Capital Gaines Finds Meaning in Mistakes


Capital Gaines proves that what does not kill you makes you stronger (Owen Corrigan/the Fordham Ram)

By Andrea Garcia

Capital Gaines proves that what does not kill you makes you stronger (Owen Corrigan/the Fordham Ram)

Famous comebacks are the ones whose narratives have withstood time as the greatest challenges to adversity, such as Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan. Now enters Chip Gaines, HGTV star and New York Times Bestselling co-author of The Magnolia Story with the Oct. 17 release of his second book, Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff. 

Through Chip’s eyes, the anticipated success of a book ironically details every failure he has ever experienced, from the time he had trouble learning to read as a child, to the year he was cut from his baseball team and every struggle he’s faced while starting business ventures.

He faced every failure that shaped him into the author of two books, the owner of multiple businesses and above all, a loving husband and father.

Many people who watch “Fixer Upper” on HGTV know Chip for being a goofball on camera. His crazy antics, while driving everyone in his family crazy, make him loveable and more personable. This aspect of his personality shows through in his writing and make the book an enjoyable, natural read.

The most endearing part of the book is its dedication as a “love letter” to everyone in his life, including his wife and Magnolia Story co-author, Joanna, four children and the rest of their family, friends and employees. One thing that will always be apparent about Chip is that he cares about the people around him. While detailing all of his notable downfalls, it’s evident that he manages to never forget the people who support him.

This ability for Chip to hold meaningful relationships carries through best in how he talks about Joanna. The couple’s first book, The Magnolia Story, provided a he-said, she-said dynamic that allowed the couple to share their story and comment on what the other said. What makes this book different from The Magnolia Story, released about a year ago to date, is that Chip’s voice is the only one telling the story this time around.

In a chapter following the beginning of their relationship to the present day, he praises her for constantly encouraging him to take risks and staying by his side in difficult situations.

Throughout the book, Chip uses his talent for storytelling and illustrates how past choices made him the person he is today. While using some stories that are familiar to the “Fixer Upper” fanbase, Chip fills in the blank of how he grew from being a small-business owner to one of the masterminds to the Magnolia empire in Waco, Texas.

Moving deeper than the anecdotes himself, Capital Gaines gives a reflection on why mistakes make us the people we are. Acknowledging mistakes and knowing how to grow for them are a part of growing up, specifically to those in college. Bouncing back from a major failure or a series of failures is easier said than done. In comparison to time-old stories of people in history books who have overcome major setbacks, Capital Gaines provides a more human and humble approach to understanding the steps of recognizing your own downfalls and learning how they shape you as a person, rather than tearing you down.

Chip Gaines, and the stories he tells within his second book, fall nothing short of a comfortable read that will make its reader trust that there is a reason for every mistake you make while finding what your purpose in life is.