Chip and Joanna Gaines broke the news that they’d be walking away from Fixer Upper after its upcoming fifth season on September 26, 2017. At the time, viewers were totally surprised by the decision.
In the four years since the show made its debut, Chip and Joanna have gone from being virtually unknown outside of their Waco, Texas, hometown to internationally beloved celebrities and TV personalities.
Their remodeling and design company, Magnolia Homes, put them on the map, but their business success has only grown (and expanded way beyond the home remodeling sector) since Fixer Upper premiered in 2013.
Joanna recently announced that she is publishing her first cookbook. The pair also announced the upcoming launch of their very own line at Target, Hearth & Hand with Magnolia.
Needless to say, the Gaines family has been extremely busy over the last five years — and that began to have an effect on their family life.
Chip and Joanna are parents to four young kids: Drake, 12; Ella, 11; Duke, 9; and Emmie Kay, 7.
The happy parents have always maintained that they never wanted their kids to grow up in the spotlight.
“They’re so young, and we want to give them the chance to have a normal childhood,” said Joanna. “Family is the most important thing in the world.”
The couple opened up about their decision to leave Fixer Upper behind and how their needs as a family influenced that choice in a recent interview with People.
Much of it had to do with the show’s intense production schedule and its impact on their kids.
“We gave everything we had to this show — the beautiful homes and those sweet families — but this just felt like the right time to catch our breath for a bit,” Joanna revealed.
As their star continued to rise over the past four years, Chip and Joanna became busier and busier with their successful businesses. But in many ways, it seems that was both a blessing and a curse.
According to People, Chip and Joanna were filming the show 11 months of the year while juggling Magnolia and its 500 employees.
“Nobody told us that that [hectic production schedule] was unique,” Chip said. “Nobody told us that that was a little bit irrational.”
The kids were also getting more than a little bit tired of the near-constant filming.
“They would ask, ‘Mom and Dad, do you guys have to film again today? When is this going to be over?'” Chip recalled.
“The kids were so young when we started,” Joanna said. “Fast-forward to today, and our oldest is almost a teenager — they’re all growing up so quickly.”
“I realized the show was demanding time from me, and I needed to be giving it to our businesses, to our relationship and my family,” Chip added. “How far can you push it before something really does break down? And that’s kind of where we landed.”
For Fixer Upper fans who feared that rumors about a potential divorce were the reason behind the show ending, the longtime couple shut all that nonsense down.
Chip and Joanna, who have been married for 14 years, said that tabloid rumors about “marital strife” are “downright false.”
“We would rather stop here, where we still feel we’re in a really good place,” Chip said. “We have the chance to regroup and refresh and find out in two years. Thank God we stopped and gave each other time and energy and loved our family more than we would’ve had the resources to do otherwise. Hopefully that will pay dividends down the road.”
Now, the pair plans to spend more quality time with family and return to its roots, working on the Magnolia business.
“We really want to focus on this break and take a step back to let this all soak in,” Joanna said. “Regardless of what the future holds, we are hopeful for what God has for us and our family in this next season.”
But they’re not ruling out a return to TV down the line. “We’re entrepreneurs at heart, so we’ll always be looking forward to what’s next,” Joanna said. “As it relates to TV, you just never know.”
Will you miss seeing Chip and Joanna on Fixer Upper?
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