On my way back from my daughter's gymnastics meet in Fort Worth, our GPS took us through Waco, Texas. Since we were there, we decided to check out the Magnolia Market at the Silos, the home decor store of Chip and Joanna Gaines from the TV show Fixer Upper. The trip was not planned, so I didn't do any research before hand and did not know what to expect. The weather was gorgeous and my family didn't mind stopping for a little bit to stretch their legs.
Magnolia Market is not too far off the highway, so it was easy to find. Once we got close to the market, we realized that parking might be a problem. Pedestrians were everywhere walking to the market or back to their cars. There were several parking lots renting parking spaces for $10 each. We also noticed the line to get into the bakery was across the street and down the block. Perhaps this was a bad idea?
Many cars were parked for free on the street and we saw a sign for a trolley we could take if needed. Right in front of the market we noticed a car leaving and thought we found a prime spot on the street to park, however it was for loading only.
We were concerned that we were not going to be able to find a parking spot, but then we noticed signs for the free parking lot and luckily found several open spaces in the gravel lot. How lucky! (Just make sure to close your eyes when the wind blows so you don't get dirt in your eyes.)
After parking, we walked towards the silos, went through an opening in the fence, walked past some dumpsters in an alley, and ended up at the corner of the property near the food trucks. The food trucks were very cute, however we did not eat anything since we had lunch 30 minutes prior to arriving.
Walking towards the market entrance, which was quite challenging to keep our family of four together since it was so crowded, we saw cute picnic tables with black and white striped awnings. There is also an outdoor pavilion with more picnic tables and even more picnic tables on the stage at the base of the silos. We saw kids swinging, adults and kids playing games on the lawn (outdoor toys are provided), and a few people lounging in the black and white striped outdoor bean bag chairs. Families were spending quality time together. I'm sure the outdoor area was crowded today because it was a gorgeous spring day, however I expect that it will be too hot during the summer (it might be tolerable at night). It is obvious that Magnolia Market is not just about the store, but more about creating a destination.
Of coarse we had to take a photo of the silos before heading inside the market.
While walking up the ramp to the market entrance, we passed several men waiting outside holding shopping bags and noticed many people taking photos near several different backdrops, such as the #MilesToMagnolia sign and the vintage truck. An employee greeted us at the door.
When entering the market, I was expecting a store filled with one-of-a-kind vintage pieces and handmade items from local craftsmen, however it felt more like a Pottery Barn with mass produced items artfully displayed. It was cute, don't get me wrong, just not what I was hoping for. The few price tags I saw from a distance seemed like the items were also priced comparable to Pottery Barn.
I did notice a few of Jimmy Don's handmade metal signs. I'm guessing that there were some items from Harp Design, but I didn't see them since I was funneled through the store by the crowds of people. Other handmade items might have been on display, however there were so many people that I was unable to get a closer look without pushing someone out of the way.
I'm not sure if it is always like this on Saturday afternoon, but the store was wall to wall people. Most of the husbands were trailing behind their wives and most of the moms were fussing at their kids to not touch anything (the inside of the market may not be the best place for young children who like to touch things since there are many breakable items, however the outside is extremely family friendly).
The store has an upper section at the entrance near the bakery, then it steps down a few steps into a lower section towards the back of the store. Half of the lower section is the stock room (the photo above is the lower section and the stock room is to the back and left behind the wood walls). The front section is air conditioned, but I am guessing that the lower section is not, however it felt cool inside. Believe it or not, the front section was even more crowded than the back section.
Since I don't like crowds and my family was not impressed, we only stayed inside the store for about 10 minutes. I had seen enough. If there is something I must have, I will buy it online instead of dealing with the crowds.
I was really hoping to go inside the silos, however they are currently not open. Rumor has it that Chip's Corner (currently in the lower back section of the market) will be located there in the future. There is another rumor that Joanna's furniture will be sold at a store across the street from the silos in the near future. Keep in mind that these are just rumors.
Before leaving, we stopped by the restrooms since we still had a long journey home. While we waited in a long line (3 stalls and 1 sink), my husband took a panoramic photo of the property. (There was no line for the porta potties, but standing in line for a real bathroom seemed like a better option.) The photo my husband took is a bit goofy looking, but it shows the extent of the outside area. The walkway on the bottom left and bottom right of the photo is actually one straight walkway that is distorted in the photo. The food trucks are situated in this corner in an L formation. Don't you love the wacky stretch limousine stroller in the center? This corner of the property was the only section of the property that was not excessively crowded.
Later that day I spoke to my sister-in-law since she has made the long drive to visit Magnolia Market three times with her family because she loves it so much. She has never been to the bakery since the line is always crazy long. I also found out that we missed seeing the Seed + Supply section with fairy gardens, which is probably the part I would have liked the most (that's what I get for not doing research before hand). Oh well. Maybe next time.
In summary, if shopping at the mall with all the crowds on Black Friday is your kind of fun, then go to Magnolia Market at the Silos on Friday or Saturday (they are closed on Sunday). If you are like me and avoid crowds whenever possible, visit during the week on Monday through Thursday, but not on a holiday.