The Gaines Effect: The Economy in Waco, Texas Feels the Boom

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Just how big an injection to the Waco economy are the Silos and Magnolia Market? Ask any tourist that travels from miles around (literally – one of them drove over 1,000 miles from Ohio!) to visit the attraction developed as the brainchild of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” stars Chip & Joanna Gaines. In 2017, Magnolia Market has averaged over 30,000 visitors per week, including chartered buses that have brought shopping enthusiasts from as far away as New York. What does this mean for Waco, Texas? A boon, to say the least.

The Gaines Effect: The Economy in Waco, Texas Feels the Boom

Photo: Facebook/Magnolia Market

According to the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, the Silos are just a part of a growing company which presently employs 600 people. It’s working because of a great brand. The Gaineses have become symbols of not only affordable housing but family and faith. Quoted in a recent interview with NBC DFW, Annette Deming of California, who drove three hours to Waco while she was attending a Dallas convention said, “I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way about any show before. I think it’s because of the strong marriage they have. I resonate with this idea of getting into a project with the person you love…I really do love (Joanna Gaines’) style. She’s super talented.”

The Gaines Effect: The Economy in Waco, Texas Feels the Boom

Photo: Facebook/HGTV

And, although the end of “Fixer Upper” draws near, Waco economic development and tourism officials don’t see it as a potential pitfall for the local economy. And, branding and retail aficionados outside of the city have agreed that the positive economic effects the Gaineses have had in their community can continue if their strategies hold true. Adam Hanft, a New York-based brand strategist, identified to NBC that the family’s decision to turn their attention toward home and their children could work to increase their existing wholesome image. That being the case, should they return to network television with another show, it could continue to grow their brand, and therefore Waco’s economy. For those that speculate Joanna herself is the next Martha Stewart in terms of personal brand, only time and her fans will be able to tell. And, that’s something Waco is welcoming.