If you follow me on Instagram stories, then you probably saw a glimpse of my trip to Aurora, a charming little town in upstate New York. I was so honored to be invited by LVPR to join 6 other bloggers on this retreat to tour the headquarters of MacKenzie-Childs to learn all about the history and production of their hand-painted ceramics, dinnerware, furniture, home decor, and more!
Though I recognized MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check collection, I’ll admit I didn’t know much about the brand. When Leif had asked me about them, I’d simply answer, “it’s a home decor brand”. But boy, I was wrong.
It is SO much more than 'a home decor brand'. MacKenzie-Childs truly embodies tradition, family, and the “happiest point of view on home decor”, as described by Rebeca Proctor, the inspiring Chief Brand Officer and Creative Director of MacKenzie-Childs. You guys know that is what I am all about! I’ve said that on my very first post on my new IG home account “decorating and interior design are not just about how a room or a home looks, but really, about how we feel in it and how it works for our lifestyle!" The point of decorating is to create the background for the best life you can have and I feel like MacKenzie-Childs really is in line with what @gyspytanHOME is all about.
Scroll through this post to learn more about the trip along with my favorite pieces from MacKenzie-Childs.
During our time in Aurora, we stayed at Rowland House which is part of The Inns of Aurora. From the most charming Nautical decor to the breathtaking views of the lake, I honestly just wanted to hang out at the Inn the whole time. I felt right at home and Cody, the innkeeper, was a big part of the reason. Thank you, Cody! I can't wait to come back with Leif.
Our first day in town we got a chance to tour the other Inns of Aurora properties, all with a bit of Mackenzie-Childs' touch. This is where I learned all about the history of MacKenzie-Childs.
MacKenzie-Childs was launched by husband and wife potters, Richard and Victoria Mackenzie-Childs, in the early 1980’s in the tiny village of Aurora. The company was acquired by Pleasant Rowland, founder of the American Girl doll company, in 2001. Pleasant Rowland went to the women's college in Aurora which is why after she made her fortune, she returned and restored all the inns and acquired MacKenzie-Childs.
After the property tour, we got to charter a boat around the gorgeous Cayuga Lake with Captain DD. He told us his name was "like the bra size" haha he was a hoot! It was so relaxing after a long day of travels, to sip on some wine, enjoy snacks served on Courtly Check Enamel Petal Platters, and chat with the girls. Thank you to Ali & Lily for being so generous!
SHOP MY FAVORITES:
Our second day started bright and early with a production tour at the MacKenzie-Childs HQ. This is where I fell in love with the brand... It was truly awe-inspiring to be able to see all the behind-the-scenes of the craftsmanship. I was amazed to find out that 95% of MacKenzie-Childs pieces are handcrafted and hand-painted!
After the production tour, we headed over to the Farmhouse for a tour and lunch. From the exterior, the late 1800’s farmhouse looks like any other that you’d find. But the inside is a wacky and whimsical home filled with colors, patterns, and textures.
You all know I am a sucker for anything velvet and tufted... I totally fell in love with this room, especially that couch. They are launching tufted and velvet collection soon in Spring 2019!
After lunch, we got to paint our own pie plate... and you guys, it is a lot harder than it looks!! I have so much more appreciation for all the gorgeous hand-painted MacKenzie-Childs pieces after this activity.
...But I think we all did a good job!! Look at our pie plates... Good job ladies!
After the tours, we went back to the Rowland House to have some down time. Then got ready and went wine tasting at Hearts & Hands Winery before finishing off the night with delicious locally sourced dinner in the Aurora Inn Dining Room.
On the last day, we filmed a Facebook LIVE sharing our holiday traditions and table setting. Then we headed back to the house for a girls night in our Pjs. Had dinner, enjoyed drinks while making custom stationery for Xmas, and watched the gorgeous sunset on Finger Lakes! Then we had a tea-reading and shared ghost stories by the fireplace.
Thank you LVPR & MacKenzie-Childs for sponsoring Gypsy Tan!
I’ve said before that having a beautiful decor in your home is not us about the products but it’s about how it makes you feel... and MacKenzie-Childs makes me so happy! I've already incorporated some pieces for Halloween / Fall decor and can't wait to show you more. How cute are these MacKenzie-Childs pumpkins?