MacKenzie-Childs' Farm Factory

MacKenzie-Childs' farmside factory
A former restaurant in a barn is used for meetings and private tours Photograph by Matthew Williams for Bloomberg Businessweek

The home accessories company MacKenzie-Childs sells handmade furniture, pottery, and knickknacks to the “eccentric” and “creative” subset of the Neiman Marcus crowd, says Rebecca Proctor, the company’s creative director. Known for their signature Courtly Check pattern, the products are charmingly quaint—and so is the company’s headquarters, which is nestled on a former dairy farm in Aurora, N.Y., a town of 14,000.

Employees enjoy manicured gardens, gazebos, a duck pond, fields with grazing cattle, and a petting zoo. “We paint such whimsical scenes on our pottery that it’s nice to have this landscape as inspiration,” says Fred Bertram, a furniture decorator. When the weather’s nice, employees can go for a swim in Cayuga Lake during lunch. Others tend to the company vegetable garden or beehive. “We really are from the farm to the table, only this time we made the table too,” says Proctor. But these artisans aren’t the only people who enjoy MacKenzie’s amenities: The grounds are open to the public and bring 65,000 tourists to the tiny town every year.

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