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Before opening three shops of her own, Magpies owner and Franklin-native Maggie Tucker says she learned the ropes of retail from three different avenues: a locally-owned stationary store in Atlanta called Paces Paper, established franchisee Katy’s Hallmark in Belle Meade and had a stint at national retail chain lululemon.
However, it was early in her career—specifically at age 22 when she met her business mentor in Atlanta—when she realized owning her own business might not be that far-fetched. After moving back to Nashville, Tucker managed Katy’s Hallmark for six years before opening her first store, Magpies Children Shoppe. Since then, Tucker continues to create a unique shopping experience for families in Nashville and Franklin.
Rover: What inspired you to open your own business?
Tucker: I had always wanted to open a baby store. Nashville is always changing, and we have a lot of families moving here every single month. These families are well-traveled and come from bigger cities and know there’s more than what’s currently available in Nashville. I knew I could curate a shop with things people have never seen before or are hard to find. It didn’t need to be a massive store, it just needed to have the best selection out there. As for where to open, I knew it had to be Belle Meade because I had so many friendships here and felt like the community trusted me.
After opening Magpies in 2014, you opened Magpies Girl. How did that come about?
We received such great feedback on our first store, and people wanted to see what we could curate for older kids. I wanted to keep this business in Belle Meade, so we made it happen when a space a couple doors down became available. When it came to opening a Magpies Girl in Franklin, we approached it with an open heart and mind because it was completely new territory. But we’ve been having a wonderful experience there.
When you walk inside Magpies Girl, it feels like a one-of-a-kind space. How important was that to you when planning the store?
About three years ago we met as a team and brought in photos of ourselves as girls to put up on a board. And in the meeting we asked ourselves, ‘What did these girls want and need? What voids did they have in life?’ Of course clothes and gifts pay rent, but it’s equally important to make this a place where you walk in and feel nothing but happiness and joy. I also wanted to make the three shops places I would want to work at for the rest of my life and feel happy everyday.
Dylan Skye Aycock is a Nashville-based journalist and photographer. As a reporter for Rover, Aycock follows transportation, housing and retail trends, as well as other hyperlocal and city-wide issues that affect residents in Green Hills and Belle Meade.
She previously contributed written and visual content to The Murfreesboro Pulse, American Songwriter Magazine and The Tennessean. Aycock earned a journalism degree from Middle Tennessee State University, where she honed her craft as editor-in-chief of Sidelines, the university's student-run publication. When she's not out on assignment or live-tweeting city council meetings, you can find her discovering new local spots or catching a show at one of Nashville's many music venues.