Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mackenzie Childs: A Barn Sale & wine tasting in the Finger Lakes

Aurora, NY
July 24th 2016

On Sunday morning. Me and my two gal pals; Kelly and Tammy decided to have a look for ourselves about this "famous" barn sale at Mackenzies Child in Aurora NY. We had all heard stories about the annual Barn Sale. DEEP DEEP discounts on HOT HOT items made by this famous designer. Have you not heard of them? I hadn't really either until this "style" was introduced to me by others. I originally thought that it was a brand of Dolls (Doesn't it sound like a Doll name?- Madame Alexander? What do I really know, I never took fashion or interior design or even an art class that may hit at CLASS....well these checkerboard eclectic pieces are ALL THE RAGE!!! and they are quite popular. We had no idea JUST how popular.
The plan was to simply go see what all the buzz was all about.
Heading off to Auburn first as Kelly had stayed with me the evening before so she could drop off her car, and clean up a bit, we were soon on the road again searching for a little fuel to get us charged for what we were told would be a LONG line and a busy day.

 Breakfast was at a diner along the route. The Be Happy Cafe.
These potatoes were the bomb!

After breakfast we made our way to the Barn Sale....We soon found it was going to be a bit of a wait.
This is a little of the line. It took about 11/2 hours of wait time just to get into the sale!!! WOW I guess this stuff is pretty AMAZING!!

The picture below is all the people behind us. It was HOT too. I have to say we were NOT prepared. Next time (If there ever is a next time) bring H2O, sun screen and a hat!!!
At least there were some flowers to enjoy while we waited. The search for a little shade was a highlight as we waited.
We finally made it up to the main building. It really is cute. I would have enjoyed just walking the grounds if I wasn't so afraid I loose my place in line.

Apparently you can get a tour of he house if you sign up. The grounds were beautiful. Since I really had no idea about the background of the story I did a little reading on wiki.
Once owned and founded by Victoria and Richard MacKenzie Childs. The company went bankrupt but was bought out by the owner of American Doll. (see I knew there had to be something about dolls in all this.)  In 2006 the company hit its Peek in profits and was again sold in 2008. Apparently The founders sued citing a trademark violation of their name, I was hoping to find some romantic or tragic love story in all of this...I guess people LOVE the product and it sure is TRAGIC that the company was bought out. (apparently loosing some 8 million dollars in sales one year.). Well it sure is making money now.
After all that wait....we were finally granted our admission bracelets and bags to begin our shopping.

Almost there.....and there we were.
Cook book holders. Yes pretty
very expensive reading glasses with the signature checkerboard pattern.
Of course I had to get the cure little owl on this little girls bedding. (I could of so had this on my bed at home. Hubby may not like it, but it sure was cute.
More kid fun and for the adult a very classy wine tote.
This pattern was everywhere on most everything. Indeed this is the S-C's signature.

Or how about theses lamps. Very whimsical.

Or if you prefer...more of the checkerboard.
Then there was the furniture,....absolutely adorable. BUT THE PRICE TAG...even at the barn sale was not to cute.

How about this beauty in your dining room?

The chair was perhaps my favorite..
Even lawn furniture.
Although I had no intent on spending any money and I really had gone simply to see for myself what all the talk was about. I did splurge and spend a few bucks on a couple of items. I simply could not leave without picking up at least one item. Okay so I got two.

My VERY ($25-) expensive salt and pepper shakers at a steal of a deal at 50% off. (Yep that means they were originally $50-) And my ($13-) 1/2 off bottle topper owl. Some of the more elegant shakers ran upwards to over $200-$300 bucks. INSANE. Some of the furniture items were listed in the thousands for one chair.
WOW!!!! Okay so it was all very cute, but I'm not holding out on getting myself a $1,000.00 end table. Its just not happening to this girl. I got my pieces, now I can at least say, "why yes, I do own an exclusive MacKenzie Childs La tee da!!!!

A few future things to think about should you go to next years Barn Sale.....
1. Absolutely do not go on Friday or Saturday. You may find the most stuff but you'll also find the biggest lines. (I was told wait up to two 1/2 hours.)
As we were leaving around 2-3pm the lines were significantly lower then when we had arrived. Arriving early in the morning in this case may pay off, but after a long drive and a late breakfast...late morning was definitely NOT the time to come.
2. Bring CASH or your own drinks. Beverages are sold as you wait in line, but not for cheep and ONLY cash! (You might want to bring a snack too.)
3. Sunscreen or a least a hat. 90% of your wait time is standing directly in the sun on pavement.
4. Be PREPARED for sticker SHOCK!!! I am a thrifty gal and Barn sale means just that...this is NOT your typical Barn sale. Even at the discounted prices (some as low as 70% off) I was still blown away.
5. Go with some gal pals...make a day of it. The Finger lakes region is beautiful, enjoy the grounds, have some wine. Plan on a day of crowds & lines and simply enjoy yourself WORRY and FRET will not make the line move any faster.
PS: SECRET CHECK OUT EXIT!!! Lines to get checked out were nearly as insane as the wait time to get in. Scope out the back exit (Orders and shipping) If they don't have people ordering/shipping furniture. They will take you, and these lovely ladies gave us each a bottle of ice cold water. Okay so the secret is out...but do not share.
A quick exit and shakers in hand we made our way back to the car and started our journey home. Of course who can skip a few wineries when your smack dab in the middle of wine country?

First stop was Hearts and Hands winery (never had heard of them.) I LOVED the door.

This DD, only had three tastes,

I thought about getting a bottle, but $25- had already gone for my shakers...Sorry
A little farther down the way was the The Apple Station, The decor was supper fun.

Much better price and I actually enjoy the apple wines.

My favorite was the Horn Blower. Should have got a bottle and I could have used my new topper.The checkerboard would have complimented. We spoke with the hostess about this and wondered if any of the wineries had considered doing a special combo. No such thing at this point, but she did report that several people had stopped on their way to the Barn Sale or after. The couple also tasting were on their way to the sale. They may have timed it just right to miss the lines.
Cheers to us!!
and this cute little dog with the under bite.
Great Day, Great Friends and a Great trip....TTFN