Chip and Joanna Gaines open up about meeting for the first time: 'I thought I was dreaming'

Megan Johnson
"Fixer-Upper" stars Chip and Joanna Gaines open up to Willie Geist about their love story and future plans.  (Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
Fixer-Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines opened up to Willie Geist about their love story and future plans. (Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Chip and Joanna Gaines may have risen to international fame with their HGTV series Fixer Upper, but as the duo revealed in a new Sunday Today with Willie Geist segment, they almost passed on the opportunity to become TV stars.

In 2013, a TV producer caught wind of Joanna’s design blog, and asked if she could send a film crew to see if the couple would make good TV. But Chip wasn’t so sure about the entire endeavor.

“I called Chip, and he said, ‘Do not call that person back. It’s a scam. How much did they say you have to pay them to film you?’” Joanna said.

Joanna soon convinced Chip the offer was legitimate, and the production crew headed to Waco to film the Gaines family at work. HGTV executives saw the on-screen magic, and put them on the air.

Now parents to five children ranging in age from 16 months to 14 years, the couple, who got married in 2003, also shared how they first met. Chip ran into his future wife one day while heading into her family’s auto shop to get his brakes fixed, and recognized her from the shop’s commercials.

“One day I was walking out, and he was walking in, and we just bumped into each other,” Joanna laughed. “And he was like, ‘Hey! you’re that girl in the commercials!’”

“I thought I was dreaming,” Chip added.

The couple married in 2003, the same year Joanna opened her first design shop.

Now the dynamic duo is taking on a massive project, renovating a 53,000-square-foot hotel in their hometown. And then there’s their upcoming television channel, The Magnolia Network, which is set to debut in 2020.

The couple also revealed that they truly wrestled with the idea of calling time on their beloved HGTV show, which ended in 2018. In fact, several people they consulted with said it would be a massive mistake if they were to end the program.

“The overwhelming majority of people said, when you turn that television show off, all this other stuff will come crumbling down,” Chip told Geist. “And for that ironic and complete opposite reality to have occurred, it’s pretty testimony to just, be yourself, man.”

They also shared that there is one star who takes their breath away: Taylor Swift.

Back in April, the couple headed to New York to take the red carpet as honorees on the prestigious TIME 100 list of the year’s most influential people in the world.

“We turn around, there’s Taylor Swift with this amazing posse. Our breath gets taken away. She walks into that freakin’ room, full of all stars, looks the first row over, catches eye contact. She’s eyeballing Jo. She goes like this, and air hearts Jo,” Chip told Geist, mimicking Swift as she drew an air heart for the duo.

“And then I passed out,” confirmed Joanna.

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