Two weeks ago I had the privilege of visiting the MacKenzie-Childs headquarters in Aurora New York as part of their #CampCourtlyCheck retreat. I recently discovered MacKenzie-Childs when Ashley of the teacher diva posted about it. Then when I visited Christina in DC, her kitchen had pops of MacKenzie-Childs too. “Oh yeah” she said, “my family loves MacKenzie-Childs and my aunts and my mom give it to me every Christmas” I didn’t know it then, but that’s actually a staple of MacKenzie-Childs: Aunts, grandmothers, cousins, moms, daughters and friends, giving it to each other as gifts for Christmas, birthdays, and special occasions.
The line started with Richard and Victoria MacKenzie-Childs as a way to raise money to help their daughter attend ballet school. The entire aesthetic and design is completely whimsical and FUN. We’re talking Alice in wonderland meets candy land, meets Beauty and the Beasts’ be our guest. The farmhouse alone looked like something only Hansel and Gretel could dream up. Bold bright colors, fun prints, and fabulous pink bathtubs. It was so enchanting. Even though I was immediately in love with this MacKenzie-Childs and all the beautiful pieces of pottery, I wasn’t sure how my “all neutral” design scheme would fit with the colorful and fun pizazz that is MacKenzie-Childs. Enter: Parchment Check collection. I love this more neutral checkered print that is a sister print of the original Courtly Check. When we painted our mugs I was actually paired up with the artisan who created that specific color to represent aged love letters on parchment paper. Rebecca, the head creative director, was inspired to create parchment check after finding love letters between her grandparents’ – so romantic! She explained that she is always finding inspiration in everyday life, whether it’s on an evening walk, talking to a friend, or in a cedar box of old love letters! She was pretty inspiring herself and I’m so glad I got to meet her and witness the creative process behind MacKenzie-Childs.
Between you and me, when I first discovered the brand I thought they were expensive, but after seeing the intensive process, which is all done by hand, I think they are extremely reasonably priced. Every piece is done by hand – from the molding, to the firing, to the hours of painting. MacKenzie-Childs are truly one of a kind pieces of art!
We stayed at the Ins of Aurora and got to tour the grounds. There were sheep, ducks, and of course, Simon the goose! (who even has her OWN piece of pottery) The other properties were decorated just as fun and lively as the farmhouse and overall theme of MacKenzie-Childs. This trip was truly a dream and if you are ever in Aurora, New York I highly recommend stopping by!
Oh and p.s. – if any of you are as timid as I was about dipping your toe in the color pool – they are coming out with an ALL WHITE pattern in a few months! Sweetbriar! We got to see the original design and it’s stunning! Wishing I was getting married again – or at least just getting a second registary 😉