I'm Pip Karl and I started McKenzie House in 2012 to offer excellent quality, NZ made interior furnishings online - because DIY is a big part of our way of life in Aotearoa New Zealand and I know from my experience that many of you like to choose your furnishings yourselves, at any time of the day or night!
Like so many small businesses, McKenzie House started in our garage - as you can see in the photos below, I shared my 'workroom' with raincoats, gumboots and a ride-on mower! Boiling hot in summer and freezing cold in the winter, that was never going to be a long-term arrangement!
Fast forward a few months saw a 'move' into a room in our house. Great for a few years but things got a bit cramped as I needed more and more room. Fabric rolls, workroom tables and machines are not small to store!
Fast forward a few more years and McKenzie House now has three much bigger rooms - plus half the garage!
I still love firing up my sewing machines whenever I can but McKenzie House is a one-woman band and although the feminist in me says I can do it all, there is a limit! McKenzie House has grown and running a small business is incredibly time-consuming (I'm sure many of you can relate!) so, to do the sewing work that I can't do, I've carefully selected a team of makers whose experience and expertise I trust completely to ensure that all of your furnishings are beautifully made.
Prior to 2012 I had spent twelve years as a design consultant for two large furnishings retailers and two years as national sales manager for one of NZ's leading soft furnishings manufacturers. My work was varied, interesting and incredibly busy and it took me all across the country from customers' homes to hotels, offices to schools and hospitals to aged-care facilities.
Having worked with literally thousands of customers over the past 20 years I've learnt that people usually know what they like and can choose their own fabrics and style but they just need some help with the technical side of things - which is my area of expertise.
It's important to me that your furnishings not only look great but they have to work well too. I love making sure that the technical details are just right and the final fabric choice and fittings used are the most suitable for the job at hand.
If I feel you haven't made a good choice of a product or style when you contact me for a quote I will certainly let you know (in the nicest possible way of course!) and I'll make a recommendation for an alternative option.
Sewing is one of my lifelong passions - my mum taught me the basics when I was 7 years old and I've never stopped! I've been designing and manufacturing interior furnishings professionally for over 20 years and I still enjoy helping people like you create interiors that reflect your personality and lifestyle.
Having worked as a designer and a maker, I have a thorough understanding of both the design and manufacturing processes. The interiors industry is constantly evolving which means I'm regularly attending supplier workshops, doing further training and meeting with industry representatives so that I can offer you the most up-to-date products and knowledge available.
I've packaged up my experience and knowledge into this website to help you select the best style and fittings for your project and guide you through the measuring process. However, I realise that each project is unique (and some are downright tricky!) so if you can’t find the answer you're looking for on this website I'm only a click away if you need extra help.
Hope to hear from you soon!
The pink and red curtains above were one of my very first orders - and a total nightmare to make! They were a very slippery chiffon fabric that was difficult to get to sit straight and all the hems had to be hand stitched because I didn't have a blind hemmer. Never again! That's why I look so pleased in the photo - they were finished!
The customer was a very dear elderly lady who I've done a lot of work for over the years with fabrics she used to buy on her overseas trips. She loved these curtains once they were hung so it made it all worthwhile!