By Lynsey Eaton | Photography by Lynsey Eaton
Like so many women in the world, we have a brand that defines us. It is wrapped up in our history, our memories, our DNA. No matter how our tastes change or where we are in our life, MacKenzie-Childs will always be something we are buying, using, loving.
“MacKenzie-Childs,” you might ask. The artsy tableware and furniture brand? How does that “define” you?
Let me explain.
When Katie and I first met, the first thing we ever bonded over (aside from our distaste of crowds) were our matching MacKenzie-Childs teapots. We both had mothers and grandmothers who collected the whimsical plates and pottery, so we had sort of inherited the obsession. To find another with a modern aesthetic who also flocked to the courtly check felt like coming home. The check that launched a friendship.
Though our tastes as of late have a tendency to lean more black than bright blue, the patterned plates and brightly-colored mugs always play the accent to our monochromatic life.
MacKenzie-Childs is so much more than just product – it is a brand steeped in energy, whimsy and, for lack of a better word, unadulterated fun.
But brands don’t just achieve that. It’s not just about making beautifully crafted product (although, MacKenzie-Childs has done that, no question). If you want to create a brand that enters peoples lives and stays there – fickle fashion and tastes, aside – you have to create a brand fabric that is more than just product.
Last month, Katie and I were invited to visit the MacKenzie-Childs farm in Aurora, New York, and it was everything you would expect it to be. We felt like we had fallen into the Night Circus with the fortune to have Rebecca Proctor (MC’s Creative Director) perfectly cast as our ringmaster, her energy and joie de vivre carrying us from one lesson on living life through our tablescape to another.
We explored the factory – walking past young women, grandmothers, eccentric artists and tattooed men, all working together to make wildly printed plates and kitchenware. We lunched in the MacKenzie-Childs Farmhouse (fanatics, rejoice!), and handmade Taylor patterned mugs and painted them. We met the artisans who painted every piece of pottery by hand and learned about where they came from and how they landed in such a magical place.
And it was magical. We would come home to our cozy room at the E.B. Morgan House in Aurora every night, grab a glass of wine and laugh, the real world a million miles away. It was so easy to get lost in the energy.
That’s what MacKenzie-Childs is. It is an escape. An escape from the seriousness that is our to-do list and work life. It encapsulates an energy our mothers passed down to us, simultaneously reminding us of a time long gone and a time that has yet to be. It is tradition and it is modern. It is our modern tradition.
So we continue to collect it, year after year. We want that energy to define us.
Because if there’s one thing the world needs, it’s a little more fun and tradition.