Magpie’s Nest still growing after six years and counting

DO not be surprised to see Magpie’s Nest owner Liz Hanley’s head spinning as she looks both backwards and forwards with equal happiness.

Backwards fondly over six years in business, forwards with excitement over new products, new ranges and a new area in her Stalybridge shop.

The Armentieres Square store, which can also be accessed from Melbourne Street, is marking its anniversary in the only way it knows how – by adding further things.

Its entire first floor is being converted into home of some 30 makers of handmade products while Julie Dodsworth will be back with her range of candles, hand creams and gifts all inspired by art she did on canal boats.

Throw in a new line from a Sussex-based company that specialises in adding silver jewellery on greetings cards and new lines from existing suppliers like Jellycat and Mala and it is easy to see why Liz is so excited.

Not bad considering she was asked before first setting up shop, ‘What are you doing that for?’

“It really doesn’t feel like six years,” she said. “The time has absolutely flown by, there’s so much going on.

“I felt confident that once people knew what sort of things we sold and that the items were of good quality, they would return.

“Obviously, I was nervous before opening. Setting up any retail business in Stalybridge has its pitfalls – some even thought I’d lost the plot!

“It’s been a massive learning curve. Even when I think I understand everything, something else happens that I didn’t know about.

“But the biggest thing for me has been the sense of community. Customers have become friends and I’ve had some people who’ve been with me since day one.

“Some had little babies when I first set up. Now they’re little people and I think, ‘Where’s that time gone?’”

As well as the new products, ranges and the handmade section, Liz – whose first shop was across Armentieres Square – has other plans that will see her staff show off their culinary expertise.

For on the bank holiday weekend they will be taking part in a charity bake off while for the whole of August the theme will be gold – after the ‘One for Sorrow’ nursery rhyme.

“The handmade section has gone really well,” Liz added. “I’ll be honest, it’s taken off more than I thought it would.

“We may be celebrating six years but I’m really excited about what lies ahead.”

• Magpie’s Nest is at 30, Armentieres Square, Stalybridge and is open from 9.15am until 5.30pm from Monday to Saturday and from 11am until 3pm on Sunday.

You can also view its range of products and order online at

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