How Fixer Upper's Chip And Joanna Gaines Struggled Before Their TV Show

chip gaines joanna gaines fixer upper

Fixer Upper has been charming HGTV audiences ever since it brought the Gaines family and their renovation business to the small screen back in 2013. Chip and Joanna Gaines have a wonderful partnership as both husband and wife and successful business associates. As it turns out, however, they didn't have an easy time in their first years together. Joanna Gaines shared this story about the early years of marriage before Fixer Upper fame:

I remember when we first got married the only money we had was what was in Chip's pocket. He always had a wad of cash, but we were broke. If I needed to go grocery shopping it's whatever was in his pocket. That's how we paid the bills.

Considering how successful the Gaines family has been in the years since Fixer Upper took off, it's almost hard to imagine them living off of only whatever cash Chip had in his pocket. They've come a very long way in the years since. In addition to their roles designing and renovating homes on Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna have a magazine, a book, a real estate company, a retail store, and a line featuring everything from paints to wallpaper to furniture. Their faith in their business and their partnership has clearly paid off in a big way.

As it happens, not everybody in their lives believed that they should rely on house flipping for their livelihoods. Chip Gaines went on in the chat with People to reveal that Joanna's father wanted him to get a more typical job during the first couple of years after he and Joanna married. Luckily for everybody whose lives have been touched by Chip and Joanna's work on Fixer Upper, Chip stuck to his guns and continued his work on houses. HGTV would be a far less adorable place if Chip and Joanna hadn't built their housing empire.

Of course, Fixer Upper is about more than just designing and renovating. A big part of the appeal for many is the inside look that Fixer Upper gives on the entire Gaines family. Chip and Joanna have four pretty cute kids, a gorgeous farmhouse, and a collection of friendly animals. Tragedy struck the Gaines family this past summer when somebody snuck onto their property and killed two of their goats, but we can bet that Fixer Upper won't be any less fun when it returns to HGTV for Season 4. Chip and Joanna Gaines did recently reveal that they're going to be more discerning with who they choose to highlight on Fixer Upper after they discovered that some buyers have been using the fame from the show to turn a profit and rent out their houses, so it should be interesting to see if there are any differences with how they interact with their clients.

Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what you can catch on the small screen before Chip and Joanna Gaines return to HGTV for Fixer Upper Season 4, and don't forget to take a look at the remakes and revivals currently in the works for TV.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).