This week, we’re highlighting Waco, Texas and the phenomenal Magnolia Marketplace. While the town has much more to offer than just ‘The House/Silos that Chip and Joanna remodeled’, the economic impact that Magnolia has drawn in all of its HGTV glory is hard to ignore. There is always a steady line for cupcakes from the bakery, moving around the warehouse of goods such as apparel and home décor can be tricky at particularly popular times, but the open space line with hand selected food and beverage vendors might be reason enough to spend some time enjoying a sunny day trip. Admittedly, Waco is one of those towns for me that is a nice weekend trip from Houston. Far enough to feel away, but not so far that you spend more time on the road than enjoying the destination.
At home, I use an antenna television, forgoing a cable television bill for small luxuries like Netflix and Amazon Prime. I think it pretty much ends up being a wash in the long run, but I have always had a hard time justifying the pay of a cable company to charge to loan me equipment at a price that would only stand to incur usage costs. I do pay a cable company for Internet, though I have supplemented their hardware by purchasing my own. At the end of the day, I am almost sure it saves me some money, but in reality may be so minuscule that I should just give in. The jury is still out on that last part.
I bring up my personal television setup only to say that my exposure to Chip and Joanna Gaines has been limited. They seem like very nice people who have built a small empire in an otherwise quaint Texas town. Waco has Baylor. Waco has Dr. Pepper. Waco may be remembered by David Koresh and the 1993 raid. But Waco runs deep with community pride and is a prime location for the infrastructure that the HGTV train has delivered with the Gaines’ success.
And while I can point to the few episodes I have caught of ‘Fixer Upper’ either in the lobby of a doctor’s office or in the background while visiting friends, what I have picked up on is that this family is serious about their business, but have created something sustainable that they are able to wholly enjoy. It may grow and develop into different ventures, but it stays fresh and involved.
Technically, our track this week is “Nolia Clap- Remix” from UTP (also known as Uptown Projects), though is listed out by the artists names in the group; Sicko, Wacko, and Juvenile. I chose this instrumental this week for more than just the ‘Nolia connection, though also clearly recognizable. UTP was a venture that of the three rappers, the most noteworthy, Juvenile, partook in after the end of his contract with Cash Money Records. The MC, who proudly represents New Orleans bounce with a familiar pronounced drawl and uptempo cadence was able to build something that he was passionate about into a business that spans well across 18 albums.
The record industry itself can be a brutal place, with sparks of light that shine through. Which is to say that of the many people who show an interest in music, the number you might actually find on your local radio station, streaming app, or download site is a fraction. There are plenty of talented troubadours who never fully realize their vision of international stardom. I work to be conscious of the music I pair here so that there is variety each week, but even I understand that there are genre’s we haven’t yet featured. Entire Genre’s.
Talent can get you involved in the industry, but to truly succeed, even on a moderate level, you have to hustle and work hard. Even then, success is not guaranteed. Writing one hit song does not promise that you will have another. The smarter artists that I see know how to work hard and keep the people that have helped them get to where they are close. Obviously, there is always a potential risk when working with family and friends, but if everyone is able to stay professional, there is the bonus of following your passions with the people that you care about.
That’s the feeling that I get about Waco, whether addressing Magnolia and the Gaines crew, or many of Waco’s thriving businesses. Waco is a place peppered with history, but whose history stands to strengthen instead of strangle its continued growth. While I don’t know that I would wait in line nearly 2 hours for a cupcake or lunch reservation, I most definitely could see myself spending more time at in the future.
Bottom line; find what you love, work hard for it/to grow in it, and find ways to do it as much as possible. And if you need that on an expensive t-shirt, I have some pretty good leads on where to find that for you.