What Design Education Does Joanna Gaines Have?

Joanna and Chip Gaines via Instagram

Joanna and Chip Gaines via Instagram

Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines has a talent for interior design. If you’ve seen the HGTV show, it’s clear she has a gift for transforming a home. How did Joanna learn this skill? We’ve got the details on the talented designer’s educational background.

Here’s what we know about where Joanna Gaines received her design education.

Joanna’s college education

Joanna attended Baylor University (her husband, Chip, also attended Baylor). Although you might think she received a degree related to design, this isn’t the case. Joanna graduated with a degree in communications. Her original plan was to go into the communications field. When Joanna was a college student, she had an internship in New York on the show 48 Hours with Dan Rather, reports Baylor Magazine.

Although Joanna was on the road to a career in communications, she decided to go in another direction. She soon realized she had a passion for design. Joanna became inspired by some of the New York boutiques she visited during her time in New York.

Faking it ‘til she’s making it

Surprisingly, Joanna does not have a formal design education. Instead of going to design school, she learned much of what she knows on the job. Joanna mentions on her blog that when she first started her business, she felt people expected her to be the expert and to know just about everything. However, instead of buckling under the pressure, she says she simply made things up as she went along. The Magnolia Journal blog discusses how Joanna made it work:

Steadily, the Market gained attention, and people began seeking design advice from Jo. Joanna laughs at herself now, thinking of those first years when people would ask questions about how to decorate a mantel or what to do with an awkward wall. She’d give her advice off the cuff—making it up as she went along. After all, she’d studied communications at Baylor University, and wasn’t formally trained in design. But after a lot of practice and fine-tuning, she developed a style—the style that has now captured a national audience.

Designing a successful career

Although Joanna didn’t go to school for design, she has still managed to create a wildly successful career. Chip and Joanna have combined their talents and formed several income streams. Among them are their magazine, The Magnolia Journal; their store, Magnolia Market; and a furniture line called Magnolia Home. The couple also has a Target line called Hearth & Hand with Magnolia. In addition, there are book deals, a bakery, Joanna’s clothing line with Matilda Jane, and a line of Fixer Upper-inspired paint.

The couple also does speaking engagements. Romper reports the couple charges $30,000 for speaking fees. The price to hear just Joanna speak is a lot more expensive. Last we heard, if you want to book Joanna Gaines to speak at an event, you’ll have to pay her reported appearance fee of $150,000 an hour.

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