

Chip and Joanna were destined to create an empire

Although fans were shocked when Chip and Joanna Gaines said goodbye to HGTV, as the couple acknowledged in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, being on television was never their goal. As then-HGTV president Allison Page admitted, "It wasn't a question of how to hold on to them. They were just gone." 

The couple didn't leave to chase fame elsewhere either, despite the fact they were fielding calls from every streamer on the block. In fact, the former HGTV stars briefly considered working with Netflix. However, they didn't want to be back onscreen just yet. The deal didn't work out, which was what eventually led to Magnolia Network, created in conjunction with Discovery Inc. 

Joanna believes they were always destined for great things. Looking back on her younger years, in a video shared on YouTube, the busy working mother divulged, "I remember in those times I heard [God] specifically say, 'Joanna, I have a calling for you. You're going to have a platform one day.'" Even when the couple was forced to briefly shut the first business they opened together, Joanna recalled, "I heard God say very clearly, 'Joanna, if you trust me with your dreams, I'm going to take Magnolia further than you could have ever dreamed, so just trust me.'" She did, of course, and their empire came to pass accordingly. 

The former HGTV stars took action against allegedly dodgy employees

In January 2022, reports circulated that Candis and Andy Meredith, stars of Magnolia Network renovation show "Home Work," had left clients bereft thanks to shoddy and unfinished work. Aubrey Bennion told NBC News that she couldn't credit the Merediths with creating her "Pinterest-worthy" kitchen, since she had to put a lot of time and money into bringing it up to scratch after the fact. "It was done poorly," Bennion claimed. "I had to fix things to even just live." 

Bennion even "faked" her positive reaction to the big reveal. Several other homeowners shared similar experiences with the Merediths, accusing them of taking too long to finish projects and allowing budgets to spiral out of control, among many other things. "Home Work" was swiftly removed from the Magnolia Network, while any mention of the Merediths was scrubbed from its dedicated site accordingly. 

"Magnolia Network is aware that certain homeowners have expressed concerns about renovation projects undertaken by Candis and Andy Meredith," Allison Page, president of Magnolia Network, confirmed in a statement, per The Beehive. The couple, meanwhile, professed their innocence on Instagram. Notably, Bennion held the Gaineses, who have yet to comment directly at the time of writing, responsible. 

She argued, "The values and morals that the world loves about Magnolia and Chip and Jo have not evidenced themselves here. It's disappointing and heartbreaking. I was Magnolia's most loyal supporter but now find myself a victim of their growth and greed."

Magnolia stars Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano sang the Gaines' praises

When it comes to curating content for Magnolia Network, Chip and Joanna Gaines don't approach it with dollar signs in their eyes. In fact, as Chip told Variety in a joint interview, "That's been the greatest joy in all this — finding new talent that maybe the world hadn't heard of yet and reintroducing talent that the world had known." Moreover, they don't source talent through the typical avenues either. Joanna admitted, for the most part, it's about them approaching people and convincing them to take part, rather than the other way around. 

Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano, whose band Johnnyswim were responsible for the earworm "Fixer Upper" jingle, are one of their biggest success stories. When Magnolia Network launched, the Gaines dedicated two shows to covering the couple's time touring on the road as well as their home life, as busy parents. In an exclusive interview with The List, Abner and Amanda confirmed working with Chip and Joanna is wonderful. 

Amanda shared, "Getting into the television world ... any questions that we had, any concerns that we had, we had pros that we could talk to and who could kind of mentor us in this space that was new to us and make it make sense and make it not scary, make it fun." Moreover, Abner pointed out, "They were true to their word. We were the first show in production. They've done an amazing job always championing us."