Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Newbie's Guide to Magnolia Market

Before I close this little chapter of our Magnolia adventure and move on to reality, I wanted to share a few of our tips and discoveries in hopes that you enjoy this place as much as we all did if you ever have the chance to visit.  Magnolia Market's website has a list of tips for enjoying your visit, and you can find several others  

Tip 1: If possible, visit on a weekday.  I read somewhere that the Silos welcome around 25,000 people a week and that on Saturdays and Sundays, the crowds and lines wrap around the block.  We went on a Tuesday and Thursday and had no issues.  We waited less than ten minutes at the bakery and had no wait in the checkout line.  I did read that the following weekend, average wait time at the checkouts was 90 minutes!  The only line I did see when we were there was for the bathrooms!  I'd suggest going before, or using the outdoor bathrooms across from the Silos.

Tip 2: Take your time and soak it all in!  Expect to spend a half day there to make the most of the experience.  An hour or two in the Market depending on how much shopping you plan to do, a half hour to browse the gardens and Seed + Supply Store, eat lunch at one of the food trucks, and definitely eat dessert at the bakery.  There are bins full of lawn games, giant wooden swings, kettle corn, and music playing - it's so much more than a place to shop and the perfect place to connect and unplug with friends and family.  

Tip 3: Be prepared to purchase!  Kate and I literally wanted to buy everything in the store.  Since we flew to Texas, we were both ecstatic when Magnolia announced a FedEx Ship-to-Home booth right in the store and were planning to take advantage of this service to send our packages home.  Although very convenient (my package arrived two days after shipping it), it was pretty pricey.  You may want to take a look at the website prior to visiting the store to see what you can find and order online and what items are in-store only.  I prioritized the in-store items for sure, and took pictures of a few things I had my eye on that could later be ordered online.  I'll share my fun finds at the bottom of the post.  

Tip 4: Eat at the Silos.  The food trucks that border the Silos add so much character to the experience, not to mention the food was wonderful.  I highly recommend a gourmet grilled cheese (the Sweet Granny was so good) and Moonshine Sweet Tea at the Cheddar Box!

Tip 5: Engage with the staff.  Every single person we had the opportunity to talk with was kind, genuine, and loved sharing parts of the mission of Magnolia.  Nate talked to a young man who had just started working there two weeks before and had just met Chip.  One of the sweet gals I talked to told me about a staff party they just had on the green space with live music and blankets on the lawn.  There was a genuine excitement just being around the people there. 

Tip 6: Explore Waco and go on a Fixer Upper Scavenger Hunt.  We had all read the book and had so much fun driving around Waco looking for Fixer Upper landmarks (with the help of google and gps)Clint Harp's Design Co. Store is a must-do, and we all got so excited when we accidentally came across Bosque Ave. and spotted Joanna's sweet little store where it all began.  We also found a couple of Fixer Upper homes, and the stately historic house that is the next big surprise project of Chip and Joanna's.  Driving around Waco and getting a sense of the community revealed just how unexpectedly sweet their journey to Fixer Upper has been.  

Tip 7: Read the book.  The book is wonderful whether you're making a trip to Waco or not, but if you are, it's an absolute must!  This book gave us SO much context to understanding their journey to where they are now and we appreciated their story so much more to see the high and low points of their storyWe found the street near Baylor University where Chip started buying and flipping homes, and it was really neat to get a true picture of where they started.  And it only makes the Magnolia Market more incredible!   

Tip 8: Eat some barbecue.  We loved Rudy's for its cafeteria style ordering and big ice-filled coolers of glass bottles of root beer and blue cream soda.  Part gas station, part barbecue, our food was served on plastic pallets and we sat on long picnic tables next to garage doors that can open up as windows.  The ambience was great and we just so happened to be right next door to Chip's most recent adventure...

Tip 9: Appease your husbands with a trip to Austin first. :)  In my honest opinion, if you are driving any distance to Waco, it's worth it to extend for a day or two and check out this unique and vibrant city.  While the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco may do it for some, I got the feeling there wasn't a ton to do in this cityAustin was a quick 90-minute drive from Waco, and a city we really loved.  Waco for Magnolia, Austin for tacos, music, and Texas. ;)

So what did I bring home with me from my visit to Magnolia?  My favorite items include my signature Magnolia wreath that seemed fitting to buy while at the Market, two heavy black candlesticks to recreate some of Joanna's black accent pieces, my number signs from Clint's shop, and my sweet stack of hymn cards with the words of Come Thou Fount, just perfect for Mila's dresser.  I was like a little girl on Christmas morning when the FedEx man delivered my box.  It was so much fun to unwrap the pieces, channel my inner Joanna, and arrange these pieces into our fold here at home.  So much of what we took away from Magnolia could be recreated anywhere.  Small details, like a flickering candle, a pop of black, or a new towel hung on the oven door, can inspire creativity, cozy, and joy. 


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