Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Elkay. Even though we were compensated to write this post, all opinions are our own.
A couple weeks ago we had the. best. time. in Chicago with Elkay. We already loved their product, but now that we got the full tour of the plant and got to meet their incredible team, including the family, we love them even more.
What’s our favorite thing about Elkay? They are family owned. As a family business ourselves this is something that means more and more to us every day. They treat their employees well, and they create products that mean more than just the actual product. Your sink is not only something you wash dishes in, but it’s also something you probably use to bathe your children when they are little. It’s the place that friends and family gather around and share a lifetime of memories. The kitchen, after all, is the heart of the home, and they make sure that their brand will stand the test of time.
Nothing is more important to us than our family. We always laugh that we gave up our 40 hour work weeks to work 80+ for our family. That doesn’t make much sense, does it? But…it also means that both Jamie and I run our own schedules, and we get to be with our boys whenever we choose, which is a lot.
Over the years Elkay has expanded to include the manufacture of faucets, water coolers, drinking fountains, and bottle fillers. Later, they added a cabinetry division to be a complete supplier of kitchen and bath products for both residential and commercial installations. If you hadn’t heard of Elkay before, you’ll now start to see their logo on a lot of water fountains and sinks. One of the cool things we learned about Elkay on the plant tour was they are the largest sink manufacturer in the United States. We knew they were large, but we didn’t realize they were the largest!
So if you weren’t catching our insane Instagram stories when we were in Chicago getting the full experience, here’s a full recap!
By the way, this was the first time away for just the two of us in over a YEAR. What the! We’ve been away with the boys and without one another, but just us alone without the boys and no friends…oh man. Much needed and overdue. And even though it was a work trip, we let loose, and enjoyed our time! Haha! You’ll see…
And don’t forget! We are partnering up with Elkay to give one lucky winner $2,000 worth of select Elkay products with the potential to win a $25,000 Ultimate Kitchen Makeover. We’ve been doing it all summer and it’s wrapping up in the fall, which is right around the corner. So if you have a kitchen remodel you’ve recently completed and are proud of, we want to see it! All you have to do is take a picture of your remodel and upload it HERE for a chance to win!
We left our house early afternoon for our evening flight to Chicago. Have you been to the Minneapolis airport? It’s pretty awesome. It has some excellent restaurants and bars. So instead of getting to the airport last minute and rushing, as usual, we got there early to enjoy dinner and a couple of glasses of wine. We started our trip off with a bang because this crazy, funny guy that sat next to us at the bar was a pro boxer (we don’t follow boxing), and he had us pretty entertained and was buying Jamie shots (we don’t do shots). Ha!
Elkay put us up in the nicest hotel! It was called EMC2 right off the Magnificent Mile. I guess it just opened a couple of months earlier, so it was legit brand new. Highly recommend this hotel for all you Chicago bound friends.
It was very artsy, and the design from the entry to the hallways to the rooms was on point. My favorite thing, the shower was right in the middle of the rooms, all glass surround. Super cool. Everything about the hotel was incredible. They have a restaurant and bar inside which we dined at, and it was all delicious, and all of our servers cracked us up! Even the maids were incredible. I had to run back to the room at one point to pump, and there were a couple of ladies cleaning our room. What was supposed to be a 10-minute pumping session became 30 because they wanted to know about our family and whole life story. They were the sweetest. I would have hugged them if I hadn’t had my pumps glued to my boobies.
Ok, back to the point of this whole blog post, haha!. Elkay flew a few other bloggers and us out to get the full Elkay and Chicago experience. So Monday morning we got to meet the rest of the bloggers, and they were all the best. A couple we had already met and the others were new to us. And there is nothing I love more than meeting new friends in the industry. Below are the bloggers and links to who these cool cats are.
After we said our hello’s, we boarded a shuttle to the get a full tour of the Elkay plant. We had lunch there (which was delicious) while learning all about Elkay.
The plant was so neat! We really had no idea how sinks were made. To think that from a piece of steel within a few steps they are transformed into a kitchen sink.
