Hello there – or as I’m more likely to say if you meet me in person, hiya! I’m Marie, the tea fuelled jewellery designer behind Little Magpye.
I’m the founder, owner, lead designer, head maker, workshop cleaner, packer, postie and tea girl at Little Magpye. With a little help and lots of support and cheerleading from my wonderful husband and daughter (aka Miss Magpye), I am Little Magpye.
The story of Little Magpye began over 30 years ago in the early 1990s when thirteen-year-old me couldn’t afford a necklace I coveted in a local alternative shop. I set out to learn how to make my own using less expensive materials, and I was instantly hooked.
Three decades and a parallel career in web design later, my passion for it is just as strong. I finally created a brand for my jewellery in 2013, and here we are a decade later.
I am fuelled by endless huge mugs of tea, have a penchant for dark chocolate digestives, and always have music or an audiobook playing – I can’t work in silence, my brain goes off on a tangent!
I firmly believe jewellery should be worn rather than kept hidden away in a jewellery box awaiting a special occasion. I love to create quirky, unique jewellery designs for those who like something a little bit different, and my designs and materials are as varied as my customers.
I live and work in the seaside town of South Shields on the beautiful North East coast of England with my husband, daughter and my shadow/studio assistant, a yellow Labrador we adopted from a local rescue centre.
From the most expensive gemstone necklace to the most affordable pair of charm earrings, all of my jewellery is designed and made by me here in my home studio.
I work with an eclectic variety of mediums including high-quality, ethically sourced gemstones, fabrics, Czech glass, macrame, Jesmonite, resins and polymer clay, alongside metals including Sterling Silver, bare copper and brass, and Artisan made lampwork glass, clay, ceramic and resin components from talented makers from all over the world.
I find inspiration in the coastline and countryside we are lucky enough to be surrounded by, and my diverse interests including my beloved books and music, history, art, storms, nature, random textures and patterns found in equally random places – the list goes on and on.
I love to chat with and to get to know my customers and like-minded folk, so do come and say hello at an offline event or come and find me on social media, I’m @littlemagpye on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
What’s In A Name?
More than a few people over the years have suggested that I’ve misspelt the ‘magpie’ in my business name. It’s not a typo, it’s deliberate.
The business name Little Magpye came about in 2013 after many hours of pouring over potential names and putting random things about me together when I wanted to create a brand for the jewellery I’d been making and selling since my teens – it’s a combination of my initials, MAG, and the thing I spent most of my spare cash on at that time, my daughter’s beautiful Piebald cob horse, Pye.
It seemed the obvious choice, in hindsight. Magpies are curious birds, they (allegedly) like shiny things, and we have several that frequent our yarden regularly. Purple, green, blue and black are, coincidentally, my favourite colours.
And it’s a quirky name, just like me, my jewellery and my customers.
Pye was joined by a little ‘brother’ Arthur, a Dales pony, in 2020. We sadly lost Pye to old age in October 2021 at the grand old age of 29, but he will live on in our hearts and memories as well as my business name.