You’ve probably passed it a lot on the way to Tesco’s or even careened past it on the bus, but on Armentieres square there's a little shop called ‘The Magpie’s Nest’.
This hole in the wall is a quaint shop filled of jewelry, umbrellas and a surprising amount of purses for such a cozy place is pretty awe inspiring. I was genuinely surprised by how much she could fit in there!
There's also a little pug behind the counter for you dog lovers, I almost brought a purse because of those eyes.
After watching them unveil their Christmas window, complete with an adorable dance routine with Children from Sarah Englan
d’s School of Dance from across the way, on the 21st of November, I decided to go in and have a chat with Liz Attenborough who runs the store and ask her a few
She told me that she will have been open for 3 years when March rolls around and she’s hoping for more. I asked her if she liked Stalybridge before setting up shop here and why decided to open hers here, Liz told me that she’s always been a local and after seeing their wasn’t a shop with a niche like hers in the immediate area she thought that she’d fit right in with the town.
“And while I know the High Street shops like the big chain businesses have their place I always preferred the more relaxed atmosphere of a local shop. It’s harder to approach someone in a big shop like Tesco with their uniforms and everything, I can’t be that intimidating with a pug behind the counter can I?”
I asked her about some of the difficulties of opening a small business and running it, Did she have any practical or business hurdles she had to overcome to make herself a success?
‘Oh yeah there was tons to do when we first opened, we were originally around the corner before we brought this. The first problem was with the roof leaking there was huge amounts of fungus and other things that grew in the damp and dark you know? So it took some doing to get all of that cleared out.
‘As for business hurdles the biggest one was securing a contract with Radley, which is a big name down in London for jewelry, purses and all that. They really aren’t known for handing contracts out to small businesses, but we managed to get there with some banging on doors and some insistent phone calls.’
Her Christmas display is a winter wonderland complete with Penguins and displays of Jewelry and Purses, I asked her how she came up with that idea and when she planned for the children and if they were always a part of it.
‘Oh well I’ve had practice since we’ve done it for the past two or three years, It’s great how a little imagination can carry you on a project and ideas can sprout from other ideas.’
‘As for the Children I’ve known them for a few years as well, though I felt so sorry for them! It was really windy that day and all they had were those penguin costumes on! They were enjoying it though so I don’t think they even noticed.’
Seeing how well she set all that up, I asked her if she had any side projects either in the works or planned for the future.
“Not currently, I’m really focused on this one place right now. I’m always looking for some way to improve it, like looking for new stock or places to put it in shop, Or even improving the website.
‘I keep looking at all the blank spots on the ceiling and walls and wondering if I can send my husband up the ladder to put more umbrellas up there, or to try and squeeze room for more jewelry on the stands, Nothing ventured nothing gained!’
She offered me a coffee before I left her shop on that chilly November morning, I told her I’ll come get it when I come back to get my Sister’s Christmas presents.
If you want to find Liz and her shop, You can find it at 13 Armentieres Sq, Stalybridge SK15 2BR.
Her website is http://mymagpiesnest.com/
I couldn’t recommend the place more.