We got to see every step of the process. From the molding to the cutting to the polishing, inspection and packaging- we saw it all. We even got to meet their staff and hear from them first-hand what they thought about the brand they represent. And they all had nothing but wonderful things to say. You can tell working at Elkay is more than just working a step in the process. It’s an art, and they handcraft and touch every piece to ensure quality and perfection.
A neat thing we learned about Elkay is that they also do custom sinks even with countertops. So if there’s a certain style or cut you need, they will make it for you no problem. We run into a lot of issues with cabinetry and plumbing where we haven’t been able to find the perfect sink. So it’s pretty cool to know that they’ll make us whatever we need!
After the tour, they took us back to the hotel to refresh, and then we headed to check out their showroom and have appetizers and drinks before a fancy dinner at the Dawson. Again, everything was so delicious.
They had a mixologist at the showroom mixing us fancy cocktails and they were soooo good! We love showrooms! It’s always such a great place to get re-inspired and get your creative juices flowing for more projects ahead. Some of the coolest thing we learned about their drains and sinks is this…
Yuck! You know that nasty gunk you get in your drains, or even hair…so gross. Well, this doesn’t happen with Elkay. They have a seamless grime-proof design so this won’t happen.
Another cool thing is that the corners of their 15mm fabricated sinks, specifically the Crosstown, are slightly rounded so again, you don’t get that gunk and grime in the 90 degree angles of your sinks. The sink above we’ll be putting into our own personal home in the fall and the one below we’re actually putting into a client’s kitchen renovation that we’re working on,. We love our stainless steel so that is why we chose the Crosstown sink above. But the other designs were so neat we’re glad our clients opted for their Quartz Luxe Charcoal design. We’re probably going to change our minds and want that after we install it. ha!
At the Dawson, they had the entire top level reserved for our group. A lot of the Elkay team, including Elkay Executive Vice Presidents, joined us to get to know us. Again, this just shows you the people behind Elkay. I’m sure they would have much rather been home with their families, but instead, they took the time to come hang out, mingle, and get to know us and our brands more. Super cool.
Tuesday we woke up and took the architectural boat tour of Chicago. So much fun!! Super neat to learn more about Chicago and the meanings behind each of the buildings. Favorite thing we learned: they have the most lift bridges in the WORLD. I had no idea their river was that long.
After the tour, we refreshed and headed straight to Wrigleyville for the Crosstown Classic! All of our Chicago friends were SUPER jealous about this. And here we were with no idea what we’re going to. Ha! It was intense.
We walked in at 1:00pm and there were more people there than I’d seen at any concert. And their fans mean business! Elkay had reserved an entire section so that we could all walk around, sit down, mingle, and all you can eat and drink.
We were blown away! And we did eat and drink all we wanted, haha! The Cubs won, which everyone seemed stoked about.
After the game the night was ours, and we spent the night hanging with My Fix It Up Life. And let us tell you, that guy is HILARIOUS! So many belly laughs, such a great time. They are a husband and wife team as well, and unfortunately, his wife had to stay home and take care of their babies, so he came solo. But I can’t wait to meet her at the next event. You know when you just meet someone and you know they are your people?! They are our people.
I hate goodbyes. But we were SO excited to get home to our little munchkins. Wednesday morning we jet setted back to Minneapolis, just in time to work for a few hours before picking up the babes after nap time.
People thought I was insane for leaving my little guy at home after only a few months. But let me tell you, I love my babies, but I need my hubby time. Alone. And this trip was the perfect little getaway that we needed. Meeting new faces, getting re-inspired, learning about new products, it was the perfect little pick-me-up. And we all need that when we’re in the thick of the busy season and feeling a little burned out. Always take a little time to re-energize your soul.
Thank you SO incredibly much Elkay. The trip was incredible. You perfectly planned everything and it’s so cool that you took the time and money to invest in us. Can’t wait for our continued partnership and to use Elkay products time and time again.