About Me

Hello! 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 from my wonderful husband and daughter, I *am* Little Magpye.

The story of Little Magpye began 30 years ago in the early 1990s. Three decades on (you can read more about the intervening years here), my passion for it is just as strong.

I firmly believe jewellery should be worn rather than kept hidden away in a jewellery box awaiting a special occasion. I love to create unique jewellery for those who like something a little bit different, and my designs and materials are as varied as my customers. I wasn’t crowned the Queen of Eclectic Jewellery on Twitter for nothing!

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.

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 am inspired by so many things, not least my family, books, poetry, music, art, nature, the local North East coastline and countryside, the Lake District, Scotland, history, textures and storms, the list goes on.

Marie at her favourite place, Ullswater, in the Lake District
Herd Groyne & Lighthouse, South Shields - photo credit: nickfrom / Pixabay
Sunset over Cleadon Mill, Cleadon Hills, South Shields, 2018 - photo credit & copyright: Marie Gallagher
Marsden Bay, Marsden, South Shields - photo credit: housedoctor3 / Pixabay

What I Do

From the most expensive gemstone necklace to the most affordable pair of charm earrings, all of my jewellery is designed and made by me in my home studio here in South Shields on the beautiful North East coast of England.

I work with an eclectic variety of mediums including high quality ethically sourced gemstones, fabrics, Czech glass, seed beads, macrame and polymer clay alongside Sterling Silver and bare copper, as well as Artisan made lampwork glass, clay, ceramic and resin components from talented makers from all over the world.

I also have a range of wish bracelets and other affordable costume jewellery items and accessories that I developed several years ago now for local fayres and county shows, and these are now also available here on my website and in my Folksy shop.

2020 was an unusual year, to say the least. During the first COVID-19 lockdown, I revisited some mediums I’d not tried myself for a while, including felting, cold enamelling, polymer clay and resin, as well as a new one for me, Jesmonite, a concrete-like acrylic resin mix that set my imagination on fire.

I hope to start using more of my own components in my designs in the near future.

assembling necklace
assembling earrings

What’s In A Name?

More than a few people over the years have suggested that I’ve misspelt ‘magpie’. 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 horse, Pye. It seemed the obvious choice, magpies allegedly like shiny things, after all, and we have several that frequent our yarden regularly! And it’s quirky, just like me. Pye is now 29 and happily retired and has been joined by a new friend, Arthur, but it would feel wrong to change the name or spelling now!

pye face cropped 800x1200 1