Barn Sale bonding
July 21, 2020
Over the years, our Barn Sale has become an event where friendships, built on a love for Courtly Check, begin and are renewed. This summer, with our on-site Barn Sale canceled due to COVID-19, but with an Online Barn Sale being held, our fans are still staying in touch.
For many, social media has played a key role in being connected. They follow other fans’ postings on Instagram and our hashtag, #MackenzieChilds, as well as the hashtags #courtlycheck, #mcsuperfans, and #skipthelinealumni. They also follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
One of our 2019 Skip the Line winners, Christa Dickens, who lives near Pittsburgh, shared the news of her Basement Barn Sale on Instagram in April. It was a surprise staged by her husband, with their daughter’s help, to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary, and Christa says it was “the best anniversary gift ever!”
Christa’s Basement Barn Sale began with her being presented with wine, snacks, and a Skip the Line bracelet. Then, she was directed to the basement’s ping pong table, which was covered with images of M-C items, and she was able to place “orders” for whatever she wanted. That was followed by a game of Pin the Courtly Check on the Plate.
Christa says she’ll miss the camaraderie that attendees have at the on-site Barn Sale. “I’ll miss meeting friends in person that I have connected with on Instagram and the sheer exhilaration of the unknown finds.”
That’s a common refrain for many fans, including the Adam Waxman family of Atlantic City, New Jersey, who have attended the sale for more than 20 years, always wearing unique and elaborate attire inspired by our patterns and products. Says Adam, who wore a checked jacket entirely embellished in sequins last year, “We will miss most the camaraderie we have with our fellow M-C fans, the whole flavor of the event, and, of course, the great finds we come across during the sale.” The Waxmans’ 2020 outfits, by the way, were completed before quarantine, so they’ll debut them at the 2021 sale.
Colleen Hathaway, who lives in nearby Seneca Falls, New York, says 2020 would have been her 10th year attending the Barn Sale. She started camping out the night before the sale a few years ago and now attends all four days of the sale. “What I will miss most is the community that is created over those five days, from meeting new friends and revisiting with old camping line buddies, to seeing the fabulous M-C crafted fashions that are proudly worn by so many super fans … the whole thing (excluding the heat) is such a fun and exciting experience!”
Colleen’s sentiments are echoed by Rosey Vitale and Tracey McGrath, who live near Rochester, New York. Rosey says she’ll miss chatting in line with other fans. “It’s always so interesting to find out how far others have come, where they’re from, what’s on their purchase list, how long have they been coming to the sale, and making new connections the whole time. I usually take photos and videos of the line as we’re moving closer. The beautiful view of the lake, the gorgeous Farmhouse and surrounding property make it easy to capture a wonderful picture for my Instagram page. Let’s not forget about the M-C photo frame that the staff comes around with, and we huddle up to get a traditional Barn Sale pic together!”
Tracey considers the Barn Sale to be a holiday better than Christmas. Like Rosey, she has favorite questions for passing time with “her line buddies.” They include:
- What is your favorite Taylor pattern? (Tracey’s is Stoke Gabriel.)
- What is “the piece that got away” (or biggest regret not purchasing)?
- If you could choose one piece, past or current, to own—given to you for free—what would it be?
Tracey says she now has a special group of friends met at the Barn Sale, and this summer they’ve been staying connected on all forms of social media. In fact, they held a Zoom chat on what is traditionally Barn Sale eve, when they usually camp out on our campus in Aurora to be among the first in line for the opening of the Barn Sale.
Among Tracey’s social media friends are Cynthia Williams, a retired associate school superintendent from New Orleans, and her adult daughters, Enjoli and Erica, who are known to their M-C friends as the “Nawlins Ladies.” They’ve been attending the Barn Sale since 2015, and it’s difficult for them to sum up their connection to the sale in just a few sentences. In fact, they have a list of 25 things that they’ll miss that includes researching what they plan to purchase, assembling their costumes for each day of the sale, and glamping the night before the sale in their Mardi Gras-inspired tent. But there is one thing that ranks first on their list, and that is simply “each other.”
“We previously took for granted how much the Barn Sale brought people from all backgrounds from states across our nation and countries around the world, united over a brand that we love,” they write, adding, “and because of that, we unknowingly share that love with each other and acknowledge that we matter.”
And that’s a sentiment that we certainly second. Our customers do matter, and we’re looking forward to having them take part in the upcoming Online Barn Sale, which—we promise—is epic.