Hi, I'm Mackenzie and I'm a newlywed living in New York City. I grew up in a small town just outside of Greenville, North Carolina and stayed there for college. They say it's the best four years of your life and while I really did have the greatest time, I like to think my best years are ahead of me. College did, however, shape who I am today and provided not only some of my very best friends and my current job, but also provided the setting where I met my husband, Andrew. We've been together since 2013 and got married in my husband's hometown of Raleigh, NC after the first wave of the pandemic in August 2020. Shortly after our wedding, we moved from our Washington, DC apartment to NYC. Neither of us had ever really anticipated leaving NC, so when Andrew's work opportunities led us outside our home state, we were thoroughly surprised and excited for the adventure. Of course, our goldendoodle, Banks, has been along for the ride every step of the way and continues to both run the show and be the source of laughter in our house. 

I currently work in political fundraising - a new adventure for me! Before that, I spent five years as a professional sorority woman, and yes, they really pay you for that. I consulted with my organization's 120+ chapters around the country to create campus-specific event plans, train women on how to engage in persuasive conversations, and advised them on how to strategically select their newest members.

I have a bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management and a Master's in Adult Education - both from East Carolina University. Basically, I love everything about events and love sharing that knowledge with others. I also really love learning - I'm a certified etiquette instructor through the Etiquette Institute of Washington and also completed a political fundraising intensive through the National Democratic Training Committee.

My real hospitality education comes from much closer to home. I grew up as the child of two small business owners in small-town eastern North Carolina. Providing quality and caring service was essential to our livelihood and something my parents taught both at work and home. Some of my most vivid childhood memories include learning to bake brownies with my grandmother and watching my mother coordinate Supper Club for what felt like the entire neighborhood. I grew up crafting place cards for family dinners and meticulously reviewing the flow of events - everything from the menu to the background music was carefully curated. Etiquette wasn't some strict set of rules we followed, but a process for which we showed we loved and cared for one another - a way we showed respect. My family has long been training me for the work I am most passionate about. They didn't know it - I didn't know it - but here we are.

I've learned that social gatherings are not so much about the flowers you select or if your china matches your cutlery... it's really about showing how you care for others. In recruitment, we talk about 'frills' - a term we use to describe the decorations, coordinated outfits, the garnish in your glass of tea, or the custom napkin you use while drinking it. It's the Pinterest-worthy elements of any event; it's branding and it's marketing and I'm not here to tell you it doesn't matter. If I've learned anything in life so far it's that presentation does matter. But it's not what is going to make your guests feel loved and cared for.

So while the 'frills' of life can make everything appear fun and beautiful, they aren't what matters most. This blog may have anything from a favorite cookie recipe to my thoughts on the world we live in today. But I hope if you take away anything from it, it's that treating others with care and respect can literally make a world of difference - no matter what "job" you're doing.

© mackenzie elaine · THEME BY WATDESIGNEXPRESS