Joanna Gaines may be famous for her decorating savvy, but the former Fixer Upper star’s life could have gone in a very different direction.
In a heartfelt message to her dad posted on Instagram for Father’s Day, Joanna explains that she had plans to take over the family business — a tire shop — after her dad retired.
“Happy Father’s Day to the plant daddy of all plant daddy’s,” Joanna wrote alongside an image of her dad standing beside a flowering shrub. “I got my love for plants from this man — he has taught me that determination and hard work with a mix of patience and grace can not only help in the garden but also with family, business and life.”
“I had the privilege of working with him for ten years at his tire shop and he taught me about these things 1st hand,” she continues. “I always thought I would take over his shop when he retired, this was at least the plan.”
However, Joanna admits that once she met her husband Chip, she began envisioning a different future.
“I started realizing I had some hidden dreams in my heart but was scared to let my dad down,” she writes. “When he got wind that I was ready for something else he quickly sat me down and told me to go for it and do what my heart was telling me to do.”
But just because Joanna didn’t go into the family business, doesn’t mean she didn’t have the opportunity to work with her father.
“I love it that every time I smell tires I think of you and the good ol’ days (and now that you work here with me you have to admit it’s a lot nicer to come home smelling like candles),” Joanna writes.
It seems the former HGTV star, who is launching her own cable channel with Chip that will replace Discovery’s DIY Network in 2020, has passed down her dad’s love of plants to her own children. In March, Joanna wrote a children’s book, We Are the Gardeners, alongside her oldest children Drake, 14, Ella, 12, Duke, 10, and Emmie, 9, that centered around her family’s love for gardening.
“I imagine parents reading this to their kids and then shutting the book and saying, ‘Let’s go and plant a garden,’” Joanna said. “That was my hope, that it would get people outside and help families find a creative way to connect.”
As a self-proclaimed “plant lady,” Joanna explained her green thumb has come a long way. “I never had gardens before, but then we had kids and we had this tiny little side yard,” she recalls of one of their first homes. “It was a blank slate.”