Maggie Tucker started her retail career as a young girl with a lemonade stand. She says her success had more to do with her adorable personality and keen fashion sense, than lemons. A decade later, Maggie graduated from Belmont University in Nashville and furthered her retail career. She worked for a very successful small business owner, followed by a highly successful franchisee, and then for a large corporation – lululemon, selling yoga and athletic apparel. But Maggie wanted to get back to having her own little store.
She says, “Ten years of retail later, I knew I wanted to wake up each day and create my own possibilities. I always dreamed of opening a baby store, but at the same time wanted to create something my community needed. I met with tons of friends, got their feedback, and decided to open magpies in west Nashville, a shop that would feature an edited collection of the best items for baby and child!”
Happiness Grows Here
“We cultivate happiness. From the moment our guests walk in they are made to feel like family. We provide a space that celebrates feedback, and we build our collection based on our community’s wants and needs.”
Some of magpies best-selling items:
- blabla – hand-made, knitted dolls, mobiles and gifts from artisans in Peru
- Little Unicorn watercolor swaddles and quilts
- Kickee Pants clothing and accessories for baby
- Books written by local authors
At magpies, Maggie explains, “We are blessed to not have a ‘typical’ customer. Each customer is actually considered a guest here at magpies, and they are all special! Many of our guests are new and expecting mothers, grandmothers, aunts and great aunts. We also have tons of dads and grandfather.”
Custom Bags+Tissue=Brand Awareness
Many people shop at magpies because their complimentary wrapping is both gorgeous and free! Whether it’s a little ‘happy’ or an extra-special baby shower gift, everything leaves Maggie’s shop wrapped thoughtfully in the custom bags designed by Nashville Wraps. She says the folks at Wraps have been “super easy to work with, and they quickly send samples and talk through options every time we are ready to ‘shake things up’ a little with our wrapping!”
Recently, magpies chose hot stamped gift bags in three different colors: turquoise with gold foil stamping, red with gold and white with silver! Their logo features a little girl and boy silhouette (see Catherine and Maggie’s reaction when the bags arrived, above left). Maggie says, “Custom bags are a quick solution to gift wrap. We wrap hundreds of items a week, and personalized bags & tissue simplify our wrap time while also providing great brand awareness.” See Nashville Wraps baby packaging here.
Maggie uses social media primarily (Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest) to promote her business. “We don’t think of it as advertising per se, but more of an authentic relationship of delivering the latest product news directly to our shoppers. It’s easy, quick, and simple. It’s also free, and we have the power to create our own content and allow our guests to REALLY know us, and what’s going on each day at the shop.”
Online Competitors Don’t Scare Them
Because they have a genuine relationship with their guests (they prefer using the term “guest” vs. “customer”), and they trust and love them. They are very involved with their community and have many charitable partnerships. Their guests see, appreciate and celebrate this by showing incredible loyalty. “While Amazon may offer every product under the sun, our magpies community seems to really value the ability to drive around the corner and select something, often locally made, from our adorable shop. Plus, last time we checked, Amazon doesn’t do complimentary gift wrap with adorable Nashville Wraps packaging!”
Maggie’s Tips for Small Business Success
- “Just do it. Lot’s of people are out there dreaming… but how many people are taking that first step towards DOING? At some point you have to put your big girl (or big boy) britches on and GO AFTER IT.
- “You won’t know everything, but you will figure it out.
- “Surround yourself with really smart, awesome, talented people. Create a team. I have a team: my supportive husband, my incredible employees, my mentor, my accountant, my bookkeeper, and countless other small business owners I meet with so I can always find clarity when things start to feel a little hairy and scary!
- “Don’t be afraid to fail. While there’s always a chance you’ll fail, there’s an equally large chance you will succeed. Either way you’re going to grow and learn and be a better person for taking the risk.”
Very well said, Maggie. Please check out the adorable magpies online store.