Cuckoo for Chairs
Cuckoo for Chairs
In the words of Aristotle- No great (magpie) mind has ever existed without a touch of madness or should I say a peck of madness...?
The flight of Ellie Magpie began during a sombre yet awakening Spring; in the year of 2012. Our first month of opening was quiet- to say. During the first month, whilst preparing for a life truly guided by the depths of my artisan heart; I concentrated on re-furbishing huge pieces of furniture such as large cabinets and various different storage units. Initially, I planned on using these pieces merely for displaying smaller crafts which I dreamed of creating -but they were also for sale should they have captured any interest.
In the meantime, it happened that a friend of mine had 10 chairs just scattered around his house. Ideally, he desired to refurbish those himself - but with lack of time he generously donated them to our shop. For months the chairs lay untouched; like blissful snowfall during a mystical Winter morning.
A shop named Luci Living Design- which was a shop local to ours had sadly announced that they were closing down, transferring their business and moving on to commercial business. At this time, I was already friends with the lady who owned Luci Living Design and she kindly donated heaps of fabric to us that she no longer needed.
Sadly, we sold only a few pieces of large furniture (which took 18 months) and our dainty little shop wasn't enticing enough temptation from the outside world. By this point, my faith in larger furniture was uncertain and I was beginning to ponder if there was really a high demand for refurbished furniture.
(One of the first pieces of furniture that we re-furbished. Shabby draws with decoupage flowers)
Albeit, I was wrong!
And it was during the year of 2014 that a great divinity placed me on a promising path of ultimate joy! I had heard about the Bolton Food Festival and instantly recognized hidden potential. We all know as lovely as market gatherings are; their atmosphere can sometimes be tedious and APPEAR tedious. Adding to that; the beautiful English weather does not serve as a comfort, particularly during an event hosted outdoors. So, miraculously, a spark of ingenuity hit me. Why not grab the opportunity and try selling vibrant, eye-catching and bespoke chairs at the Bolton Food Market?!
Because we already had a full gazebo, Ryan and I took a hefty quantity of fabrics and chairs to the market and this was the start of patchwork chairs! Whilst we passionately poured our hearts and souls into the refurbishments we had instantly encapsulated the interest of a lovely couple. To our wonder, they had found exactly what they had been dreaming of! Crazy patchwork chairs! Very surprisingly- we were informed that they wanted a table to match too! It was inspiring to find that this couple also wanted a cabinet and several other furniture from us and from there on our range began to expand rapidly.
Several customers were very intrigued by our innovations and even requested that they design their chairs themselves! Be it formal or super wild patchwork. Once we had reached more notoriety, our larger products sold and we received many enquires about personal customization of those also. Tables and chairs from various locations were salvaged and enlivened by the Ellie Magpie Family. Currently, we have 2 couriers working for us as we have an abundance of orders coming (mostly) from online!
To add- we attend artisan shows when we can find a slot. One particular show we have previously sold at was the Royal Cheshire Show and it was there that we also began to experiment with our love for stencils.
(This wonderful stripy table was one of the larger piece featured at the show! We currently have this on display in our shop!)
(Some gorgeous shabby furniture featured here..)
(Follow the white rabbit... Stencil! They looks gorgeous on shabby furniture and add just sprinkle of character!) Photographed at the Cheshire Show!
Ryan loves sanding and distressing products - emphasizing the shabby yet beautifully timeless style- which is highly popular among many of our Magpie devotees. Also, we have created a vintage styled high chair and patch-worked an armchair which is currently used as a display in one of the shop windows.
Pouring our passion into our products is an essential part of why we have successfully sold many unique creations. Whilst creating; we have found that our most popular and demanded fabric for chairs is the Stag head and Pretty Peacocks as they are adequately formal yet still expressive in presence. And they comfortably suit different styles.
(Very popular stag fabric!)