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Chip and Joanna Gaines reveal how difficult it was to end 'Fixer Upper'

The home improvement gurus open up to TODAY’s Willie Geist about walking away from their wildly popular HGTV hit.
/ Source: TODAY

Two years ago, Chip and Joanna Gaines made an announcement that shocked their fans: Despite being HGTV’s biggest stars and having one of the most popular shows on the small screen, they decided to end “Fixer Upper.”

The home improvement duo made the choice to put the needs of their growing family first. But it “wasn’t an easy decision,” Chip said.

The couple recently sat down with Sunday TODAY’s Willie Geist and revealed just how difficult it was to walk away from that lucrative hit show while it was still on top.

“We wrestled with some counselors, for lack of a better term, that sort of helped us articulate, ‘Do we want to do this or not?’” Chip said. “And I would say the outstanding majority of those people said, ‘When you turn that television show off, all of this other stuff will come crumbling down.’”

The “other stuff” referred to the rest of their home and lifestyle-related endeavors with their business, Magnolia. Their show helped fuel interest in their blog, magazine, housewares, books and marketplace — interest they were warned might wane as they reshuffled their priorities.

But that’s not what happened.

As “Fixer Upper” came to a close, the rest of their business thrived. They’ve opened a restaurant, there’s a coffee shop in the works, they’re planning to take on their biggest fixer-upper ever by restoring and opening a hotel, and rather than simply move on to another TV show, they’re launching their own network.

So much for those well-meant warnings.

“For that ironic and complete opposite reality to have occurred is a pretty powerful testimony to just be yourself, man,” Chip said as Joanna nodded in agreement.

And Chip no longer felt true to himself on “Fixer Upper.”

"I’m an authentic, sincere person,” he revealed in an interview with Cowboys & Indians magazine last December. “So, as long as things are natural and organic, I’m in my element. But the more staged something becomes, or the more required something becomes, it boxes me up, and I felt like toward the end of the 'Fixer Upper' journey, I felt caged, trapped."

Now he feels free.

“Being yourself is more powerful than whatever it is that everybody's telling you you have to do or you're supposed to do, you know?” he told Willie.

See the full interview with the former “Fixer Uppers” this weekend on Sunday TODAY.