A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of flying out to Aurora, New York. While this tiny town in rural NY might seem random, it’s actually home to a brand I was SO freaking honored to learn more about, MacKenzie-Childs. If you grew up in a home with an interior-loving mama like myself, you’ve likely heard of the brand – or at least seen their fun, unique designs on social media.
If not, they are a home decor and furnishing company that creates beautiful hand-crafted pieces (from tabletop to kitchen to furniture, etc.). They have a property in Aurora, New York which has their workshops, showrooms, stores, and even a couple Inns!
And though I’d heard of the brand before, I’ll admit I didn’t know much about their history or what their story was. I’d seen their stuff in Neiman’s a few times and heard some of my friends’ parents talk about it, but I didn’t really have any personal connection to it. But when I mentioned this opportunity to a close friend, she literally lit up with excitement and was like, WHAT? ARE YOU SERIOUS? BUT WAIT CAN I COME?! I AM OBSESSED. And quite frankly, I was taken aback, but also VERY interested to figure out what I was missing out on! She showed me some pictures of her favorite pieces in her home and it shed a whole new light on the brand and their products for me. There’s something about seeing product styled in a real-life home (especially of someone whose taste you trust) that really makes you appreciate it more. Needless to say, I was totally onboard!
I want to show you a few photos of the trip and then share 6 ways the entire experience **literally** inspired my life!
Six Ways The Trip & Brand Inspired My Life
Y’all know that I’m a thinker – I spend SO much of my time living in #brightonbrain world and kinda pondering what life is all about. What to do next, what’s important, etc. So being immersed in such a positive, impressive yet simple, and happy brand was almost like a reset for me.
Even if you never have the chance to visit the MacKenzie-Childs properties in New York, I’m hoping I’ll do a good enough job explaining some of the core values I picked up on this trip. So with that being said, here are 4 ways I’m inspired by the brand or the messages I came home with. I’m also recapping my time there!
Be More Thoughtful
MacKenzie-Childs is an incredibly thoughtful brand. Every single piece of their home decor furnishings, whether pottery or furniture, are handcrafted (and even hand painted!) in Aurora. Watch this video which explains more and I think is SO cool). And they take that some thoughtfulness into everything they do. I mean just look at all that hand-painted detailing in this kitchen above! Isn’t that crazy? Every single detail and so much thought – it’s so inspiring to me!
I actually got insane food poisoning the first night of this trip and laid in my room feeling not only physically horrible but like I was letting the whole brand down. After all, this was a press trip and they were generously hosting me! While I’m pretty sure most brands would have been bratty about it or made me feel every worse, everyone at the property was anything but. I know it’s sad to say, but I feel like in our current culture, it’s almost normal to be negative to people when they mess up (even if it’s them getting sick!). They checked in on me so many times and not for a second made me feel bad – which is something I know I can take into my own life. Things happen! But being thoughtful is so much kinder than making someone feel bad.
Get Creative In Making People Feel Special
This kinda of piggybacks on my last point and the food poisoning, but I wanted to point it out separately. Once I was feeling better, I was able to join in on one of the activities, which was creating hand-made stationary for our best friends. (The whole trip was focused around friendship.) This is literally something I’d NEVER do before this trip, but I came away thinking of so many ideas to make people around me feel special.
Make It An Occasion
Whether it’s a birthday dinner with friends or teacher appreciation day, I think it’s important to take any opportunity to make an occasion to celebrate someone else. But honestly, I haven’t really been doing the best job of that in my life over the past few years. I’ve found myself skipping birthday dinners, working on holidays and wishing I could just “get through” moments/occasions that I should have really slowed down to enjoy. I love how the Mackenzie Childs product line create products that truly bring joy and “cuteness” (for lack of a better word) to everyday life.
For instance, their cute Flower Market 3 Quart Tea Kettle literally is inspiration enough for me to want to explore/try drinking tea. And this Flower Market Serving Bowl in white literally inspired me to make a fresh summer salad last week – just because I wanted an excuse to use it! And now I want to order some enamelware so I can throw an outdoor bar-b-q with some of my friends from church.
Cook More With All The Cute Kitchen Things
One of my best friends and former roommates, Erin, is a BIG cook. She’s from Louisiana too, but somehow she ended up being much more talented than myself in that arena. She says it’s therapeutic, which I’m pretty jealous of because it’s mostly just stressful for me lol.
I instantly thought of her while touring the Mackenzie Child’s shop because they had the cutest cooking supplies in all their signature prints. I fell in love with the Courtly Check Enamel Everyday Bowl, Flower Market Cookware, and Flower Market Serving Bowls. And I knew she would love it too, so I got us both a bowl. Literally just because – both our birthdays are in the Fall lol. And then I realized it was National Best Friend Day at the begging of June (aka today) and I was like YASSS, let’s make this a thing (going back to the “make it an occasion” inspiration I mentioned above!) Plus, we’d been talking about making some summer dishes together for a few weeks! Last Sunday we finally made it happen. It was certainly a Sunday well spent.
Something as simple as a cute saucepan literally inspired me to want to cook more. Is that crazy? Lol no but really, a lot of the Mackenzie Childs product inspires me in that way because it’s just so unique and fun!
Less Is More
What’s really cool is that MacKenzie-Childs basically owns a big portion of Aurora and they have several properties in one area. It backs up to Cayuga Lake and is surrounded by water, in literally the most beautiful rural area. And even though this brand is huge these days, they still do everything right there on that relatively small (if you think of the size of the company) piece of land.
While they have several buildings on their land, it still feels so simple. They haven’t grown too big or beyond what their mission was. They still make hand-crafted home furnishings all from the area that inspires them.
I loved this message mainly for my business. I feel a constant need to have more followers, get more brand deals, create more content. But Mackenzie-Childs reminded to think back on why I’m doing what I’m doing. That what I have is plenty. To live within my bounds.
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