Hi, my name is Catherine and I’ve been lucky enough to work at Magpie’s Nest for over three years now.  In my previous life I was a primary school teacher but in 2017, after almost twenty-five years in the classroom, I made the decision to leave teaching.  My plan was to take some time out whilst deciding what to do next.  I lasted about six weeks before I was climbing the walls through boredom.  I used to drive past the shop every day on my way to school and say to my son that working in Magpie’s Nest would be my dream job, surrounded by handbags and other such lovely things on a daily basis (no offence to my past pupils!)  In October 2017, I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw an advert for a job at the Nest and quickly applied.  I was over the moon when Liz contacted me to arrange an interview but quickly lost heart when she said she’d be interviewing over four days as there’d been so much interest.  My other half thought it was hilarious that I was hoping my four years’ experience as a ‘Woolies’ girl back in my student days would give me the edge!

When Liz rang a few days later offering me a temporary position over the Christmas period, I was absolutely elated.  Initially, I worked part-time at the new shop in Ashton, not far from where the original Woolworths used to be.  In a way, it was as if my career had come full circle!  After the Christmas period was over, Liz asked if I’d like to stay on.  I jumped at the chance as who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous goodies all day long and get paid for it!  When, sadly, the Ashton shop closed, I moved across to the shop in Stalybridge and I’m still here today.  I love working in the shop; the products are amazing, especially anything by Joules, the customers are so friendly and there is a real team spirit amongst all the birds.  Most of my wages are spent in the shop but, as I’m forever telling my husband, as long as I break even, then that’s ok!  Besides, I feel it’s my duty to support a local business which is so important in this day and age. Use it or lose it.

When I’m not working in the shop, I love spending time outside in my garden and greenhouse, growing lots of lovely flowers and veggies.  I also work as an exam invigilator at a local high school at certain times throughout the year.  Pre Covid, I volunteered at a local primary school as part of the ‘Tameside Loves Reading’ programme. This involved going into school once a week and reading with several children which I thoroughly enjoyed. Hopefully, this is something I can do again soon when things return to normal.

Besides spending time in my garden, I also enjoy spending time in the Yorkshire Dales where we have a static caravan, much to our teenage son’s disgust.  I also enjoy holidaying in Portugal and trying out my Portuguese.  Eventually, we’d love to buy a property over there (take note, Mr K) but I need to stop spending all my money in the shop first, easier said than done!