Chip and Joanna Gaines haven't just taken over the airwaves on their uber-popular HGTV program, Fixer Upper. They're taken over the city of Waco with their Magnolia Market at the Silos. Those of us who live in Texas within a few hours' drive of Waco can get in the car and be at Magnolia easily to shop and soak in a little of that Gaines magic. But if you're planning a trip from farther away - and so many are! - preparation is key. Knowing what to expect and heeding a few tips can help ensure your trip is a good one.
Bring your patience
You're going to wait in line. Just accept it on arrival so you're not disappointed to see that you might have to wait awhile to get inside the store, or the super-busy Silos Baking Co, for that matter. But, there are some ways around it. According to the store's helpdesk, Magnolia "is busiest during the hours around lunch; particularly on Saturdays, when we see thousands of people come through our doors. We suggest coming near opening or closing hours to have the most peaceful shopping experience."
We got lucky on our visit, arriving in mid-afternoon and strolling right in, but these people did not.
Bring your wallet
If you're a fan of Chip and Joanna's French country style, you may end up with far more merchandise than you'd planned. The store is filled with bits and baubles, pillows and lanterns, decorative wall hangings, candles and containers, kitchen items like mugs and bowls, and potted stuff and floral stems and some of the metal wall hangings Joanna favors in her fixed-up homes. You'll want two of everything.
At the very least, you'll probably have orders from friends and family to buy a bunch of Magnolia t-shirts and sweatshirts. If you're thinking you can just buy everything you like online, Popsugar cleared up that, "About 40 percent of the goods in their Magnolia Market store are available in their online shop, the other 60 percent can only be purchased at the physical location."
Bring your appetite, too
In addition to the Silos Baking Co, there is a rotating drove of food trucks lining the lawn where you can grab everything from mac ‘n cheese to hot dogs to crepes to cold-pressed juice. After all that shopping, you'll definitely want a snack. Bonus tip: Stake your claim on one of the covered tables for some shelter from the sun. Waco is HOT in the summer. We're not above a little table stalking when necessary.
It's ok to bring the kids
In fact, they'll probably have a blast, playing cornhole, kicking a ball around, and swinging on the swings. In the back of the property, where Magnolia Seed + Supply, the Gaines' outdoor mecca, is located, there's even a teepee.
Keep in mind, though, that the breakability factor inside the store is high.
Check the calendar ahead of time
Many disappointed families have arrived in Waco all set to shop, eat, and play, only to find out that Magnolia Market and the Silos Baking Co. are closed on Sunday. This may affect your trip. You'll also want to pay attention to their Facebook page, which lists upcoming events like ongoing Movie Nights at The Silos and the Silobration in October.
Make "just in case" plans for the rest of the day
One of the things that stood out to us is how different our expectations were from the reality of Magnolia in terms of the time we would spend there. We were done in a couple of hours, and that was with some food truck and lawn-lounging time. If you want to continue along the Fixer Upper Tour, head to Harp and Co Design. This is woodworking master Clint Harp's nearby shop, where you can browse and buy before heading to JDH Iron Designs, Fixer Upper metal art designer Jimmy Don's shop, which is about a 25-minute drive through the countryside.
Stay in a Fixer Upper House
The Harps' home that was fixed up on the show is right next door to their shop, and is now available for rent through Airbnb - and it's not the only one. The historic Magnolia House is also on Airbnb, although it's so popular, even at $695 a night, that it's booked through 2017. Do a search for "Fixer Upper Airbnb" for more options.
Get there in style
While parking is easy and free at Magnolia, you can add to the fun (especially for the kids) by taking the Silos District Trolley, which runs runs every 15–20 minutes throughout the day and will stop anywhere along the route so you can hop on or off to browse the downtown area.
Document your trip
You'll undoubtedly go to great lengths to do so, because social media and friends demand it! Your family may look (mostly) ridiculous, but you won't care because you got a picture in front of the Magnolia sign. The strong sun can wreak havoc with your outdoor photos, but don't leave without snapping a pic under the #MilestoMagnolia sign and uploading it to Instagram.
By Jaymi Naciri, Realtytimes.com
Every human being makes up each morning thinking that they are the center of their own personal universe. Do you think that sounds cynical? Well let’s play through the following scenario.
You are driving to work listening to the radio and suddenly you hear about an accident on the route you're taking to get to your destination. Is your first thought, “Oh my God, I hope those poor people are alright?”
More likely your reaction is, “Now I’m going to be 30 minutes late for my first meeting!” That's because we all see life through our unique set of lenses in which we're the star of our own show.
In order to build positive strategic relationships, we need to turn human nature on its head. Instead of thinking about what’s in it for me, great relationship managers focus their thoughts and efforts on what’s in it for the people with whom they work.
It’s rare to come across people who don’t have their own personal agenda. Truth be told, we all do. However, great leaders and great relationship managers are willing and able to subjugate their personal agenda for the good of their teams and their stakeholders. Some people refer to this as "servant leadership."
Early in my tenure, I told my teams that they didn’t work for me, but rather that I worked for them. Of course, I got the expected smirks and eye rolls when I uttered those words. But over time, many of them came to realize that I meant it. My goal was their success. My focus was on supporting their efforts.
When we collaborate with our business colleagues and partners, are we thinking about our objectives or theirs?
How many of us have made calls with sales executives who were clearly focused on selling their product or making their quota? How did that feel? And how did it feel on the rare occasions when you encountered a sales executive whose focus was on helping you solve a business problem? How different did that feel?
True servant leaders focus on the needs of their clients, their team, their management and their shareholders. They look at life through the prism of helping others succeed. These leaders realize that all ships rise with the tide.
They also realize that it’s very rare for a player on a last-place team to win the MVP award in their sport. These awards are usually given to the players whose teams have won championships.
Perhaps the greatest athlete of all time (certainly the greatest in my lifetime) is Michael Jordan. One of the most important things people always said about him was that he made everyone around him better.
Are we focused on making others better and helping them succeed? Or are we focused on hitting our personal bonus metrics? Remember, the question we should ask in all personal engagements is not, "What's in it for me?" but "What’s in it for them?"
By Larry Bonfante, CIOInsight.com